Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star.
50 Years Ago
* Bass Lake reports that winter has really arrived. The snow lingers and ice is on the lake every morning, with temperatures in the low 20s, and spots as cold as 10 to 12 degrees.
* A Community Christmas Party will be held at the Oakhurst Community Center. Merchants have been busy decorating trees, windows, and displays, competing in three categories: most artistic, most original, and best lighted. Winners will be announced at the party. Festivities will begin with the lighting of the 15-foot Christmas tree. A special treat for those attending will be a community sing of favorite Christmas carols led by actor Dennis Morgan, resident of Ahwahnee, with Del Lanning, organist, accompanying.
* The Sierra Telephone Company is making available a direct line to the North Pole so that the kiddies may make personal calls to Santa Claus before he loads up his sleigh and takes off on his delivery journey. Harry Baker, president of the phone company, says that it’s a toll-free call to the North Pole.
* Classified ads: Best Buy – Mod. 3 brm home on 1 acre. Large liv rm. Carpets, drapes, insulated, water, fine location. Appraised at $16,500. Owner transferred. SP $15,000.
40 Years Ago
* Cross-country skiers will study Yosemite winter at higher elevations on three-day round trip ski tours to the Ostrander Lake Ski Hut, starting from Badger Pass. They will note the plant and animal life within the 6500-9100-foot range, and also the effects of ice and snow on the geology of the area. An experienced naturalist will lead the trips.
* Yosemite High School reports the implementation of the interim student government for the spring and summer of 1976, and outlined the areas of responsibility for the student government as follows: design of election, design of school name, mascot, colors, school song, management of interscholastic athletic program, social activities such as dances, clubs, and campus organizations, the newspaper and yearbook, etc.
* Shirley Sargent, historian of the Yosemite Valley and author of several books, was honored recently at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. Guests honored the author, whose newest book, Yosemite and its Inn Keepers, has just been published.
* A U.S. District court in Fresno said “no” to a request for an injunction to reopen Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite to snowmobilers. The 48 mile section of the trans-Sierra highway was closed to snowmobiles to minimize conflict between snowmobiles and cross-country skiers. Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Nathaniel P. Reed, said snowmobiling, along with other winter sports, should be allowed in YNP, and that prompted the request by the Sierra Snowmobiling Club.
30 Years Ago
* Sheriff’s Department tells why people should report all thefts, even if you believe it’s not important enough, the deputies will never catch them, it’s not worth the trouble, it wasn’t insured, and it was your fault for not locking the door. None of these are valid, and by reporting an incident you will assist your local law enforcement by providing a more complete picture of the areas that have the most criminal activity. If a suspect is in custody for a single theft, any recovered property from other thefts by that suspect cannot be returned to the owners if no theft was reported.
* The Sierra Nevada snowpack will be measured this winter for its acid content, the frozen version of acid rain. For more than 50 years, survey teams from the Department of Water Resources, US Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service, PG&E, and others, have trekked, skied, and, in recent years, helicoptered through the Sierra to measure the snowpack to forecast the spring runoff. This year, the teams will carry small plastic test tubes and indicator sticks backed with special litmus paper to find the acid value.
* Lisa Bartholomew, daughter of Phil and Adele Bartholomew of Oakhurst, will be installed as Honored Queen of Job’s Daughters.
* Men between 18 and 25 must register with Selective Service by Jan. 1. Men who fail to register will have permanently forfeited their right to certain Federal student aid and job training benefits, as well as Federal employment. Registration takes five minutes at any Post Office. Failure to register is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up to five years in prison.
20 Years Ago
* Christmas Bear Contest. Anyone who has a bear outfitted in a special way can take it to Yosemite Bank, where it will be on display for votes by the public that will determine winners in several categories. The bank is also collecting bears to be donated to local emergency services for traumatized children and adults.
* Two Eastern Madera County Sheriff’s Deputies, Vernon Lidfors and Tommy Tomlinson, were honored Tuesday by the Madera County Board of Supervisors for 20 years of service in the county.
* Due to the lack of an approved federal budget, a government shutdown went into effect earlier this week. As of Monday, Yosemite National Park and the U.S. Forest Service was directed to close down all operations. Until the budget situation is resolved, the park and the Forest Service will comply with the closure directive.
* The Little Church on the Hill, now located in the Oakhill Cemetery, was rededicated for another 100 years after it had been completely refurbished, thanks to volunteer labor by many people and donations of supplies by local businesses. The church was first dedicated in what was then called Fresno Flats on June 20, 1894. In the 1950s the Grandmothers’ Club moved it from its original location on Chapel Hill to the cemetery.