Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star.
50 YEARS AGO
* Dr. Wagenseller and his staff at the Ahwahnee Sanitarium are making every effort to make Thanksgiving a holiday to remember for the patients. Chef Ralph Bella and his staff will serve the traditional turkey dinner to the patients and personnel.
* Preparations are underway for the second annual Christmas tree lighting celebration and party in the Oakhurst Community Center. Chairman Joyce Pamplin is making plans for the decorations and for a community sing. A drive for ornaments is underway and is an opportunity for families to have a part in the community effort. Merchants will compete for prizes in decoration and lighting ideas.
* Water storage is above normal in reservoirs in the National Forest in California, according to regional forester Chas. A. Connaughton. Indications are that they will reach full capacity well before next spring.
* Classified ads: Rental - 2 bedroom house unfurnished, Cedar Valley area, $50 a month.
40 YEARS AGO
* Plans are now afoot to field a football team from the new Yosemite High School. Jerry Livesey, director of student activities, told the school board of five firm commitments from area schools expressing a desire to play YHS during the 1976 season. He added that, due to the location of YHS, they would have a variety of choices as to which league to enter. The first year will be a “free-lance” selection of opponents. A committee of parents and students has been selected to decide which schools will be played on a regular basis in future years.
* More than 800 signatures were accumulated in favor of historic names for road signs, according to Don McLean. The estimated expense for the signs and installation was $3,000 each. Naming of the roads will be open to the public for suggestion, where there are no historic names.
* The new Mountain Government Center on Road 222 at Bass Lake is dedicated with Lonnie Cornwell, Madera County Supervisor, speaking. The center is a realization of a commitment made 25 years ago to build a government center and courthouse after the consolidation of the Grub Gulch and Sierra Judicial Districts in 1950. The center will house the justice court, the sheriff’s substation, the planning department, county engineering, and the building inspector. Sheriff Ed Bates, Supervisor Bill Hill, and representatives from the Social Security Administration and Veterans’ Administration will be at the center periodically.
* Norberg’s advertises a 20-pound bag of potatoes at 69 cents, C&H brown and powdered sugar (two one-pound boxes) at 29 cents, cut green beans (four cans) at 49 cents, margarine (six pounds) at 99 cents, and bananas for 10 cents a pound.
30 YEARS AGO
* YHS has a nine-year winning tradition with its girls volleyball teams. Last year the varsity went all the way to the quarterfinals for state, traveling to Lake Arrowhead to play Rim of the World, who has always held that title. This will be the last year for seniors Tammy Lopez, and the twins, Michele and Melissa Simms.
* Oakhurst is to get a new post office due to lack of space, and is scheduled to move to a new location by 1987. Due to the area’s population growth, the current 3,500-square-foot building is too small. “An extensive, three-day, on-site study was conducted by postal service personnel to ascertain the size and location of a building required,” Oakhurst Postmaster Judine Aldridge said. It was estimated that 18,000 square feet on 2-3 acres would provide some 3,500 mail boxes, and the capability to serve at least four star routes. The total numbers of employees now stands at six, and another will be added.
* Supervisors say “no” to a gas station at Highway 41 and Road 222 by a 3-2 vote that rejected a request by Shan King for a gas station and mini-mart that had previously been approved. The new vote came after area residents banded together as Hidden Falls Homeowners Association and came before the board to protest against the structure because of the potential for gasoline washing into the headwaters of the Fresno River. Jenny Swan, speaking for the homeowners, said, “Not one person I talked to was in favor of this.”
* Christmas at Fresno Flats will be Sunday afternoon. Featured will be traditional carols and Christmas trees decorated with antique ornaments.
20 YEARS AGO
* Officials broke ground for the new U.S. Forest Service Minarets District Office in North Fork. Minarets District Ranger Chris Nota spoke about how the district had held together and the distress that was experienced over the loss of the previous office on that site, which was destroyed by fire in 1992. A completion date has been set sometime within the next 8-12 months. The Minarets station area has been an administrative site since the creation of the Forest Service in 1905.
* The Madera County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt the county’s new General Plan, the first new plan since 1969. The plan is designed to direct the county’s growth and development to the year 2010. Its adoption comes after five years of work by a committee of 50 people and countless hours of work by the county planning department. The plan estimates that by 2010 the county will have 61,866 jobs and 62,190 dwellings, compared to 29,225 jobs and 37,300 employed residents in 1992, meaning that 3,100 people commuted to jobs out of the county.
* After an eight-day stay in the hospital, Kenneth Braman, of Coarsegold, has returned home and has now completely recuperated from a rattlesnake bite. Braman was bit in the lower leg while looking for the snake after his wife reported seeing it. “I didn’t see it, but it found me,” Braman said. He didn’t realize he had been bitten until several hours later, when his leg started to swell.
* The Yosemite High School Future Homemakers of America won first place in the formal Thanksgiving table setting in the Mountain Community Women’s contest.