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In 1947, an Ashcroft visitor is not impressed by what he sees

‘The buildings are old and weather-beaten, lacking paint’
‘New Pool Equipment Presented Last Saturday’ (Sept. 7, 1972): ‘From the proceeds of the Ashcroft Water-Rama the swim pool staff were able to purchase four adult and two children’s life jackets along with a heavy duty squee-gee (for cleaning floors), and five Operation Manuals. All these items were presented by the Recreation Commission and Village of Ashcroft. In picture (left to right): Dave Hunter (Rec. Com.), Joke Schootman, Hap Watson (Pool Supervisor), Heather Boyd, Dick Webber (Village Council). Centre, Shelly Webber. Missing: Linda Savage and Nancy Fowler.’ (All names as originally printed. Photo credit: Journal archives)

125 YEARS AGO: SEPT. 11, 1897

Old Timer: Mr. James Leighton, the newly appointed Superintendent of the B.C. Express Company, is an old timer, having lived in this vicinity for the past thirty years or more and is a thorough business man and as good a judge of stock as any man, probably, in British Columbia. Mr. Leighton has many friends and should make a thorough success as manager of the extensive business of the above company. Mrs. Leighton and family will continue to reside on the home place 20 miles from Ashcroft, near Savona. We learn that Mr. A. Irwin of Nicola, has succeeded Mr. Leighton as Indian Agent.

Gold Brick: By B.C. Express there arrived in Ashcroft last Tuesday a gold brick from the Cariboo mine, the value of which was $61,987, the second wash up of the celebrated mine for the season. The total output will be something over $150,000 for the season.

Good Hunting: [Kamloops] Mayor Gordon, E.H. Jones, and W. H. Whittaker have returned from duck shooting at Stump Lake, bringing home with them over one hundred fine birds. Mayor Gordon has the thanks of the [Kamloops] Standard [newspaper] for two ducks. Our local nimrods may as well understand first as last that for writing up the fall catches of ducks our commission is more than two per cent.

100 YEARS AGO: SEPT. 9, 1922

Walhachin Notes: The rush of work is beginning now, and every available man and woman will be hard at work. The apples on the Barnes orchard is a very heavy crop, while the tomatoes and vegetables at the Anglesey ranch leave nothing to be desired.

Ashcroft Locals: The ice cream parlour of Mr. Praegar on Fourth street was pilfered on Sunday night. Some cigarettes and chocolates were taken. Entrance was gained by the side door which the thieves broke down.

Clinton Clippings: The first frost of the season in Clinton nipped all the flowers.

Experimental Burning: It has been recommended to the Dominion Government and adopted that a policy of experimental timber burning under control conditions in cooperation with the ranches of the affected districts [be adopted] to determine the effect of burning on the runoff and water into the reservoirs, and the effect is providing better range for stockmen. It will be put into practise next season.

75 YEARS AGO: SEPT. 11, 1947

Spences Bridge: School children here are wondering why they have been allowed an extra two weeks holiday, especially the small fry who are tired of “nothing to do” and are anxious to get at those ABCs. It is said that a bear has been invading the fruit orchards here, the first time they’ve come so near, and the old timers predict a hard and an early winter.

Lytton Notes: Some of the pupils have been sent home for two weeks due to the polio epidemic, especially those who have been to Vancouver just before school started.

Board Of Trade Meeting Held: Mr. Sam Kincaid gave a very interesting talk on his trip with his family in Stockton, California. He said that towns in the States are asking and having main highways by-pass instead of going through, to eliminate congestion. In discussing the roads around Ashcroft, there was an atmosphere of pride prevailing. The Board’s appreciation was expressed unanimously, and letters of appreciation for the splendid road work done around Ashcroft are being sent to those who were instrumental in streamlining our highway and the road so far into town.

Land Of Fruit And Honey: In a copy of the August 21st issue of the Aylmer Express published in Aylmer, Ontario, a writer says “You simply must see the Cariboo.” He seems to have been most impressed with Lytton, but he touches on Ashcroft, Merritt, and Lillooet. The town of Ashcroft, he says, is “three miles off the highway. You spiral down barren hills, slip across the Thompson, and there you are.” His next remarks are not so complimentary: “The buildings are old and weather-beaten, lacking paint.” We don’t think it was so bad as that.

Load Limits Will Be Checked By Mobile Units: Provincial government proposed to “crack down” on truck operators consistently overloading their vehicles for hauling over public highways with resultant damage to the roads. The B.C. government has placed orders for several sets of highway scales to be located at strategic points throughout the province. When the scales are installed, mobile crews will be used to make “spot” checks. Scales will not be operated full time. Instead, a crew will move in unexpectedly, and for several days will check the loads of all vehicles passing through.

50 YEARS AGO: SEPT. 7, 1972

Lytton News: Tourists and local residents are remarking how nice and clean Main Street looks these days with a new paving job completed. Local folks are also complaining about the Kumsheen Cafe, having changed its name to Stampede Cafe.

Swim Pool News: The Ashcroft Swim Pool is now closed. Since I could not find any previous records for the swim pool, the following figures may prove to be fantastic. According to my daily records, 33,337 people walked through the gates to swim in the large pool. Yes, your pool has been used a little bit! Maybe in the years to come, that number will increase with a larger program. Till we meet again, remember: play it safe this winter — watch out for ice accidents. Better Safe Than Sorry! Hap Watson, Pool Supervisor.

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

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