125 YEARS AGO: NOV. 12, 1898
Ashcroft Town Hall: At a meeting of the stockholders of the town hall [now the Opera House] last night it was decided to put in electric light and to repair and paint the interior at once, and in the spring to lengthen the building by 15 feet, put in a stage, and paint the outside. Tenders will be called for painting the inside of the building. It was also decided to let to the highest responsible figure the use of the hall for one year. In any case now there will be an improvement in the care of the building, It has been very poorly looked after of late years as there has been no janitor, and it being a company affair, no one in particular looked after it.
Saw Mill For Ashcroft: The Ashcroft Water and Light company now contemplate erecting a large saw mill on the banks of the Thompson just above the town. J.C. Barnes has very generously given the company 1,000 feet frontage on the river bank and sufficiently deep for a good yard. The idea of the company is to be enabled to run logs down both the Bonaparte and North Thompson, and start a large lumber plant to work. There will be a fair home market for lumber, and the present high price leads them to believe that it can be shipped and sold along the line of railroad at a fair profit. The building of such a mill will be of marked advantage to Ashcroft. The logs can be well held in the slough near the Evans ranch, and Kamloops Lake will readily act as a safe place to reservoir the rafts sent down the North Thompson from the Clearwater country.
Ice Cold In Ashcroft: F.W. Foster has begun the construction of a large ice house and will put up a plentiful supply of ice for use throughout the town in general. It will include delivering orders in town and will fill a much felt want. There will be no question of a good patronage as next July, no matter how cold it may be between now and then, we shall need ice.
Remarkable Autumn: This has been a most remarkable autumn in Ashcroft by reason of an almost entire absence of high winds. No more beautiful fall weather can be found in the world than along the Thompson valley.
Skating Rink: A skating rink is now being talked. It is not now very long until the season for ice will be here.
100 YEARS AGO: NOV. 10, 1923
Auto Service On Railway: A matter taken up at a recent Board of Trade meeting was that of the inauguration of an auto service on the C.P.R. between Hope and Spences Bridge similar to that obtaining between Hope and Princeton and Merritt. Automobiles can be shipped on flat cars at owners’ risk between the latter points for the sum of $22.50 [approximately $386 today]. At present there is no such service on the main line, neither C.P. nor C.N., between Hope and Spences Bridge. The Board contended that the present system was a discrimination against Ashcroft and the whole upper country
Hospital News: The recent School House debate, in which, by a majority of 18 to 9, a musical maid was given the preference to a white-capped follower of Florence Nightingale, has had a somewhat depressing effect on the hospital staff. [The public debate had asked what was the best vocation for a woman: music, nursing, or teaching. Music won; nursing was third.] Out of keen sympathy, apparently, Miss Gladys Tremble has very kindly loaned a gramophone to the institution. The Orderly and Mr. Mat. Porter are taking lessons from an Indian patient on the jews harp, and nurses Watson and Howe, R.N., have applied for end seats in the church choir. Such is the power of popular public opinion.
Holidays: Monday the 12th will be Armistice Day and Thanksgiving rolled into one, and there will be a holiday for all places of business as well at the public school. Although no public Armistice celebration will take place in Ashcroft, the day may be remembered in a private way at some of the homes. [In 1921 the Canadian Parliament had passed an Armistice Day bill which established that ceremonies would be observed on the first Monday in the week of Nov. 11, and combined the event with Thanksgiving. In 1931 Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day, and the federal government decreed it would be observed on Nov. 11. Thanksgiving, however, continued to move around, and it was not until 1957 that the federal government decreed it would be observed on the second Monday of October.]
Walhachin News: Local ladies have changed from silk undies to woollens.
75 YEARS AGO: NOV. 11, 1948
Accident In Clinton District: A shooting accident occurred three miles from the west end of Loon Lake. Robert Castle, aged 29, of Vancouver, while following deer tracks in the snow, saw the head of an animal about 100 yards ahead, he claimed that tree branches gave the resemblance of horns. He shot twice and then heard a man shout “hold it”. Upon rushing he saw George Nelson Walton of Port Alberni sitting on a log holding his leg, down which blood was streaming. Mr. Castle rendered all possible aid and then went to the Fred Bakers [home] to get a car. He accompanied the wounded man to the Ashcroft Hospital, where it was found that the shot had broken and shattered a bone above the ankle. Mr. Walton had been hunting on horseback and it was the horse’s head the hunter had seen and fired at, the shot going along the side of the animal and getting the rider in the leg.
