In 1897 the need for a hospital in Ashcroft was discussed, but it would not be until August 1913 that the Lady Minto Hospital (pictured) would be opened, on the site of what is now the Village Office on Bancroft Street. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

In 1897 the need for a hospital in Ashcroft was discussed, but it would not be until August 1913 that the Lady Minto Hospital (pictured) would be opened, on the site of what is now the Village Office on Bancroft Street. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

In 1947, there is a call for full equality for First Nations people

Plus a possible water source for Ashcroft (1897), and a ‘mystic bran tub’ makes an appearance (1922)

125 YEARS AGO: FEB. 13, 1897

Needed Improvements: Ashcroft proposes to ask the representatives of this section to join in securing from the government some much needed improvements: First, a graded school is a necessity. We have too many scholars (over 50, and the school rapidly growing) for one teacher, and we need of course a larger school house. Second, a Hospital should be maintained at this point. It is needed badly and would accommodate many serious cases which originate in this section or at different points up the Cariboo road.

Water Works: On Thursday Mr. Cleveland, a surveyor from Vancouver, began the preliminary survey for a pipe line from the spring across the river to Ashcroft, with the view of a water company bringing in a supply from the spring for town purposes. It was found that the spring is 210 feet above the townsite which will give a good fire protection pressure. There is 50 inches of water running at any and all stages [and] would give in 24 hours nearly 1,000,000 gallons, or with a town of 5,000 people, 200 gallons each per day. We do not expect Ashcroft to have 5,000 people for some time to come, so there is no question of the abundance of the supply.

Social Dance: Charley McGee, chief of the Indians on the reservation near Ashcroft, gave a social dance to a number of his friends Tuesday evening, the occasion being the opening of his new residence recently built.

Fair Weather: Beautiful weather at Ashcroft. A little snow on the ground and somewhat colder than usual at this season of the year. It is remarked by many traveling men that the climate along the Thompson river is the finest in the world taking the year around.

Wanted: Offering $150 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who stole the nuts off the wagon axles on the night of Saturday, Jan. 23rd. M. McCarthy and W.B. Bailey & Co. are offering the reward.

100 YEARS AGO: FEB. 10, 1922

Coming Bazaar: Keep in mind the coming bazaar to be held under the auspices of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Lady Minto Hospital on the evening of March 22nd, which includes a sumptuous supper from 6 to 8 p.m., musical programme, a mystic bran tub, a sewing booth, a home-made cookery stall, imported plants and cut flowers, and home-made French candies. There will also be three raffles and the holder of each 50 cent ticket will be entitled to a chance on all three numbers: No. 1 Ladies hand-knitted fawn Tuxedo sweater coat, trimmed with green beads; No. 2 Ladies hand-knitted black and white scarf; No. 3 Ladies hand-knitted pink and white dressing jacket.

Look For Rush In Spring: Motor-car operators in passenger service throughout Cariboo are making extensive preparations for the expected inrush of people into those parts early next summer. One man has already equipped himself with two new cars capable of carrying sixteen passengers. Experts at Clinton claim that more people will start for the Whitewater gold fields from Clinton than from Williams Lake.

To Make Film Pictures Of B.C. Scenery: Through the San Francisco offices of the Canadian Pacific, J. Robertson has arranged to come to British Columbia in May with a party which will spend the summer in the interior of the province taking moving pictures of scenic and individual points, paying particular attention to wild life. The films will be used for scientific and educational purposes.

Cold Spell: The long continued cold spell is becoming serious for many of the local water service pipes. A number froze during the past few days, so that this is a time to be on friendly terms with your nearest neighbour.

Mortality Of Stanley Park Zoo: Casualties were heavy among the animals of the Stanley Park zoo last year, but additions to the number more than offset the losses, according to the annual report of W.S. Rawlings, superintendent. The male ostrich pined away and died, killed in an attack by an older male elk; one buffalo, disease (last of the herd), destroyed; two cougars (14 years old, one died of old age, one was destroyed for similar causes); two ostriches — the female died following injury from a fit, and the male died shortly after, pined away from loss of his mate; two lemurs (squirrel monkeys) natural causes; one monkey, old age, had been in the zoo twelve years; one pea hen, attacked and killed by dog; two white swans — one died of natural causes, one was killed from outside attacked by a stoat, afterwards trapped and destroyed; two cougar cubs — one died of natural cause, one found dead, cause strangulation; one raccoon, killed in fight with its mates; one Amherst cock pheasant, old age.

