ARCHIVES: 1899 brings a change of name and direction for the Journal

The paper, established in 1895 as the B.C. Mining Journal, becomes the Ashcroft Journal
‘Ashcroft Junior Boys Basketball Team’ (May 16, 1974): ‘Pictured are members of the Ashcroft Secondary Junior Boys’ basketball team, which received the Most Sportsmanlike Team award at the zvakwana Invitational Tournament. Team credits for this award are extended to Brent Kynoch, Richard Yarleau, Bill Lowe, Miles Langan, Paul Quesnel, Mike Garrett, Dean Friesen, and coach Dave Hunter. Congratulations boys!’ (Photo credit: Journal archives)

125 YEARS AGO: MAY 6–20, 1899

Publisher’s Notice: Beginning with Vol. 5, No. 1 [May 6, 1899], this paper will be known as the ASHCROFT JOURNAL instead as heretofore the B.C. MINING JOURNAL. There will be no change in management. Within the past four years Ashcroft has improved much and increased largely in population. Many more business houses have been established; a splendid water and electric light service installed and many other improvements are under consideration. What the Journal has done towards helping to build up the town to its present importance we leave the readers to judge for themselves. We have tried faithfully to chronicle events as they have occurred. We have pushed no scandalous articles and have endeavoured to give our readers the local news in as good shape as possible. As a local paper is read by people of all political faiths we have avoided political questions, and although the establishment of a publication at Ashcroft four years ago was looked upon by many as the result of poor judgement, events have not shown this to be the case, as, owing to the very liberal support we have received, we have been able to continue the publication, and have demonstrated, we believe, the fact that Ashcroft is a good point for the gathering of news of interest to the reading public. Cordially thanking the public for the support given us for the past four years, and expecting, so long as we deserve it, to retain such support, we issue this, the first issue of the ASHCROFT JOURNAL.

Spences Bridge: At Spences Bridge there is some alarm felt about prospective high water, the Indians are removing the bodies of friends buried in the grounds just below the village. High water is expected to take away some buildings. The gardens and orchards in the vicinity are looking exceedingly well considering the lateness of the season.

Fish Tales: Mr. Heffell, at present manager of the Ashcroft bank, is a success as a fisherman. On Tuesday, as the result of an hour’s fishing in the Thompson, he brought in a beautiful string of trout, the largest weighing about seven pounds, and the smallest about three pounds.

Pleasant Dance: On Tuesday evening Mr. and Mrs. Nelson gave a pleasant evening dance at the Cargile House to the young folks of the vicinity. From the fact that the guests stayed until five o’clock in the morning we imagine a good time was had.

Bad Roads: The road from Quesnelle to Barkerville is at present impassable with a team. Mail is carried by Sandy Locke on foot for 40 miles.

Dog Days: Anyone owning a dog should think enough of his neighbour’s rights so as not to turn the howling brute out to make night hideous with his howls and barking. Several nights this week a chorus of from six to 20 dogs’ voices have “echoed through the land” in the neighbourhood where we live for hours at a time.

100 YEARS AGO: MAY 17, 1924

Direct Route Chosen Via Old Cariboo Road; Trans-Provincial Highway To Follow Fraser And Thompson To Spences Bridge: Hon. W.H. Sutherland, minister of public works, has made the announcement that the government has decided to use the Fraser Canyon route in completing the trans-provincial highway from Hope to the Interior. This link, from Hope to Spences Bridge, is 97 miles long and will cost approximately $1,250,000 compared with an estimated cost of $1,000,000 for the Hope-Princeton route. The engineer’s report states that the Fraser Canyon route is far superior to the Hope-Princeton. While the initial cost will be heavier, the ultimate cost of the link will be much lower, and most of the sections of the Cariboo road, which will be utilized, will not have to be surfaced. Furthermore, the Fraser Canyon route has a maximum altitude of 1,100 feet, as compared with 4,350 feet altitude on the Hope-Princeton, which engineers claim will mean the chosen route will be open for 10 months in the year, while the Hope-Princeton highway would be open for only five months in the year. There will be a big bridge across the Fraser at a point approximately 14 miles above Yale, where the old Alexandra suspension bridge was built. The same site will be used, and a new suspension bridge will be constructed. This plan will keep alive the interest in the old historic suspension bridge, which has been an interesting sight to tourists travelling on the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways. It is the idea of the department that later on the Hope-Princeton route will be used as well, as part of the general highway system of the province, but the presence of slides and the difficulties of construction eliminate this link for the present. [The Hope-Princeton Highway was opened in 1949.] A connection will be made with North Bend, which is 27 miles above Yale and on the opposite side of the river to the main highway. A ferry crossing probably will be established. The construction of the Fraser Canyon route will require about two years. Tolls will be charged on the new highway to all excepting actual residents along the route.

