Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star.
50 years ago
* After meeting with the California Department of Fish and Game, Yosemite National Park has agreed to discontinue plans for a public deer hunt pending outcome of public hearings on the park’s request to the CFG to harvest 1,500 deer this year. The CFG is scheduled to act upon the request later this spring. Superintendent John M. Davis said the meeting resulted in a better understanding of mutual wildlife management problems.
* Ted Holden, president of Sierra Ambulance Service, appealed once again for volunteer drivers and attendants to man the local ambulance operated by the non-profit association. There are 11 volunteer drivers and 10 attendants now, but Holden said that to properly staff the service on a 24-hour basis, a total of 16 volunteers in each category would be needed. With that number, each volunteer would be on call only one day a week, instead of two or three days, Holden said. The ambulance board has just approved payment of $10 per trip for driver and attendant.
* Yosemite National Park is offering five different entry fees this year. A $7 annual wallet-size “Golden Passport” will be good at any federal recreation area. It is good for entry by the purchaser and any who may accompany him in a private car. For $5, a 30-day permit good only for Yosemite may be purchased. This also is good for anyone accompanying the purchaser. For $2.50 an individual may gain entry, for only the purchaser, for 30 days. A $1 daily fee is good for the purchaser and those with him. A daily permit covering only the purchaser only costs 50 cents.
* Classified ads: 183 acre mountain ranch all fenced, good creek, solid two bedroom ranch house with fireplace, 3,000 gallon/day gravity flow spring, corral, feed and tack room, only $325 per acre.
40 Years Ago
* Construction of Yosemite High School continues well ahead of schedule, Superintendent Kenneth Savage reported to the school trustees. Dedication is scheduled for May of this year. The first phase of construction includes six buildings designed to accommodate 470 students. They are the gymnasium, vocational arts, food service/home economics, library/administration, language arts, and science/business/math/social science classrooms. Tennis courts, football, baseball and track fields also are included on the 90 acre site.
* The worst storm of the season hit Oakhurst and surrounding area. Ten inches fell in downtown Oakhurst, and a foot and a half at Bass Lake. Although there were no power outages such as those experienced in the last storm, the snow did close Highway 41 over Deadwood intermittently. Even though the snow made skiing good and added to precipitation totals, it was not enough to reverse the severe drought that has hit the area.
* Special license plate holders showing with pride the community of Oakhurst are being made available at local stores and businesses. They are being sold as promotion of the community’s primary tourist attraction, Fresno Flats Historical Park, developed and operated by the non-profit Sierra Historic Sites Association.
* Midway Market advertises facial tissue three boxes for $1, a dozen wieners for 69 cents, meat pies four for $1, and ruby red grapefruit seven for $1.
30 Years Ago
* The U.S. Postal Service has awarded a contract for construction of a new office in Coarsegold. The Postal Service agreed to lease the 3,444 square-foot building for 10 years at a cost of $44,600 per year. The new post office is expected to be ready for occupancy in October.
* A dozen Eastern Madera County schools have been invited to participate in Sierra Historic Sites Association’s sixth annual essay contest, which this year will include fourth and fifth graders, as well as eighth graders. The contest is in honor of Nathan Sweet, an early resident and historian. He was especially interested in introducing children to this area’s history. Winning essays will be published in booklet form with cash prizes awarded for first, second, and third places.
* The Madera County Board of Supervisors authorized a $24,000 study of what to do with waste from Mountain Area septic tanks. The matter of disposal of these wastes has been an issue for some time, going back to when the county banned disposal of sewage at the sewer plant at Bass Lake. Efforts to locate to another site near Coarsegold failed in the light of local opposition. After an agreement with the City of Madera to dispose of the waste at the city’s plant, mountain septic tank pumpers complained that the added cost of hauling the waste to Madera was forcing increased prices which, in turn, were causing people not to pump their tanks. This was forcing pumpers out of business. The study seeks a permanent solution to the problem, but individual supervisors wondered if the county could afford the solution.
* Famed movie actor Dennis Morgan, a resident of Ahwahnee, joined in cutting a ribbon of film to open the new Met Theatre in Raley’s Shopping Center. The two-screen movie house was developed by Rusty and Sara Murphy of Oakhurst. Another chapter in Oakhurst’s business community saw demolition of an established place, the Big Foot Drive In, which was to be replaced by a new Victorian-style building.
20 Years Ago
* The April issue of Money Magazine has rated “Oakhurst/North Fork” as one of “America’s 50 hottest little boomtowns.” The area was listed sixth overall. The Money article rated communities with populations of 50,000 or less, which offer a “broad mix of professional or technical jobs” and a median household income of at least $27,737. Statistics posted for Oakhurst included: a 29% increase in population between 1990 and 1995; a median household income of $30,909; and the cost of a typical three-bedroom house at $137,000.
* Dr. Angelo Pizelo, Superintendent of Bass Lake School District and Yosemite Union High School District, has submitted his resignation. After 36 years in public education, he will retire to pursue interests in the private college and university level. “It’s been one of the most wonderful siutations, working with the two boards, and, most of all, the staff. We are fortunate to have the quality of teachers and classified staff that we have,” Pizelo said.