Photograph taken on Oct. 9, 1947 of a CN passenger train that derailed east of Ashcroft shortly after midnight that morning. No one was seriously injured in the incident. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

Photograph taken on Oct. 9, 1947 of a CN passenger train that derailed east of Ashcroft shortly after midnight that morning. No one was seriously injured in the incident. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

In 1947, a CN passenger train derails just east of Ashcroft

No one was injured in the incident, which happened just after midnight near the Bonaparte River

125 YEARS AGO: OCT. 9, 1897

Clean Streets: Street cleaning has become a fad, and Railway Avenue is looking more presentable since its inauguration.

Positive Review: The Vancouver World, in an interview with Harry Lindley, the well-known comedian, quotes him as saying in response to a query, “Ashcroft has afforded me more gratification than any other western town. It is different. Everybody there seems moving. Its streets are lined with pack horses and wagons. Its merchants don’t walk, they run. Its hotels are crowded, and ‘black jack’ is not absent, and there it lies, a pocket in a magnificent range of mountains with its beautiful river and lovely scenic surroundings.”

Cold Weather Coming? A halo circling the moon is said to foretell cold weather. Such a ring was to be seen Friday night, so everyone in this vicinity may take notice and redeem their furs.

100 YEARS AGO: OCT. 7, 1922

Clinton Clippings: The church is nearing completion. They expect to hold the opening services about the first of the month.

Ashcroft Race Track: Much work in the way of preparation for the coming races on October 19 and 20, is being done by the management in charge of the preliminaries. A volunteer gang works on the race track during spare time, and the course is being cleared of all brush and other obstacles. A road was also built from the town to join the track in the flat [now the Mesa subdivision] above. No expense or trouble is being spared to give the visitors and others the time of their lives while here. Good prizes being offered in the various events.

Thanksgiving Day: November 6th this year has been set aside as Thanksgiving Day. It was arranged on this date so as to fall in the same week as Armistice Day. [Until 1957 there was no fixed date for the Thanksgiving holiday. On Jan. 31, 1957 Governor General Vincent Massey issued a proclamation stating that Thanksgiving would, in future, be observed on the second Monday of October.]

75 YEARS AGO: OCT. 9, 1947

C.N. Wreck Near Old Mill: The C.N.R. westbound passenger due here at 12:30 a.m. struck a land slide a few hundred yards east of the old mill [at the Bonaparte River near Ashcroft] shortly after midnight this morning. The engine was derailed, and fireman J.M. Gibbons of 568 Lorne Street, Kamloops was injured, but not seriously. Engineer W. Smith in charged, and conductor J. McMahon, also of Kamloops, escaped injury. The engine and tender left the rails and is lying on its side. None of the passenger coaches were derailed and the train has been rerouted by way of the C.P.R. from Kamloops to Basque.

Inquest Postponed: Because critically-scalded Leslie D. Hallmark, 24-year-old CNR fireman, was not yet sufficiently recovered to testify, Coroner Dr. J.R. Burris of Kamloops has postponed the inquest into five deaths when a CNR freight train was derailed by a slide at Anglesey, 11 miles east of Ashcroft, September 27. The inquest will resume Oct. 15. Dr. H.F. Tyerman of Ashcroft, attending physician, advised police Hallmark was not yet strong enough to be interviewed. Hallmark is the only survivor.

Ashcroft Locals: Work began this week on gravelling the Cariboo road from Cache Creek to Hat Creek, in preparation, it is thought, for paving in the spring. Twenty government trucks will be engaged and the work will take several weeks.

50 YEARS AGO: OCT. 5, 1972

Your Child’s Bicycle On Streets: Several complaints have been received from the general public of incidents arising from children riding bicycles on sidewalks and roadways in a dangerous manner. It is reminded that when a parent supplies his youngster with a bicycle it is his duty to instruct them how to use it and enforce the rules which apply to their operation. In most cases the parents wait until their child is injured or caught by the police and then complain of mistreatment. Commencing today the RCMP is again visiting the local schools to give instruction on the safe use of bicycles and the rules which apply; but WITHOUT the parents backing them up their efforts are useless. Under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act a parent or guardian is responsible for the actions for any child which commits a violation while riding as bicycle.

Lytton News: Happy days and pleasant music to this correspondent’s ears, was experienced on Saturday afternoon, when our automatic air conditioner cut in and commenced to run all afternoon. Most welcome, after a spell of cold, wet weather. Lytton was the warmest place in B.C. that day.

Walhachin News: Our favourite Utility Company finally arrived in town, so Stu and Ronnie Ross are now enjoying lights. And hot water. And heat. Isn’t civilization wonderful?

Bites The Hand That Feeds Him! Mrs. Cozad was attacked by a Barred Rock rooster on Tuesday when she was throwing the chickens some feed. Findlay Anderson had his chickens at Cozad’s ranch, and Ioala has been feeding them regularly, so it came as a surprise. She has scars to show after this encounter. Guess the old bird was feeling testy that morning!

Canada Savings Bonds: It’s that time again: Canada Savings Bond time. The new bond, on sale as of October 2, will return 7.30 per cent if held to maturity in 12 years. Interest for the first year is 5 per cent; for the second 7 per cent, for the next four years it is 7½ per cent, for the last six, 7¾ per cent. The compound interest feature returns. This provides for three extra interest certificates during the life of the bond. If all coupons are uncashed, a $100 bond would be worth $233.25 at maturity. Maximum amount per purchaser remains at $50,000.

Do you want to read more from the Journal archives? An expanded version of this story is available on the Journal website at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

AshcroftLocal History