125 YEARS AGO: DEC. 3, 1898
Bank Of B.N.A. Ashcroft: A good patronage will without doubt be extended to the Bank of British North America now established in Ashcroft. The people joined in asking them to come, as a bank was needed here, and it seems beyond doubt that the advantages of their being here, will be shared by both the bank and their customers. It was simply a question of which of the several large banking concerns of Canada would first come here. Any one of them, for all are good, would have received the same support that will now be accorded the Bank of B.N.A. for it is second to none and is first on the ground in response to our united request.
Waterworks: The new waterworks office, 24 x 44 feet, is now under construction. It will be a two storey building with steam heaters, baths, etc., and will be a combined office and workshop below with living rooms overhead. The location at the lower end of Railway Avenue is sightly and good.
With The Pioneers of ’59: While in Barkerville last summer it occurred to me to enquire about some of the old timers, who made so much money in so short a time, and called one evening upon the gold commissioner. I looked over my note book and from a list of euphonious names written in it selected “Wake Up Jake”. As I repeated the name, the gold commissioner smiled and replied that he knew him well. “Jake was the greatest character you ever saw, and was one of those happy-go-lucky fellows that one generally met with in new mining camps, generous to a fault and a very good judge of whisky. He was an early pioneer of Williams Creek, and in company with others located ground just below the mouth of Conklins gulch, on the opposite bank of the creek from Barkerville, and named it the ‘Wake-up Jake’. The claims yielded a fabulous amount of gold for a time, which barely furnished Jake with means to keep up his expenses. He had a good time while it lasted. I never shall forget the morning that Jake struck pay dirt. I was coming up the creek from Cameron Town about six o’clock that morning and noticing a crowd around the ‘Wake-up Jake’ shaft, I walked over to see what was the cause of it. One glance sufficed to explain the whole affair, and the effect it produced on my nervous system you can imagine as I beheld a pan full of gold on the platform and heard Jake telling the crowd that he panned it out on his shift just before quitting work. It was a big strike, about 180 ounces, or $2,880. [At today’s prices, 180 ounces of gold would be worth $493,158.60.] Everybody shook hands with the hero of the hour and complimented him on his good fortune, all of which he appreciated by inviting them up to Morton’s saloon to join him in a bowl of champagne to celebrate, as any miner should do. About an hour afterwards I saw Jake in the saloon with his pan of gold on the bar and everybody drinking champagne at his expense.”
Postal Etiquette: The post office officials would be very thankful if the general public would carefully read the notice which is posted above the wicket, in regard to the postage and addressing of letters, etc., as it would save considerable annoyance of all parties concerned.
100 YEARS AGO: DEC. 1, 1923
Highway Work: Hon. Dr. Sutherland, minister of public works, states that the completion of the Transprovincial Highway will be commenced next spring. The work will probably require two years to finish. No announcement can be made, though, of the route to be chosen. Sufficient data is on hand, he stated, to enable tenders to be called for in 24 hours, but the fullest consideration must be given the various routes. Delegations have urged the Hope-Princeton and the Fraser Canyon routes, and a decision is expected before long.
Redistribution: It’s not what we want, but what we may get, seems to have been exemplified, so far as Ashcroft and the Lillooet district are concerned, in the proposed redistribution bill which is before the provincial house of parliament. The proposition to clip Ashcroft from the Yale and add it as an appendage to the Kamloops district, is one that is viewed with a great deal of resentment by the people of Ashcroft. Protests have been wired and written to members and even to the premier himself and, although we hope for the best, we fear the worst. It was made clear some weeks ago that, in the event of redistribution, the town of Ashcroft favoured annexation to Lillooet rather than to any other district. Ashcroft can never be served adequately as part of the Kamloops district, because the weight of Kamloops both politically and numerically would crush us to death at every issue.
Bazaar: The bazaar which took place in the town hall on Wednesday afternoon under the auspices of the Ladies Auxiliary to St. Alban’s church was most successful, and more home cooking could have been sold had the supply not run short. The gross receipts were $144.65.
Weather: The light fall of snow which covered the ground yesterday morning is a reminder that winter is coming, notwithstanding the exceptional weather which has prevailed up to the present time.
75 YEARS AGO: DEC. 2, 1948
E.D. Campbell Buys Boston Flats: Mr. E.D. Campbell of Kamloops has purchased the Boston Flat from Terry Johnson, who has been owner for some years and who built and is now operating the Johnson’s Cariboo Motors there. Mr. Campbell will take possession as soon as transfer arrangements are made, and plans putting the flat in crop next year. There are 800 acres of land to the property, 450 acres of which has been and can be put under cultivation. We understand the large two-storey house will be redecorated and modernized. This house is well built and is in good condition. It has a hot air furnace and has about eight 12 by 14 rooms, with basement.