75 YEARS AGO: FEB. 13, 1947

Landing Strip Needed For Air Safety: We should petition the government to put back into use the old 3,000 foot landing strip that the Ashcroft Estates, under Cornwall management, that was allowed to be used as an emergency field, which was used to the number of over 300 landings and take offs without accident. Many who fly have asked that something be done about it. We have been told that for safety sake the dangerous Fraser and Thompson canyons should have fields every 50 miles, and Ashcroft is the only place in the string that does not have a field which is geographically situated in direct line to the north and to the coast, and also the closest place on the canyon route that a full length strip can be made east of the coast range of high mountains. As Ashcroft is a small settlement we could not possibly find the money to put in the field, it will be up to the government. The Radio Range at Ashcroft [beside Ashcroft Manor; it was destroyed by fire in 2014] has been of value in protecting lives, and with a field here it will make for the greatest safety that a government can give its people.

Clinton: Clinton Hockey Club sponsored an Ice Carnival last Friday evening. Despite the extreme cold many turned out to watch the grand march, races, square dance and broom hockey, and to enjoy hot dogs and coffee.

Indians And The Franchise: To many it can never be thoroughly understood why our native Indians, the original owners of Canada, have not been granted the franchise, but have always been classed as wards of the government [and have been] absolutely ignored in the matter of administrating the country’s affairs. Up to the present time the Indian has enjoyed none of those social privileges or benefits accorded his white neighbours. They have no vote and no representation in any parliament in the Dominion of Canada. Recently, of course, they were included in the family allowance act for the benefit of their children, which may be a beginning of better things to come. For many years the Indian has fought these injustices but his voice has not been heard. Some unjust features of Indian administration are that the department of Indian affairs is too far away from the western provinces where there really are Indians to administer, that Indian agents are too often chosen from men who have little or no background or sympathy for the Indian. Another mistake was placing the matter of Indian education in the hands of the church instead of with the provincial department of education. The Indian should be granted real Canadian citizenship with all the privileges, rights, benefits that are granted their white brothers and sisters.

Additional Cost Of Living Bonus For Old Age Pensioners: An additional cost of living bonus of $5 a month costing the province another $900,000 annually will be given by the government to all those in receipt of old age pensions in British Columbia, was announced [recently]. Under the Act, the statutory maximum allowance to an old age pensioner is $25 a month of which the province pays 25 per cent. In addition to this allowance,t he province at the present time pay a monthly cost of living bonus of $5 to each recipient,which will now be raised to $10 a month. This means that old age pensioners throughout the province of British Columbia are today receiving both from the Dominion and the Provincial government a total of $5,700 per annum in allowances.

50 YEARS AGO: FEB. 10, 1972

Ashcroft Fire Dept. To Hold Push-A-Thon: On March 26, 1972, the Ashcroft Volunteer Firemens Association will be pushing a hospital bed around Ashcroft and around Cache Creek and back. Estimated time five hours. Due to the fact that some of the department members are shift workers and will not be able to stay for the duration, we are requesting pledges on the department as a whole instead of as individual members. In order to make it easier for anyone wishing to pledge, pledges will be taken per hour, on a maximum of five hours. All proceeds will go to the Lady Minto Hospital equipment fund.

Cache Creek P.T.O. Holds Interesting Meeting: Some of the topics discussed were 1) Education today in comparison to education 20 years ago. Do children have different goals and attitudes today? 2) To get children to do school work through threats and rewards. 3) Pros and cons of the open area. 4) Is there discrimination against either of the sexes in our educational system. Also, the next P.T.O meeting’s program will have R.C.M.P. showing film on actual accidents.

Those Poles!: We were pleased to read in Mr. Bennett’s budget that a fund has been started for underground cables for B.C. Hydro lines. This plan should have been in effect when our new subdivisions were wired for hydro power. It is not too late to adopt a bylaw governing future installations. The B.C. Telephone began burying their wires a few years ago and cleared and dug in some almost impossible mountain terrain to do so here in our own district. It is annoying to a new home owner to have a pole and transformer put immediately in front of their spanking new house and equally frustrating to buy a new colour TV to have it sparkling with interference from chipped insulators, etc. There are four hydro power lines following the highway 97 going north … and we call this “Beautiful British Columbia”? But now, thank goodness, for the first step in the right direction, we are going to bury them.

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AshcroftLocal History