Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star.
50 YEARS AGO
* Harley Alloway, president of the Artists of the Golden Chain, was pleased at the outcome of the group’s first Artists’ Mardi Gras Ball at the Community Center. The Bohemian-style-dressed crowd enjoyed the evening of fun and dancing. Pat Priseler of Bass Lake was chosen as Queen of the Ball. Clemmie Woupio and Mable Simonis read original poetry composed by Betty Peckinpah. The door prize, an original oil painting by Harley, was won by Dick Peabody of Oakhurst.
* A community group voted to establish a special county maintenance district for water and sewer at a special meeting called by the community services committee of the Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce. Attendance was chiefly property owners. The boundaries will be at the top of Deadwood on the south, Sierra Sky Ranch on the north, the proposed hospital site on the west end, and up Road 426 as far as practical to the east; 52% of the property owners in this area must sign a statement of willingness to pay construction costs for the business area.
* Plans to rehabilitate the western gold mining industry will be discussed at a meeting sponsored by Amador County Chamber of Commerce, the American Gold Association, and the Golden Chain Council of Mother Lode Counties. Leaders of the industry and government will attempt to plan aid to gold mining that will be accepted by all sections of the waning gold business.
* Mrs. Harper (Doris) Welton will provide a program of Christmas music on her harp during the afternoon for the Annual Silver Christmas Tea and Sale at the Little Church in the Pines, announced Mrs. Raymond Ager, president of the executive committee.
* Richard’s Texaco Service Station has a special for one week only: lube job for $1.29.
40 YEARS AGO
* Peckinpah’s Broken Bit [originally called “Bit of Bavaria”] has employed R. Brady as manager, recently from San Francisco, where he managed a restaurant, and as Executive Chef, Don Wedel, who has served as chef with the Holiday Inns, the Marriott and in the finest country clubs and hotels across the nation. He is a member of the Chefs de Cuisine Society, a group of certified gourmet chefs. The menu has been changed and entertainment is provided on Friday and Saturday nights.
* Mountain Community Women staged their annual fashion show. More than 100 women and their husbands attended the luncheon, followed by the fashion show. All proceeds benefitted the Oakhurst Community Center. The women have donated an inside drinking fountain, draperies, a stage, refrigerator, and large coffee pots.
* The Yosemite Union High School board discussed how many North Fork students want to attend YHS, and how many Oakhurst students will want to attend Sierra High School.
* The Broken Bit’s menu for Thanksgiving is a relish tray, Chicken Soup a la Riene, mixed green salad, Roast Tom Turkey with almond and apple stuffing, cranberry sauce, baked yams, french cut green beans, pumpkin or mincemeat pie, or sherbet ice cream - all for $6.95.
30 YEARS AGO
* The Mountain Ministerial Association is sponsoring a Community Service of Praise and Thanks. The service will be held by Living Way Foursquare in the Golden Oak Mall. It will be led by the ministers of the association, Rob Clayton, Jeff Pedrie, and Mark Ziegler. Music will be provided by First Baptist Church, Mountain Christian Center, and Gateway Christian School.
* Some of the colorful history of E. Clampus Vitus, an organization that dates to the 1849 Gold Rush days, was recounted for members of the Fresno Flats Historical Park. First Grand Noble Humbug Gary Haas, and John Westerman, Camppatriarch, presented the program. Haas pointed out that the Clampers probably were the “rowdies of the mining days who couldn’t make it into Rotary or Kiwanis,” but united in a cooperative to look after the families of those miners who lost their lives in their dangerous occupation.
* The Madera County Planning Commission approved a rezoning and conditional use permit requested by the Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin Diocese to allow a 146 unit mobile home park. The property is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Highway 41 and Road 632.
* Volunteer firemen, discontented with local management, have suggested that the county form its own fire department and sever its ties with the California Department of Forestry. Blaine Schultz, chief of the volunteer chiefs’ association, mountain division, outlined before the supervisors two proposals that call for eventual transition to a county fire department. He said that the mountain firefighting force “faces severe morale problems with the current CDF management.” Supervisor Donald Darnell called the situation a “crisis” that cannot be glossed over. Gary Gilbert, CDF Ranger, said that he would review the proposal.
20 YEARS AGO
* The Duncan family recently held a family reunion at the Darrah School picnic grounds. In 1875, William Benson Duncan, his wife, and 10 children settled in the Chowchilla District of Mariposa County after traveling from Kansas. They had traded their farm in Kansas for the Dexter White and Hatch property on Triangle Road.
* W. M. “Tommy” Thornton of Oakhurst observed Veterans Day by recalling his military career and sharing a commendation he received, which was signed by G. S. Patton, Jr., Lieutenant General, U.S. Army. The commendation was issued to the 95th Infantry Division, of which Pfc. Thornton was a member, for completing its mission “in connection with the reduction and capture of the strongly fortified city of Metz.”
* Kathy and Dave Miller of Ahwahnee were on the way to Fresno for the birth of their baby Sunday afternoon when Kathy realized she wasn’t going to make it. They stopped at the AM-PM market near Avenue 12, and a paramedic from Los Angeles, who just happened to be there, delivered the 7 pound, 12 ounce baby girl at 2:36 PM.
* Arthur M. Podell, acting president of SierraLand, filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in federal court. Podell was one of the founders of SierraLand, which operated in Oakhurst during 1994.