125 YEARS AGO: FEB. 11, 1899
That Roaring Game: Since the roaring game [curling] was first played in Ashcroft I have been nearly a constant visitor at the games, and I must say that the players from the oldest to the youngest have improved wonderfully both in temper and skill. The game has taken a great hold on the people of Ashcroft, and I don’t think there will be any trouble in having a rink built and the real granites brought here in good time for next winter. If Kamloops would do likewise, there would be many pleasant games played during the winter evenings.
Bonaparte Bridge: Mr. White has the contract for the bridge across the Bonaparte. There were four bids in, ranging from $850 to $1,095. Work will be commenced as soon as the timbers arrive.
Justice Done: J.W. Burr left on Wednesday for the coast, taking down the prisoner to Westminster that burglarized the Ashcroft hotel. He was sentenced to two years.
New Arrival? Philip Parke contemplates living in Ashcroft before very long. We think he should build a neat little house here and help us to make Ashcroft what it should be, a beautiful city. We have water now and can set out trees and sow grass seed. A couple of years will witness a vast improvement in the looks of the town.
Silly Prank: Some smart idiot took away the lamp from the north end of the Ashcroft hotel porch, a few nights ago. Those lamps are placed as they are for the benefit of the public, and taking one away or destroying it is both foolish and a misdemeanour. No one with a particle of sense will call it smart. If much of this kind of work is done someone will be very likely to suffer for it before many days.
100 YEARS AGO: FEB. 9, 1924
Flood Closes Merritt Mine: An unusual rainfall for this dry belt, which sent a torrent gushing down the gully at the Middlesborough mines, has caused the entrance to No. 5 West to cave in, completely closing up the mine and rendering the miners idle. The mine is one of the leading industries of Merritt. In addition to the damage at the mine, which is being inspected thoroughly to ascertain its extent, the rain has caused slides and washouts on the Canadian Pacific and Kettle Valley Railways. The downpour has caused much damage to other property and inconvenience to the residents generally in Merritt and vicinity. So steady a downpour over a long period is unprecedented.
Lars Peterson, Wanted In Denmark, Arrested In The Cariboo: Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police concluded a man hunt which was conducted during the past year over Europe by the Danish Government, and throughout the Dominion by the RCMP, when they effected the arrest of Lars Peter Peterson, at Lightly, formerly Quesnel Forks. Peterson, it is alleged, is wanted in Denmark on a charge of absconding with 100,000 kroner, about $16,000 at current rates of exchange [approximately $281,000 today]. He will be taken to Vancouver, where further instructions will be awaited from the Danish Government.
Clinton Ball: Don’t forget about the Clinton Annual Ball, to be held Feb. 21–22. It will be bigger and better than ever. The ball committee wishes to explain for the benefit of those who do not know, that tickets, $6 including supper both nights, means that a gentleman and his lady are entitled to dance two whole nights, and have one meal each, each night for the above amount. The price for one night is $3. Supper will be served in the hall.
75 YEARS AGO: FEB. 10, 1949
Ashcroft Board Of Trade: The Board of Trade recommended the following work programme for 1949 to the Department of Public Works for their consideration and inclusion in their estimates: repairs and improvements of the Lillooet-Hat Creek road; grading, at least once a year, of the Back Valley road; improvements of the first three miles of the Highland Valley road; repair, improvement, and construction of sidewalks in Ashcroft; addition of sidewalks to bridge at Ashcroft; improvement to Loon Lake road. Village incorporation was also discussed early in the year.
Ashcroft Library: The provincial Library Commission at Victoria supplies books for Ashcroft readers that may be had on loan at the library above the Journal office free of charge. The patronage so far has been very discouraging, and there is a possibility the service will be discontinued if we don’t do better. Ashcroft people should demonstrate by their patronage that they appreciate the service.
36 Below Didn’t Stop Clinton Juniors: Undaunted by a thermometer reading of 36 below zero, Clinton’s young hockey hopefuls, the Midgets, climbed aboard their transports at 8 a.m. last Saturday (after said cars had been pushed around for an hour to get them started and warmed up, but the poor boys never did get warmed up), for the long drive to Kamloops. There, with the mercury at 10 below in the arena, they played the Kamloops Bantams. Les smith and George Lawes were kept really busy pouring hot cocoa into the boys and rubbing their feet to restore the circulation. The kindly Kamloops folks, in appreciation of the fine sportsmanship shown by their visitors, treated the boys to a free movie in the afternoon and to the Kamloops-Kelowna Senior B game in the evening.
Birds Are Back: In face of the below zero temperatures which have been recurring with such monotonous regularity of recent weeks, it is surprising to see the birds returning unusually early. Some robins and a crow have been seen by several people in Clinton this week.
50 YEARS AGO: FEB. 7, 1974
New Look For Ashcroft?: A group of merchants, members of the Village Council, and invited visitors met at the Sands Motor Inn on Monday night to hear plans for a new Ashcroft. W. Fritz, chairman, told the gathering the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the redevelopment of downtown Ashcroft. The map passed around showed the entire block including the Post Office, up to the Bloom Cafe, along Railway Avenue to G. Sidwell’s, down to Peters Corner, and back to the Post Office torn down and rebuilt in a modern shopping mall concept. The Post Office remained, but larger, with four stores on Railway Avenue, two stores on side streets, and four stores on Brink Street. An enclosed temperature-controlled mall was shown in the centre of the plan. Looking around our town we all agree it needs a good clean up and a shot in the arm, both in appearance and price-wise, as the meeting was told. We were also told that $3 million a year was spent in Kamloops by employees of a certain local company. This was nothing new to business people, who are all well aware of this fact. [In 1974 the post office was in what is now the museum at 4th and Brink, so the block in question was bounded by 4th, Railway, 5th, and Brink.]
Library Budget Reduced: The Thompson-Nicola Library system provisional budget for 1974 has been chopped from $830,086 to $740,000 because the system will not be in operation for the full year. Library spokesman R. Behn said the surplus [could have gone] into the building fund and would probably be used up in purchasing property, as the library is finding it difficult to lease property in some areas. The board decided against the idea of transferring surplus to the building fund because this would relieve the government of contributing towards the rental of premises in the future.