historic scenes, Midland

Midland ontario symbol in bronze with blue water, bronze pine trees and yellow sun

Scattered around downtown Midland Ontario are quite a few murals with scenes of bygone days.  Many of these were originally painted by Fred Lenz in 1996 & 1997 and then repainted ten or eleven years later by Terri Milley and Ruth Hurdle.

below: Midland train station and railway yard.

downtown midland ontario, street with reddish brick building, 2 storeys, with a large mural painted on the side

In 1871 the area was the village of Mundy’s Bay.  That year, the Midland Railway chose Mundy’s Bay to be the terminus of a new railway line – the railway already ran between Port Hope and Beaverton and they wanted to extend it to Georgian Bay.  The small community of Mundy’s Bay was renamed Midland City.   By 1879 the railway was completed.

railway mural in Midland Ontario, five panels, train station, two large engines, people,

scene in a mural from Midland train station many years ago, women in long dresses and men in suits

vintage scene, men at railway yard, boy watching

below: Midland is on the shore of Georgian Bay which is part of Lake Huron.  Lumber and grain passed through this harbour and the town prospered.

mural of an historic scene in Midland Ontario, people in fashion of the time, standing on dock looking at a boat in the water and a grain elevator

below: Sewing in the window, with a view of the woolen mill across the street. small mural behind a tree on the upper storey above a store, a woman in a long blue dress is sewing at on old fashioned sewing machine

below: European explorers and their First Nations guides canoeing on the lake.

mural in bad shape (peeling paint) of a European explorer standing beside a lake scene, First Nations people and Europeans in canoes

below: A red and white lighthouse with a brilliant blue sky

along the whole side of a building, painted bright sky blue with some puffy white clouds. A large painting of a red and white lighthouse

below: Maybe when the first car came to town?

mural depicting a farm scene from a porch, with old fashioned car driving through. Barn with horse and child, also horse drawn wagon

below: Above an Italian restaurant is this small picture of horses bringing logs to the saw mill to be cut into lumber.

small mural above an Italian restaurant, horses bring a load of logs to the saw mill to be cut

below: HMS Bee, a schooner

a man with a beard stands with his arms crossed looking at a picture of a schooner with 3 sails, the HMS Bee

below: A portrait of James Playfair.  A the bottom of the pillar on the left: “A successful Midland lumberman turned to shipping in 1896.  In 1901 he formed the Midland Navigation Co.  In 1910 he established the Midland Dry Dock Co. renaming it in 1915 the Midland Shipbuilding Co to build ocean ships”.  At the bottom of the pillar on the right: “James Playfair’s Company completed in 1917 a large new shipyard on the Midland Waterfront to build Government contracted ocean cargo steamers.  The first one launched was the ‘War Fiend’ (1918-1920).”

a portrait of James Playfair in a mural, long with images of some of the boats that his shipyard built

below: Playfair Mills

a car is parked in front of a mural of a man balancing on logs in the water, playfair mills, midland history series murals.

below: Midland’s first post office opened in 1872

picture of man with grey hair, beard & mustache standing outside the post office,

below: A tribute to Canadian Girl Guides

vintage Girl Guides in blue hats tending to a wounded dog, with a sore paw, tent in the background.

below: The cleaners, delivering clean clothes.

car parked in front of a mural showing the interior of an old cleaners with a man working inside hanging up a dress

The murals were funded by Midland BIA & The Ontario Trillium Foundation

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