Pioneer To Cut Ribbon For New Road: At the official opening of the 50-mile stretch of new highway just completed from Clinton to the 100 Mile, Mrs. Cunningham of the 74-Mile will participate and officially cut the ribbon. This is a courteous and patriotic spirit on the part of Mr. E.C. Carson, Minister of Public Works for the province of British Columbia, who realizes not only the sentiment but the historic aspect of the courtesy. Mrs. Cunningham has been resident of the 74 for many years. She came from Scotland in the early nineties [1890s] to marry her husband, the late J. Cunningham, who was foreman on that section of the Cariboo road before and after marriage until his death in the early years of the century.
Wedding Bells: One of the most picturesque weddings ever to take place at Ashcroft was solemnized on Monday evening at Zion United Church, when the Rev. R.B. Gibson united in marriage at a double ring ceremony Miss May Lung Chow, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chow Lung of Ashcroft, and Mr. Ty Bing Wong, son of Walter Wong of San Francisco. Entering the church on the arm of her father, the bride was charming in a floor-length gown of gleaming white satin. She carried a bouquet of mauve orchids and pink rosebuds and wore a drop pendant with matching earrings of jade. Her bridesmaid was Miss Jean Lee of Kamloops; Mr. Henry Chow, brother of the bride, was best man, and acting as ushers were Mr. Fred Chow, younger brother of the bride, and Mr. W. Burr. Evelyn Matick and Lois Musgrave made dainty flower girls. At the close of the ceremony a reception followed in the supper room of the Community Hall, which was beautifully decorated. Over 175 guests were welcomed by the young couple, assisted by the hostess, Mrs. D.K. Pike of Winnipeg, life-long friend of the family. Preceding the lunch the bride and groom served tea to the respective fathers-in-law in traditional Chinese fashion. An open dance followed in the hall downstairs for which the bride donned an exquisite Chinese embroidered smock. The happy couple left for Kamloops for a few days to return on Wednesday for a tea for family and friends. They will reside in San Francisco. The Journal with their many friends wish them best wishes for a happy and prosperous wedded life.
Winter: We note the sparrows have arrived from the north on their return trip to the sunny south.
50 YEARS AGO: NOV. 8, 1973
Referendum No. 9 Improvements Given: Department of Education officials from Victoria spent three days in School District No. 30 and agreed [several] items should be placed in Referendum No. 9 [including] the third phase of the new Ashcroft Secondary School, which will bring the accommodation up to 600 pupils. The new additions to the school will include 1 commerce room; 1 standard classroom; 1 home economics room; a metal mechanics shop; 1 teaching area; 1 students’ council room; 1 book storage room; 1 set of washrooms. For the North Ashcroft Elementary School, renovations for a full-sized library, renovations to the administration area, plus a proper-sized staff room and heating/cooling renovations to the older portion of the school. The old Ashcroft Secondary School is to be renovated into an Elementary School for the south side of the river. The Cache Creek Elementary School requires two additional classrooms, one of which will be a kindergarten room. Two classrooms are to be added to the Clinton Elementary School. At Lytton Elementary a new staff room is required and a new covered connecting link between the main school and the areas under the gym. The roofs on the original 70 Mile Elementary School and the adjoining Chasm School requires bridging over and re-roofing. A combination School District Maintenance Shop and Bus Garage plus School District Administration Offices and Resource Centre are also included in this Referendum.
British Columbia Ranchers Warn Of Beef Price Increase: Someone is making a fast buck from the recent crest in beef prices and it isn’t the ranchers. That’s the general consensus among ranchers. Producers’ prices have dropped from the high of early August, but retail prices have not been reflected accordingly. A survey of retail beef prices taken in Vancouver during the first week in August show round steak was $1.86 per pound, while wholesale prices stood at 89 cents a pound. During the first week of September, the price of round steak in retail stores had jumped to $2.25 per pound, while wholesale prices had dropped to 88 cents a pound. Most cuts of beef jumped appreciably between the first week in August and the first week in September. For instance, blade roast jumped seven cents to $1.24, stewing beef went up 15 cents to $1.43, and hamburger soared up by 16 cents to $1.13. Since then, wholesale beef prices have dropped but retail markets have been “very slow” to reflect the decrease, say B.C.’s Cattlemen.
Japanese Oranges Arrive Early: Christmas came a little closer to Canadians today with the arrival at Ballantyne Pier [Vancouver] of 610,000 boxes of Japanese Mandarin Oranges aboard the 11,000-ton vessel “MS Snow Ball”. Canadians have always associated the luscious, juicy, easy-to-peel fruit, known as “Taste Ticklers of Japan”, with the sights and smells of Christmas. Having a ship named Snow Ball as carrier makes the arrival of the oranges even more festive and seasonal. In all, eight ships will carry 4.5 million boxes of the fruit to Canada between now and the end of November. Canada is Japan’s No. 1 export market for the fresh Mandarin Oranges and the demand for the taste-tingling fruit continues to increase year by year.