New Industry For Ashcroft: Arrangements have been made for the growing of from 80 to 90 car loads of tomatoes in Ashcroft and Walhachin for shipment to canneries at the coast. Contracts have been signed up for this quantity. Mr. C.M. McGillivray, of Ashcroft, has been instrumental in putting through the deal, and one can only guess at the great things this may mean for this section of the province if a success is made of the new industry. The canners even promise to build a plant here in the near future if the production would justify such a move.

Boston Flats Again Under Irrigation; After Many Unproductive Years Soil Will Produce This Season: The Boston Flat is being put under cultivation this year after lying idle for a decade or more. Water is being pumped from the Bonaparte by means of a newly installed turbine water wheel and the dry barren appearance of the flat will soon be converted into an extensive green field. One hundred and fifty acres are to be put under cultivation this season, and the crop is to be varied.

Forest Fires: Since the dry spell began, forest fires have been increasing day by day, and the fire wardens are working night and day trying to cope with the situation.

75 YEARS AGO: MAY 19, 1949

Spences Bridge: The long-awaited for warm weather hit us with a bang, bringing with it troubles owing to the swollen Murray Creek. The local power plant is out of commission at present and it is hoped that it won’t be for long.

Community Spirit: All places have a community spirit, some good, some bad. Let’s see that Ashcroft is one of the good ones by getting behind all the projects now on hand. Like the swimming pool — let’s see that it gets our full support so it can be finished and in use mighty soon. Let’s get behind the clean-up campaign and really make the town a beauty place. A house and yard that’s neat and clean and painted up sure looks beautiful — no doubt about that. Community spirit always needs a boost or two, so let’s get out and see something accomplished in this town.

Right Reaction: Thousands of Canadians who spend their working days behind a desk or a typewriter very often spend their leisure time reading or playing cards. Doctors point out that this means they are using the same muscles in their spare time as they are during their working hours. What they need is physical recreation: a brief walk, a swim, or a few holes of golf.

50 YEARS AGO: MAY 16, 1974

Let’s Talk About Water Again: Last year I wrote a letter in this paper regarding how vital a good water supply is to the Village of Cache Creek residents. When it comes to sprinkling gardens, lawns, and trees I stated last year and I will say it again that your Council encourages you to plant gardens, lawns, and trees for beautification and to make Cache Creek a better place to live in. Now I have good reason to believe that 30 to 40 per cent of our water is wasted by some users with poor sprinkling practices, poor garden hoses leaking, and running taps throughout their businesses and homes, and the general attitude by some that “Oh hell, let it run, it does not cost me a nickel more” and let the hose run whether their garden, lawn, or trees need it or not. I firmly believe that good water users should not have to subsidize bad water users, so come on, people: let’s get wise, because if we don’t my first step is to implement water regulations, which I am sure we do not want, second step, bear the cost of water meters on all services. (Signed) A.J. Gordon, Public Works Superintendent, Village of Cache Creek

Savona News: If there are any adults who would like to know or learn the new Metric Measures, please contact the school so that a class can be planned.

Walhachin News: Walhachin residents have developed an indifference to the quarry operated in our midst. The dust, the noise, daily minor explosions, the shifting gondolas at night are all part and parcel of our daily lives. Strangers wonder how we stand it but Walhachin seems rather to enjoy the uniqueness of the dirt and constant disturbance.