Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star
50 Years Ago
* “Home Grown” talent rehearses for March of Dimes Show to be presented at the Pines Theater in Bass Lake. The audience-pleasing acts include “Sierra Chiefettes,” singing by Doris Welton, a jazz routine by Betsy Thornberg and Judy Roope, trampoline act by Pamela Williams, and band music by the Teensmen.
* Oakhurst fails to reach accord on water and sewer issue for the downtown area. Objections were wide and varied, and came mostly from owners of subdivisions outside the downtown area. A vote was taken to reject the maintenance district as proposed by the Madera County Board of Supervisors.
* Raymond 8 Square Dance Club invites all square-dancers in the area to their hoedown. Swingin’ singin’ caller Carl Ritchey will be on hand.
* Midway Super Market advertises Hormel’s bacon at 89 cents a pound, three bottles of catsup for 49 cents, Bisquick 40 ounces for 39 cents, prime rib or roasts at 89 cents a pound, and a quart of Best Foods mayonnaise for 57 cents.
40 Years Ago
* Cape Kennedy comes to Oakhurst. Students of Lance Lackey’s science class at Oakhurst School built their own rockets made of paper tubes and balsa wood from scratch or kits. A good flight on course can travel as high as 2,000 feet at 200 miles per hour.
* The Sierra High School Future Farmers of America are planning a rodeo. Twenty-five cowboys have signed up for wild cow riding, an event that proves a cow is no lady. Cow milking, a pig scramble, team roping, goat tying, and barrel racing are planned.
* Members of the Mountain Coop Realtors has compiled a list of suggested names for county roads in lieu of the current numbering system. The list was compiled through an appeal to “old-timers” to recall or suggest names. Among the suggestions were: Highway 41 - Yosemite Highway; Highway 49 - Golden Chain Highway; Road 200 -North Fork Highway; Road 207 - Red Top Mountain; Road 210 - Hildreth; Road 223 -Teaford Saddle; Road 274 - Forest Highway; Road 400 - River; Road 415 - Fresno Crossing; Road 420 - Thornberry; Road 425B - Fresno Flats Grade; Road 434 - Beasore; Road 620 - Bissett Station; Rd. 632 - Gooseberry Flats; and Road 222 would have several names - Auberry, North Fork, Post Office, and Main Street, depending on the section being named.
30 Years Ago
* Dr. Ruthella Wilcox of Coarsegold expresses optimism that her dream of a community college at the former Ahwahnee Hills Boys School campus would be turned into a State Center Community College District satellite. “We’re going to do something positive and it will benefit the whole area,” she declared after meeting with the Madera County Department of Education. Dr. Wilcox envisions the site as a good place to train the “vocationally disadvantaged” who may not have the skills sufficient to support themselves. She thought that forestry, fish and game, food service, and environmental activities would be suggested studies. She also would like to see a botanical garden with native plants, an art or cultural center, a theatre, a bandstand for orchestra, and a nature walk. Earlier this month, the Taxpayers Association of Madera County endorsed the idea.
* Oakhurst’s Sierra Rotary Club hears about the Harlow Fire that roared its way from Mariposa County to Highway 41 in 1961. In that fire, 41,200 acres burned in two-and-a-half days. Two people died and 106 structures were destroyed. CDF Battalion Chief Barry Olson told of the hazards in the area: residential areas with only one way in or out, wood shake or shingle roofs, lack of street signs and house numbers, lack of fuel breaks 10 feet or more on each side of the road, etc. He recommends 30 feet of clearance around homes, 60 feet between houses, fire-resistant vegetation, fire equipment, roofs clean of leaves and pine needles.
* (Note: This was printed prior to the tragic loss of the Challenger space shuttle.) Local students will have the opportunity to look, listen and learn from NASA’s Teacher in Space, Christa McAuliffe during her flight and other aspects of the Challenger Shuttle Mission 51-L as it circles the earth during the month of January at more than 17,500 miles per hour. Satellite dishes will receive the lessons, as well as live lessons being broadcast through the PBS channel. Local schools have received their materials for the program and will be videotaping the program from space every morning.
20 Years Ago
* Visitation to Yosemite National Park again reached over 4 million people last year, according to Park Superintendent B.J. Griffin. She said that 4,101,928 people visited the 1,169-square-mile park during 1995, a slight decrease of 0.1 percent from the previous year.
* Rep. George Radanovich of Mariposa, who represents Eastern Madera County in the House of Representatives, was elected president of the freshman class last week. He is expected to put his major focus as president on helping re-elect his colleagues. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole told Radanovich that he had “made a big difference in a short time. ‘President Radanovich’ has a nice ring to it, and, come to think of it, so does ‘President Dole.’”
* Coarsegold 4H members visited the Ronald McDonald House recently and took donations of food and other items for the families staying there. They spent the afternoon there, prepared dinner, and visited with families. Food for the dinner was donated by local businesses, and the 4H members made desserts and salads. The Ronald McDonald House is a place for families to stay who have children at Valley Children’s Hospital.