A photograph from the 1930s shows a wooden sign beside what then remained of Harper’s Mill. In 1947 the <em>Journal</em> notes that the building was still in the process of being demolished. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

A photograph from the 1930s shows a wooden sign beside what then remained of Harper’s Mill. In 1947 the Journal notes that the building was still in the process of being demolished. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

In 1972, Lytton elects Lorraine Simpson as its second ‘lady Mayor’

Simpson was elected following the death of incumbent mayor Hazel Hill

125 YEARS AGO: DEC. 18, 1897

Cariboo Road: The efforts of the [Kamloops] Sentinel and Standard to belittle Ashcroft and the Cariboo Road are doing something among strangers, but such trash is the laughing stock of those who know the country. Kamloops has one and only one road leading to Quesnelle, but because that road leads by Cache Creek, six miles from Ashcroft, the two papers published [in Kamloops] fail to notice it, and spend their time in building castles in the air about improbable if not entirely impossible routes that many years hence may be considered, but certainly not for many years. In our judgment it would be better for Kamloops to point out the fact that a good wagon road leads out by way of Savonas to Cache Creek and there joins the Cariboo road. Of the various “North River” and “Bridge Creek” routes, every man, woman, and child living in this section of the country knows there are no such routes. Prosperity for Ashcroft will help Kamloops also. Why try to mislead and bewilder the strangers who will soon be moving down upon us by thousands, with theoretical and yet to be made roads and trails?

Telegraph Line: We hope to see a telephone or a telegraph line from Quesnelle Forks to the 150-Mile House early in the season of 1898. It is a much needed improvement and would be a paying investment for private parties. If no company will take it up, the provincial government might well look into this with a view to securing in some way such a service.

Back In Town: Dr. and Mrs. F.S. Reynolds returned this week from a trip east. A pleasant time was had, but both are glad to be back again in the lively little village of Ashcroft, their home. Neighbours’ faces have a look that is pleasant to see after a few weeks’ absence. Ashcroft is not a large place but it contains pleasant people and as good neighbours as can be found in any country town in the world.

100 YEARS AGO: DEC. 16, 1922

Temperature: There are great variations in the thermometers about town and the vicinity. There is an impression abroad also that the one which registers the most is the correct one. This may be a falsity. For our part we would rather believe the warmest one.

Anderson Urges Action To Secure Replacement Of Old Cariboo Road: That the route for the transprovincial highway connecting the coast with the interior has not yet been selected was indicated by Premier Oliver in the House recently when he promised F.W. Anderson of Kamloops that the government would take into consideration certain representations regarding the old Cariboo Trail. Mr. Anderson moved a resolution urging the government to ask the Dominion for a grant of money for replacement and reconstruction of the old Cariboo Trail, destroyed by the building of the C.P.R. through the Fraser Canyon. Premier Oliver declared that it was the C.N.R. which in the McBride government days, had been permitted to destroy this highway.

May Remove Dual Taxes: News comes from Ottawa that arrangements are being made for a conference of provincial authorities with a view to removing the dual taxation which has existed since the war, and there is a possibility that next year will see the end of dominion and provincial taxes on the one income. At the present time there is a federal income tax and in B.C. and several of the other provinces there is also a tax upon incomes. The suggestion being put forward is for the federal government to collect all income and inheritance taxes and compensate the provinces by additional federal subsidies.

Wheelbarrow Woes: When you have finished reading this, go out into your back yard and see if you have not got a strange wheelbarrow on your premises. If so take it home or report to the owner. The Ashcroft Journal barrow was borrowed some months ago and has not been returned. We are not insinuating that any one is deliberately planning to steal this vehicle, but it is carelessness on the part of the borrower.

75 YEARS AGO: DEC. 16, 1947

Old Mill Being Dismantled: Already one tottering wind of the old mill at the mouth of the Bonaparte, that had resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa for some years, has already been taken down. Demolishing has been going on for some time by the new owner who bought the Syd Jackson Apiary recently, which included the old mill. The mill building was moved from Clinton in 1879 where it had housed a flour mill for a few years. All the hand-hewn square timbers were numbered before taking down in order that their right place in the building would be known when re-erected on the new site near Ashcroft. The mill ceased to operate here about 1892.

Ashcroft Locals: Why buy books when they may be had free of charge at the public circulating library above the Journal office? Books may be borrowed for terms of a week or more with only a voluntary, nominal fee to defray return freight charges to Victoria once every six months for a new collection of books. Open Tuesdays and Fridays 3 to 5 p.m.

Siren Song: Some say the noon hour siren should be toned down a bit. It is beginning to get on one’s nerves, especially those who are not enjoying the best of health, or live too close to the fire hall. What do YOU think?

Xmas Decorations: Ashcroft stores are a-glitter with Christmas decorations and shelves filled with excellent gifts, toys, and suggestive articles to make this a merry Christmas. The windows have been expertly decorated. The Brother Bills have erected the huge Xmas tree on main street and for the holiday season will be lit up with bright coloured lights. The weather as we go to press feels more like spring, but before Christmas rolls around next week we will be getting our full share of wintry Christmas weather.

50 YEARS AGO: DEC. 14, 1972

Mrs. Lorraine Simpson Lytton’s New Mayor: Lytton will once again have a lady Mayor. Leading with 84 votes Mrs. Simpson, fondly known as “Babe”, won over Candidate Victor Loring by 55 votes. Voter turnout was 50 per cent. Many residents failed to vote on account of the weather and a great deal of sickness around the village.

Voting: Figures show considerable interest in voting at Cache Creek, where an aldermanic contest was taking place. Their pool vote was almost unanimous. In Ashcroft it was apparently just the reverse. A 29.5 per cent is a very poor result. Two years ago Ashcroft won the Provincial Shield for the largest turnout of voters. What happened to our interest in civic government? No one values something they get for nothing? Your franchise to vote is free but it could prove costly if the public interest deteriorated to the point where government takes over.

Proposed Integrated Regional Library System: The main items on the agenda of the meeting were concerned with the proposed establishment of an Integrated Library System for the Cariboo Regional District and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. Four Trustees, including the Chairman, reported on their presentation, earlier that same evening, of a memorandum to the Mayor and Aldermen, Ashcroft Village Council, acquainting them of what is now taking place in this connection.

Spences Bridge Recreation Committee News: The ice rink located on the school grounds is open for your enjoyment. Skaters using the rink do so at their own risk. It will be appreciated that the rink be swept off before skating after a snowfall. The tools for this are available in the covered area, please return said tools to this area after use and do not leave them lying around at the rink or in the snow. For night skating the lights will be on from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

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

AshcroftLocal History

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