Journal Museum: The Ashcroft Journal Museum is a collection of valuable Cariboo and Lillooet district relics, besides curios from many parts of the province. The museum has been made possible by the kindness and thoughtfulness of pioneers and others interested in the preservation of relics that might otherwise have been lost. The museum is becoming known far and wide, and visitors from all parts of B.C., the prairies, Eastern Canada, the United States, and the Mother Country call from time to time and carry away with them memories of the things they saw. Outside visitors outnumber local patronage, perhaps on the basis that familiarity breeds contempt.
Sex Education In Schools: The Hon. W.T. Straith, Minister of Education, has announced that the Department of Education is planning to introduce a course in sex education under the formal title of “Family Relations” in British Columbia schools next September. The department plans to start the study in Grade 7 with the use of special films which will be tested during the next six months to enable authorities to decide if there are any objectionable parts.
Turkeys May Be Scarce For Yule Festivities: Christmas turkeys may be a trifle scarce this year, but traditional festive trimmings should be in good supply, according to Canadian Grocer [magazine]. Homemakers everywhere will be happy to learn glazed fruits, maraschino cherries, and creme de menthe greens, dried fruits, currants, and raisins are being carefully stockpiled in preparation for the annual cake and pudding blitz. Mincemeat, too, is said to be in good shape. The old nut bowl should be in good shape. Stocks of shelled nuts are described as ample. Shipments of halves and pieces are expected from Italy and Turkey. The only sour note comes from the candy front. Manufacturers are said to be having one sweet time trying to maintain production in the face of power cuts in the east. Import restrictions are putting a crimp into cranberries.
50 YEARS AGO: NOV. 29, 1973
Lytton Village Council Enacts Curfew Bylaw: A bylaw respecting children being on the streets at late hours. The council of the corporation of the Village of Lytton enacts as follows: 1. After the hour of eleven o’clock in the evening during the months of April to September inclusive, and after the hours of ten o’clock during the months of October to March inclusive, no child who has not obtained the full age of sixteen years shall be permitted to be upon any of the public streets, lanes, or public parks or boulevards of the Village of Lytton except under proper control or guardianship of the parent or guardian of such child or for some unavoidable cause. 2. The Council may by resolution provide for a short blast of a siren or some other signalling device at the times prescribed in the foregoing paragraph as a warning that all such children shall be off the streets. 3. Any child found after the time appointed as aforesaid shall be warned by any constable or police officer to get home, and if after such warning the child continues to loiter or remain in such public place, the child may be taken to its home.
This Week From Ottawa: Special thanks to the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce for the arrangements they made in connection with the visit by the Hon. Jean Chretien, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, to their annual banquet and Installation of Officers on Nov. 17. Their hospitality was enjoyed.
Suggestions On Public Forum: The Public Forum on education to be held at the Ashcroft Secondary School is an opportunity for concerned parents to make their voices heard. Here are just a few points you may wish to consider. 1. WHOSE SCHOOLS ARE THEY? The taxpayer foots the bill. As long as there is no accountability to the parents by means of concrete educational goals and a measurable set of educational standards (exams), there is no way for the parents to judge the success or failure of the educational program. 2. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO DISCIPLINE? Restore the respect for, and the authority of, the teacher. Abolish permissiveness, reinstate the strap, and stress student responsibility. 3. WHAT ABOUT PARENTAL RIGHTS? We must protect the right of parents to control the religious, moral, and social values of their children. (This brings up the question of political activism in the classroom, sex education, demonstrations, student unions, and any form of social coercion.)
Steak In The Backyard: It wouldn’t be Walhachin if there weren’t a problem, and this time the problem is a large one. About 1,300 head and mooing. In the garden (having busted through the fence), in the street, just about everywhere in the town except in the kitchen. So far, the rambunctious bovines have caused nearly $400 damage in the townsite. Mr. William Mairs estimated the damage to his fences alone at over $250. However, your nosy news reporter did some research and found that we can file a petition to have the townsite declared a Pound District. This will not prevent any resident from keeping a horse, or whatever, but it must be under control. The Pound Act is quite specific and states that “animal” means any horse, mule, ass (four-legged), swine, sheep, goat, or animal of the bovine species. You will notice that it doesn’t even attempt to control dogs. So your cats and rats and elephants and children will still be free to roam at will, and we may soon see a local version of the RCMP musical ride as the Ashcroft Detachment sweeps over the hill to the sound of the William Tell Overture (that’s the theme song of the Lone Ranger, for those of you who aren’t highbrows), and rescues us from the herd which has just mutilated the potato patch. They always get their man, er — cow.
Put A Windmill On Your Roof: Someone has calculated that if the winds within reach of man could be harnessed, it is not impossible that they could generate twice as much electricity for the world as water power does. Ecologically the windmill could be a near-perfect device and is being seriously considered by some energy experts today.