125 YEARS AGO: DEC. 26, 1896 and JAN. 2, 1897
Typhoid And Malaria In Kamloops: The sanitary condition of Kamloops is not good and there has been much sickness there of late. In the Kamloops “Sentinel”, “Sanitus” writes: “It is current talk that there are numerous cases of typhoid and malarial fever in town, a death from the former having taken place at the hospital this week. This must be caused by gross negligence somewhere, as with the supply of fresh water at our doors there should be no danger from these diseases, which are well known to be caused by bad drainage or foul water.” Let Ashcroft take warning, clean up the town. Fortunately our water supply is pure but pig pens and stables should be kept in such shape that no trouble can arise from them. A thorough street cleaning would do no harm. We want no typhoid fever here.
Telephones: We are informed by Mr. Salisbury, president of the Burrard Inlet Telephone Co., that his company will begin in the early spring and build a line through from Ashcroft to Clinton, 150 Mile House, Soda Creek, Quesnelle, Stanley, and Barkerville with a branch line to Quesnelle Forks. An exchange will be put in at Ashcroft. The company expect to do a fair amount of business from the first and thoroughly realize the fact that the business is one that soon grows in public favour. Where [phones were] a few years ago only an experiment, [they] are now regarded as an absolute business necessity.
Freighting On The Cariboo Road: During the past year the freight moved from Ashcroft is enormous. Taking an average of the amount of the weekly output sent out and the amount received by those who have shipped, it will average about 200,000 pounds per week or 10,400,000 pounds, this only for the year 1896. During the month of June last season the number of freight teams on the road was about 100, averaging six horses to the team and about 400 pack animals, a thousand animals in all.
Lillooet: Lillooet should by all means be given a mail service of two or three times per week. When a town arrives at the dignity of $2,000 poker games, as is reported of Lillooet, it is making a name as a camp. Lillooet now boasts a barber shop, and it is reported that parties will begin the erection of a new hotel in the near future. There will be many people in Lillooet next season.
Skating: Two wagon loads of the youth and beauty of Ashcroft drove up to Barnes’ lakes yesterday and enjoyed an hour’s skate. It is rather dangerous for a team and rig to manoeuvre around the curves and steep hills covered with ice, but with men who know how to handle horses they succeed all right. Several young men went up to Barnes’ lake last Sunday and had a few hours skating. The committee of the skating rink in town expect to have the rink in condition by next May.
100 YEARS AGO: DEC. 23 and 30, 1921
The School Closing Entertainment; Long And Varied Program Rendered By The Children With Marked Skill: Although at this late date an account of the school closing in the town hall last Thursday evening is somewhat stale, a good thing is none the worse of being twice told and it is better late than never. The first item on the long program was an opening chorus by the school children. This was followed in quick succession by drills, songs, recitations, dialogues, duets, and plays which showed marked skill on the part of the pupils, and great patience and perseverance on the part of the teachers. At the close of the program Santa came in with a great quantity of balloons which he distributed after giving a short account of his trip to Ashcroft from the north.
Christmas Turkeys: It appears that the dry belt can raise the best Christmas turkeys. This is evident by the large shipments that are leaving here for coast and other points. Here is an opportunity for Ashcroft to make the “Ashcroft Turkey” as famous as the Ashcroft potato.
Cold Weather: The thermometer reached the 15 degrees below zero [Fahrenheit; -26°C] in Ashcroft on Tuesday morning last. This is a record for Ashcroft this year.
Church Building Becomes Epidemic In The North Beginning In Clinton: All building operations at Williams Lake have been abandoned owing to lack of materials. The weather now is too severe for outside work even if material for buildings arrived. The new Presbyterian church and manse in the course of construction are at a standstill. The people of Clinton are ready to start building their new church on the first of May next. Clinton, Lone Butte, Horse Lake, Forest Grove, Lac La Hache, Williams Lake, Chilcotin, and Horsefly are planning to build new churches in the near future.
Boy Has Narrow Escape From Burning Christmas Night: George Boyd, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Boyd, had a narrow escape from being badly burned on Christmas night. He was dressing up in a Santa Claus suit in which he intended to go out on some boyish pranks, when some of the batten on the clothing took fire. The boy ran through the house in flames and fell fainting. His younger brother and mother dragged him into the kitchen and poured water on the flames. Luckily he received burns on both hands only, one of which is badly burned. He is doing nicely under treatment.
