It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1905/1906

Orchards a-plenty; the Fort Steele fire, and other news and notes from 1905/6

Cars are all well and fine in 1904

Dave Humphrey

Items compiled from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre Archives

1905

ORCHARDS APLENTY … Land in the Columbia Valley that two or three years ago could not be sold at any price is now worth from $1,000 to $2,000, and some of it has actually been sold at the figures mentioned. It is the result of the success in fruit growing that has enhanced the price of land here, and this is only the beginning of the commencement.

Ouch! … John Kerr, a driver at Coal creek, had both legs amputated at the ankle by the mine train as it was pulling out at 5 o’clock this evening. Mr. Kerr was attempting to get on the moving train and his feet were dragged under the wheels. The injured man was taken to the hospital.

Editorial … Cranbrook wants a clean, honest administration of its affairs, but it does not want radicalism on either side. A conservative, broad-minded government free from a suspicion of graft in every sense, is what the people will demand and what is more is just what the people will have. No man who has the taint of graft should be allowed to have anything to do with the city affairs in any way. Eternal vigilance will be the price of prosperity in Cranbrook from this time on. There will be many important questions to be dealt with that will need calm, unbiased judgment of Cranbrook’s best men, and upon the settlement of these questions will depend to a great extent the future prosperity of Cranbrook. Let the people place men in power who will handle the business of the city the same as the business of a large company should be handled. There are a number of good men named who would discharge their official duties in an intelligent and honest manner, and those are the kind that should be elected.

Library started … Mr. Alexander MacNeill, B. A., principal of the Cranbrook Schools has started a subscription to provide a small library for the use of the pupils. It does not pretend to be a very pretentious affair nor of the extent of the British Museum collection, but it does aim at providing what is badly needed by the children. Good clean literature has been selected. Mr. MacNeill has had most encouraging support from the leading people in town.

1906

Fort Steele fire … On Tuesday afternoon, Fort Steele, the pioneer town of the district suffered a most disastrous fire, which wiped out nearly an entire block of the business section of the town. The blaze originated in the Neidig building, nearly opposite the Imperial hotel. This building was recently purchased by Mr. Cook, who, about noon started a fire in a stove, to warm the place up prior to moving in. Mr. Cook then left the building and about 1 o’clock a passerby noticed the house was ablaze inside, probably caused by a defective flue, and quickly turned in an alarm. The fire department responded quickly, and, notwithstanding the fact that they had the best of hose and fire-fighting apparatus, the water pressure was insufficient to admit of their checking the flames, and before steam could be got up at the power house on Wild Horse creek, the fire had spread both to the north and south, and was rapidly devouring everything in its path. As soon as steam was got up, however, the department was enabled to turn two streams of water on with sufficient force to check the further progress of the fire. The buildings burned were twelve in number, or from the McBride building on the north to the Tannhauser building on the south. Among the principle buildings destroyed were the Strathcona hotel, the Neidig building, the Miller building and the Kershaw building. It is estimated that the total loss will foot up nearly $30,000, and as near as can be ascertained at present the insurance will not total over $1,500. The Strathcona hotel, the largest building destroyed, was owned by David Griffith and leased to James Buckman. It is understood that there was a small amount of insurance on this building.

Cranbrook ambulance … The movement to secure an ambulance for Cranbrook is now an assured success. Already quite a sum has been subscribed and there is much more in sight. This movement is one of the best that has been inaugurated in this district, as it means relief for suffering humanity. Hardly a day passes but what some poor fellow is brought to town for treatment at the St. Eugene hospital. He may have fever or he may be suffering with broken limbs or crushed bones, and to see him carried in an open, rig in all kinds of weather to the hospital is not a very humane sight. And there are people taken sick in town, both men and women, and under existing circumstances it is rather a hard ordeal for them to pass through, to be carried in an open rig to the hospital. Let the good work go on. Cranbrook has long needed an ambulance and now it will have one if the necessary can be raised.

Only white labour at Moyie … The Moyie Miners’ recent meeting passed resolutions: Resolved that we, the members of the Moyie Miners’ union, are desirous of putting ourselves upon record as being directly opposed to the employment of Asiatic labor in any capacity, feeling as we do that the same is bound to be detrimental to the best interests of this province and the Dominion generally. Resolved, also, that we endorse the attitude of the Sandon Miners’ union in their efforts to discourage the employment of this class of labor. Signed:— Robt. Patterson , Jas. A. Macdonald, Thos. U. Kelly, Jas. Roberts, Secretary. Committee on resolutions. Moyie, Nov. 21st, 1906.

Great sport in sight … An exhibition of a novel and interesting character, consisting of Broncho breaking and rough riding, will be given on Friday at Cranbrook by ” Idaho Jack” and “Charlie the Kid,” two of the cowboys carried by the “Out in Idaho” company. The management challenges the public to produce an outlaw or an unbroken horse that “Idaho Jack” cannot ride. If you have horse of which you are afraid of and want broken free of charge, bring it and see some good sport.

Start of gym … The “Gym” is opened for the winter season and opened it was in grand style. The bagpipes were there and under the control of Mr. A. McCowan charmed the large audience which packed the building. The band was there and played a few selections which added greatly to the programme for the evening. The crowd was there which showed the enthusiasm manifested in the institution, and many performers were there, exhibitions were given of the many exercises which will be taken up this year, namely, dumb-bell exercise, bars, clubs, punching-bag, basket-ball, trapeze, etc. All had a good time. The place has been much improved this year, new apparatus added, a dressing room furnished, reading room improved and a parlor set in order. Here is a home cozy corner, chairs, writing material, well heated and lighted and a quiet spot in which to spend an hour chatting with a friend. Then a library of 175 volumes has been added. This is a donation from some friends in London, Ontario. Class work will commence on Monday evening next and any parents who wish their boys to take advantage might communicate with the president, Rev. J. P. Westman or the secretary, Dr. Connolly. Spend your spare hours in the “gym.”

Notice to draymen and others … Numerous Complaints have been made that garbage and other refuse is being deposited outside the limits of the nuisance ground. Signs have now been placed directing the road to, and the limits of the nuisance ground, which can be approached over Mr. St. Elois’ or Mr. Brennan’s bridge, from thence to the old Fort Steele trail and thence following direction posts up the hil1. The police have instructions to prosecute any person depositing refuse outside the limits of the nuisance ground. Thos. M. Roberts. City Clerk.