An ad for the Gateway Groceteria from August 1947 is a reminder that ‘self service’ in retail establishments was a relatively new concept at the time, and was beginning to supplant the old model of having a clerk fill your order. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> archives)

An ad for the Gateway Groceteria from August 1947 is a reminder that ‘self service’ in retail establishments was a relatively new concept at the time, and was beginning to supplant the old model of having a clerk fill your order. (Photo credit: Journal archives)

In 1947, Donkey Baseball – the ‘laugh-riot of the season’ – comes to Ashcroft

What on Earth is Donkey Baseball, you ask? Read on to find out

125 YEARS AGO: AUG. 21, 1897

Big Sturgeon: The Fish Trades Gazette of London, Eng., contains a paragraph relating to the capture and subsequent exhibition of a monster sturgeon. It was caught in the river Shannon [Ireland] by some fishermen who were salmon fishing, “after great effort and much damage to the nets.” This marine monster measured nine feet from tip to tip, and in girth 4 feet 4 inches, its weight being 420 lbs! Our Old Country friends may think that was an extraordinarily large fish, but if they should see some of the sturgeon landed here, they would open their eyes pretty wide. Several very large ones have been caught in the Fraser, one over 1,800 lbs. being reported. The largest of which any authentic record has been kept was one weighing 1,387 pounds, which was caught opposite New Westminster in the early days. The sturgeon fishery is no small contributor to the fish wealth of the noble Fraser.

Qualification Of Voters: The following is a copy of the circular issued by the B.C. Electoral League, showing the qualifications for Provincial voters. Qualifications for voters: British subject, male, 21 years, 12 months’ residence in province “and in the electoral district in which he claims to vote for two months of that period immediately previous to sending in his claim to vote.”

Found Item: A note book about 4×6 inches in size, with no name in it, but with several recipes for making root beer, was handed into the Journal office Friday, having been found on the Cariboo road. The finder can have same by calling at this office, etc.

100 YEARS AGO: AUG. 19, 1922

The Clinton Quandary; Turn Down Proposition For More School Accommodation: At a recent meeting of the ratepayers of the Clinton school district, a proposition introduced by the school board to vote funds for an addition to the school house was turned down, and now Clinton is in a quandary. The population of the children has increased during the past few years to such an extent that the present accommodation, with one class room and one teacher, has become quite inadequate. The government has offered to bear fifty per cent of the cost of the addition, but even with this encouragement the school board could not get by with the ratepayers. They also turned down a suggestion for a second teacher. A delegation has been appointed by the board to visit Victoria and place the matter in the hands of the Department of Education, which body will require to find a solution to the problem. There are over 60 pupils on the Clinton school roll, and provision has been made for only one teacher.

Weather: The weather has been so dry and warm in the neighbourhood of the 74-Mile House, that Mrs. Cunningham, the owner, is harvesting a very light crop of hay this year. The same conditions apply to many points on the Cariboo Road.

Historic Blow: M.B. Hill, of the 100-Mile House, who is manager for the Marquis of Exeter, is not an antiquarian. He has been agitating for the removal of one of the old historic buildings of that place and the substituting of an up-to-date store house.

Cariboo Notes: Quesnel has quite a number of touring autoists this season, and some of them have travelled long distances to reach here. Among other parties who passed through here last week was a Cherokee Indian and his family, from New Mexico. This Indian was one of the fortunate ones who owned land on which oil was discovered, and he is now using a part of his wealth in touring the country.

75 YEARS AGO: AUG. 21, 1947

Cannery Starts Work: With a staff of local workers, the [Ashcroft] cannery began operations last week at the processing of tomato juice, which is the usual routine at the beginning of the season until tomatoes are delivered in more plentiful quantities. Semi-ripes have been moving from the district for some weeks, but perhaps recent unfavourable weather will delay picking in the fields. The pack, so far as information is available, will be more than the average. New acres planted at Walhachin will add to the year’s production.

Summerville House Burns: Residents of Ashcroft had a “rude awakening” about 2 a.m. Wednesday when the fire alarm sounded. The response was remarkable for the early hour, but the local brigade was on the spot with the usual dispatch, but not in time to save the Geo. Summerville home and contents at the east end of the town, which are a total loss.

Lovely Trip: Mr. and Mrs. Sam Kincaid and family returned a few days ago from a three-week visit to the United States and declare they had a lovely trip and enjoyed the “beautiful” highways in that great country to the south. They found no difficulty securing accommodation for the nights in “Motels” as the auto camp has been “dubbed” down there.

Cranbrook Couple Buy Beaton’s Store: Mr. and Mrs. Fred Barraclough of Cranbrook, B.C. have bought the Beatons Ladies Wear in Ashcroft, and have already taken over the business from Mr. Beaton. The store name is now changed, and will be called Ashcroft Toggery Shop. We wish the Barracloughs well in their new venture in business in Ashcroft.

Donkey Baseball Tonight At 8:30: The world famous Capt. Bartlett’s Donkey Baseball and thrill Circus is coming to town tonight! This is the original Donkey Baseball Show and Capt. Bartlett will appear here in person to EmCee the entire exciting evening. The Donkey Baseball game is played with all of the players, excepting the pitcher and batter, mounted on donkeys. When the ball is struck, the batter must mount his donkey and ride around the bases! Or should we say try to ride around the bases! The fielders must have a grasp of the bridle before they can retrieve the ball and then must mount their donkey before throwing it. There is no such thing as strikeouts, but there is a special penalty for anyone taking over three strikes. And anyone who hits three foul balls in succession must ride around the bases on his donkey — backwards! So laugh is the word! If you want to scream and stamp your feet that’s okay too! The donkeys love it! Be at the ball park tonight at 8:30, so you won’t miss this laugh-riot of the season. It is in aid of the Ashcroft swimming pool.

50 YEARS AGO: AUG. 17, 1972

Thefts From Local Gardens: Since the beginning of the apricot season, and vegetable season, several thefts from gardens have been reported. Thieving is bad enough, but in some cases vines and tree limbs have been broken. This is the first season that such a rash of thefts have occurred. There was the occasional stealing, but nothing to compare with this year’s. A lot of work is put into most gardens, but to have some lazy bounders come in and steal your efforts and smash trees is too much. Some people have their ideas, they know it is adults, because of the footprints left in the gardens, and a number of the irate gardeners said they would sit up all night if it was necessary to catch the culprits and God help those who are caught!

NDP Meeting At Lytton: High temperatures failed to daunt the audience of some 75 persons who turned out to the NDP meeting on Tuesday evening in the Royal Canadian Legion Hall Lytton to hear their MLA Bill Hartley and Mrs. Margaret Murray (fondly known as Ma), with their most interesting talks. The intense heat which kept many at home, did not seem to affect Ma who looked chipper in her new 85th birthday dress. Previous to the meeting Mrs. Murray was interviewed by radio personnel, while a number of pictures were taken after the lengthy meeting.

Here And There: The two all night rains on Saturday and again Tuesday night have certainly cooled the weather. Where did our summer go.

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