125 YEARS AGO: MAY 29, 1897
Seasonal Visitors: Quite a large number of the hobo element has been doing the town the last week. The weather is a little warm for walking these days, and when these tourists strike such a nice summer resort like Ashcroft they can not resist the temptation to pay a visit.
Athletic Association: The Ashcroft Athletic Association is short of funds and it will be necessary for some one to “dig up”. A committee was appointed some time ago to look after this, and if the people of Ashcroft want to see the boys partake in matches with neighbouring towns they should assist the boys somewhat. So when the committee comes around donate your mite. “It’s a good thing, push it along.”
100 YEARS AGO: MAY 26, 1922$32,000 For Oregon Jack Hill; Public Works Department To Spend $1,500,000 During Coming Season: Approximately $1,500,000 will be spent on the highways of British Columbia this year. In the Cariboo district $18,000 will be spent between Miles 208 and 210 and $17,000 in gravelling between Miles 88 and 91 on the main Cariboo road. It will cost $27,000 for road diversions in the Chase-Squilax-Sorrento district near Kamloops. Hard-surfacing to cost $10,000 will be done at Salmon Arm. The sum of $32,000 is set aside for the Oregon Jack Hill road diversion in the Yale district. [This year’s budget for improvements to 450km of roads in the Southern Interior alone is $113 million.]
24th Of May Picnic; Fine Weather And Good Grounds Makes Picnic Enjoyable And Successful: The 24th of May picnic which took place in one of the orchards of C.A. Semlin, Cache Creek, on Wednesday will remain in the annals of Ashcroft as one of the most enjoyable of its kind ever taken place here. A long programme had been drawn out by the teachers and school board. The prizes were part money and part little articles and candy. Ice cream, candies, and oranges were given out during the afternoon. A dance was given by the manager of the town hall in the evening as a sort of finishing touch to the picnic. A large crowd attended and enjoyed themselves.
75 YEARS AGO: MAY 29, 1947
Mountain On Fire: The whole mountain top for miles across the Bonaparte from Hat Creek is a blaze of fire among the tall timbers. A number of forest fire fighters are out the past few days in efforts to check its progress. Smoke from the fire rolled over Ashcroft yesterday brought down by an east or north wind. There is no trace of the fire’s origin.
The Annual School Picnic: Splendid weather and no mosquitoes attended the annual 24th of May picnic held at the Hat Creek farm [now Historic Hat Creek Ranch] kindly donated by Mr. Basil Jackson for the occasion. And it might be an appropriate time to say the Ashcroft Queen Victoria Birthday picnics have been held on Mr. Jackson’s farm for the past twenty years, the first being in 1927. In very early times, the “gay nineties” [1890s] for example, Ashcroft went to Savona to celebrate, where we sometimes met Kamloops people on a similar mission, and joined forces; then we used to field on the Semlin Ranch, Cache Creek for some years, finally having to throw ourselves at the mercy of Mr. Jackson. The field was in ideal condition, the Bonaparte clear, not too high and safe for the children who enjoyed bathing.
Ashcroft Manor: From hitching post to gas station can be said of the Ashcroft Manor Auto Camp and gas station. Here years ago freight wagons stopped and tethered their horses to hitching posts or in the barn and teamsters and stage coach passengers lodged over night. Those were the good old days, but Allan Parker, present owner and operator of the Ashcroft Manor Auto Camp, has since modernized the place for present day tourists. Clean cabins, green, shady grounds, and every convenience has been installed. Ashcroft Manor is on the old historic Cariboo wagon road, now widened and hard-surfaced, just four miles from Ashcroft, and like an oasis in a desert, stands out with all its cool, shady trees. Motorists can fill up with Shell gas and oil, rest for an hour or so or over night or a week, and here enjoy the real drybelt atmosphere, the land of sunshine.
50 YEARS AGO: MAY 25, 1972
20 Minutes From Death: Scott McKenzie was bitten by a four-foot rattler last weekend. Ernie Lehti and wife were going fishing and needed earth worms, so they went to Scott McKenzie. They were approaching the vegetable garden when a rattling sound was heard. McKenzie, “Peg-leg” as he is known, said he would get the rattler and grabbed a fork and stabbed the reptile several times. The four-foot snake curled around the fork, “Peg-leg” was just going to pick the reptile up and picked the wrong end and was bitten in the finger. Within five minutes he became violently ill and his arm began to swell. Lehti’s old ’60 Pontiac isn’t the fastest thing on the highway, but he said he made it to Ashcroft hospital in good time. By this time “Peg-leg” was partially blind. More time was spent at the hospital while a doctor was located and several anti-venom shots had to be administered before they took effect. The doctor said another 20 minutes and “Peg-leg” would not have pulled through. The incident occurred about eight miles east of Spences Bridge, and is an experience that “Peg-leg” will not forget, you can bet on that!!
Cache Creek News: Tourist season is once again here with all its benefits and problems. Sewer treatment plant problems always increase in the tourist season. Owners of swimming pools are requested to drain swimming pools during the week, not on weekends, as the large volume of water creates problems at the treatment plant.