Kamloops Hospital: The Kamloops Royal Inland Hospital received a Christmas box of $1,176, being half the liquor profit cheque received by the city of Kamloops.
Skating: Although the weather has been somewhat cold during the past two weeks, it has been ideal for ice making. The local rink is in good condition and is under the management of the Ashcroft Hockey Club. Skating tickets can be had covering the season, which promises to be a long one. Already a great deal of skating has been done. Season tickets can be purchased at $1 (children 12 or under); $2 (children over 12); $3 (ladies); $5 (gents).
75 YEARS AGO: DEC. 21, 1946
Son Of Ashcroft Pioneer Passes: On Saturday, Dec. 7, Johnny Barnes of Three Sisters Creek, a few miles west of Ashcroft on the cut-off to Hat Creek, died in Lady Minto Hospital at the age of 77 years. Johnny had lived in this neighbourhood all his life and was the son of the late Ashcroft pioneer, James Barnes, the “founder” of Ashcroft, having converted his farm into a township and selling lots to the public. This took place about 1884 on the completion of the C.P.R. along the Thompson River. Mr. Barnes was assisted in his work by the late William (Billy) Brink after whom one of the Ashcroft streets was named.
Helped Establish Ashcroft Journal: Announcement in the Seattle Times recently of the death in that city of Mrs. Sadie Isabella Sroufe at the age of 87, will recall to old timers of the district and Cariboo, that her husband, the late A.H. Sroufe, was associated with the late F.R. Reynolds in the founding of the Ashcroft Journal (then the B.C. Mining Journal) in May 1895. The first issue “mast head” announces that F.S. Reynolds and A.H. Sroufe were publisher and proprietors. Mr. Sroufe was with the Journal only a short time and moved to Seattle in 1896.
Bakery: Fred Thompson of Rossland, B.C. has take over the baking at Ashcroft Bakery. Mrs. Thompson will join her husband early in the new year. Ashcroft is being treated to cakes, buns, etc. again which is welcomed by the housewives.
B.C. Auto Courts Convention: A hundred auto court and tourist resort owners from all parts of British Columbia attended the convention. A 100 per cent increase in the B.C. government’s expenditure to promote the tourist industry was forecast for 1947 by W.H. Currie, commissioner, B.C. Government Travel Bureau. “This tourist business is no accident,” said Mr. Currie. “It is a far-reaching policy of government, and it will continue to be for it has become one of our largest and most prosperous businesses.”
Radio Links Empire On Christmas Day: Here’s something new in the way of civic election campaigns: Johnny Wayne, Candidate for Mayor and Frank Shuster, Johnny’s campaign manager. Radio listeners will of course recognize these incipient politicians for what they really are — the fun-team of the Wayne and Shuster show, broadcast Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. over CFJC.
No Paper Next Week: To allow us to take one week off there will be no issue of the Journal Christmas week. The next issue will be published on January 4, 1947.
50 YEARS AGO: DEC. 23, 1971
Cache Creek: The new Dairy Queen building is beginning to take shape and although the cold weather and snow is continuing, the contractors are making noticeable headway. The depression behind the Cache Creek Motel is being filled and brought to the level of the highway, where we understand new units will be built by this motel. Rumour has it that a shopping complex is to be built on the low spot, south of the Trans-Canada, and that the present Mohawk garage will be moved to another spot further north.
School Skating: Tuesday evening was the time for the schools’ Christmas Skating Party. Hot dogs and hot chocolate kept all the seventy-odd skaters going. A large roaring bonfire provided the right atmosphere as well as a spot to dry out. Thanks go to the Murray family for supplying the wood used for the fire.
Mail Rates Up: The domestic rate for a first class letter or postage goes up to 8 cents Jan. 1, 1972. Rate over 1 ounce to 2 ozs. goes to 14c; over 2 ozs. to 4 ozs. 20c; over 4 ozs. to 8 ozs. 32c.
No Paper Next Week: The Journal wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Office will be closed until January 3, 1972.