125 YEARS AGO: SEPT. 12 and 19, 1896
FALSE ALARM: It was reported this week that burglars had tried to gain entrance into one of the houses of town, and had broken a pane of glass in so doing. On investigation it was found to have been done by a couple of the young people trying to get in the house after spending the evening at a taffy-pull party.
FREIGHT NEWS: Probably the largest load ever taken out of Ashcroft was that of Lou Hautier with the B.X. mule team of ten, and two horses, twelve animals in all, three wagons loaded with freight, one drawn behind the other and loaded in the three wagons over 2,400 pounds of grain for Carpenter’s mountain, one hundred and fifty-three miles out. Can any team in the province equal this record, distance and roads considered.
STEAM ON THE FRASER: With the starting of the steamer Charlotte on the Fraser, which will soon begin to make regular trips from Quesnelle to Soda Creek, the journey by stage to Quesnelle will be shortened by two days. Passengers leaving Ashcroft on Monday will stop as at present at the 83 Mile House, [a drive of] 68 miles. The next day’s drive will be a long one, 95 miles, but passengers will be landed at Soda Creek, go on board the steamer and comfortable rooms and beds will be at their service and the next morning they will be at the dock at Quesnelle. If they wish, the same night will see them at Barkerville after a ride of 60 miles. It will be an agreeable break in the journey to spend a night on the steamer and thereby escape 54 miles of staging.
100 YEARS AGO: SEPT. 9 and 16, 1921
SCHOOL OPENS WITH GOOD ATTENDANCE: The Ashcroft public school opened on Tuesday last with an attendance of over eighty children. Others are still to come, and the full enrolment may reach over ninety when all has been gathered in.
NEW SCHOOL FOR ASHCROFT: The public works department of the provincial government is inviting tenders for the erection of a new school for Ashcroft. The site has been purchased by the school board for the sum of $1,200, and is at the south end of the town, facing the C.P.R. The area is a little over one acre and the surface is perfectly level [Villa Fronterra now occupies the site.]
FISHING: The fishing is good in the Thompson at this time of the year, we have this authority from “Freddy Berry”, one of the most consistent fishermen, he caught a huge rainbow last night, he has been displaying same to all his friends and even if not a whale the Berry family will feast on the catch.
75 YEARS AGO: SEPT. 7 and 14, 1946
SWIMMING POOL FOR ASHCROFT: A meeting of all those interested in building a swimming pool in Ashcroft was held in the community hall last Wednesday evening. There were quite a number present and much enthusiasm was expressed. After considerable discussion it was decided to form a live wire committee consisting of one representative from each organization in town. The committee will meet and discuss ways and means of getting a suitable location, and of financial support. We understand Mr. McLean will do the excavating when his bulldozer is in town.
HARD SURFACING OF STREETS BEGINS: Trucks hauling gravel, and scrapers levelling the streets, have been busy all week, getting ready for the hard-surfacing of Ashcroft streets. There are long piles of gravel on either side of the roadways ready to be spread and covered with tar. The gravel is fairly fine and when completed we’ll have smooth roadbeds, and add considerably to the appearance of the village.
CACHE CREEK HILL: At Cache Creek the General Construction are on their last lap of the cut-off road in cutting down the Cache Creek hill. There will be no twists or turns and no steep grade. They are putting the forty-foot road straight through with a gradual climb that any car can make on high.
POLIO NOT ONLY SERIOUS DISEASE SAYS HEALTH LEAGUE: The present outbreak of poliomyelitis in scattered sections of Canada is tragic – tragic in that it is killing and crippling many of its victims, the Health League of Canada said in a statement. The statement said that while it is tragic that medical science has been unsuccessful in attempts to develop a preventive for poliomyelitis, it also is tragic that the Canadian public does not cooperate 100 per cent in using the available means to wipe out or curb diseases which are either wholly or partially preventable. There is whooping cough vaccine which is 80 per cent effective, and, in cases where immunized persons do contract whooping cough, the attacks are much milder.
50 YEARS AGO: SEPT. 9 and 16, 1971
SCHOOL ENROLMENT UP: The opening of the schools in South Cariboo went very smoothly in most respects. The initial September enrolments, with last September enrolments shown in brackets, are as follows:
Ashcroft Elementary: 468 (430)
Ashcroft Secondary: 302 (242)
Clinton Elementary: 325 (318)
Clinton Secondary: 160 (167)
Lytton Elementary: 349 (368)
Lytton Secondary: 178 (186)
Cache Creek Elementary: 341 (324)
A FEW NUTS CARRY RIFLES TOO: Many farmers, ranchers and Hydro linemen are hoping for the best but preparing for problems, as the 1971 hunting season gets under way in most parts of British Columbia. They recall from past years hunters who trampled fields, left gates open, and shot up powerline insulators for practice. “Most people don’t realize the damage and hardship broken insulators can cause,” says Garth Griffiths, manager of B.C. Hydro’s distribution division. “A whole community suddenly finds itself without light, heat and power. Usually it’s the elderly and sick who suffer most. But every individual in the community, every farm, store, and business is affected. And how about the hospitals?”
BRITISH COLUMBIA FOREST SERVICE SAYS SLASH BURNING JUSTIFIED: As one of our most dangerous fire seasons draws to a close, the British Columbia Forest Service is reviewing the reasons why some fires spread so rapidly and were so hard to contain. Says Deputy Minister John Stokes, “It was again apparent that unburned logging slash was responsible for the explosive spread of many fires… There is an understandable objection to smoke caused by slash burns … It is much safer to have relatively minor amounts of smoke in the fall, to having dangerous and expensive fires in the hot summer. Further, if logged-over areas having concentrations of slash are not burned under controlled conditions, inevitably lightning, careless humans, or some other causes will ignite them. This will result in far greater conflagrations together with far greater amounts of smoke over a longer period of time.”