Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star.
50 years ago
☆ The Oakhurst Youth Group is considering opening the skating pond at Fish Camp to operate during the winter as a fundraising project. They are also discussing the possibility of starting a youth employment service.
☆ The current storm, which brought streams close to the overflow mark, endangered bridges, and caused slides which temporarily blocked highways, brought a total downpour of 5.67 inches to the Oakhurst area.
☆ Midway Super Market advertises navel oranges at 10 cents per pound, large avocados two for 29 cents, bananas at 10 cents a pound, cabbage at six cents per pound, and turnips at 10 cents a bunch.
40 years ago
☆ If financial and government hurdles are overcome, Oakhurst may have a child day care center within two years, Clariss A. Williams, planner for the project said. The center will probably be built to hold 36 children and include a preschool program, and will cost $5 a day.
☆ The Madera County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a request to create a separate health services area for EMC, a move which allows the county to create a 24-bed hospital in the Mountain Area. Final approval must come from the six-county Regional Health Systems Council and the state Health Advisory Council. A meeting has been planned to accept testimony from local residents on the needs and deficiencies of health care in the area.
☆ Twelve Knights of the Ku Klux Klan invade Oakhurst to “rally” the state’s forces. They met in freezing temperatures on an obscure Forest Service dirt road off Highway 41 about 10 miles north of Oakhurst at the Kamook campsite. An organizer told officials 200 to 500 persons were expected to attend. Twelve showed up and it was more like a staged media event than a rally. Before four local newspaper reporters, four photographers, and two television crews, the 12 stood in line with their arms folded in front of a 20-foot cross lit by red lights, and spoke briefly about their organization and its goals.
30 years ago
☆ USFS says it is illegal to cut Christmas trees on forest land. Each year they receive hundreds of calls from people wondering where they can cut their own tree. Forest Supervisor James Boynton said, “It’s been a number of years since we’ve allowed Christmas trees to be cut at all. The demand far exceeds the number of trees available.” The Forest Service, in cooperation with the sheriff’s office, patrols the National Forest to discourage illegal tree cutting. The maximum penalty for cutting a tree is $500 or six months in jail.
☆ The Nathan Sweet Memorial Essay Contest will be held again next year. The essays must deal with the history of Eastern Madera County between 1850 and 1940. Winning essays will be published in a special booklet. Cash prizes will be offered. The essays will be judged on the authenticity of historical content, amount of research, spelling, punctuation, and organization of subject matter, and the creativity in presenting the material.
☆ Madera County sheriff’s deputies are back on duty ending a 28-day strike. The deputies and county have entered a “cooling off period,” during which time some questions must still be resolved. Sheriff “Berk” Berkley said he was glad to have them back on the job and that the county was again protected.
20 years ago
☆ Effective Jan. 15, fees at Yosemite National Park will go up as follows: individual entrance fee, from $3 to $10; vehicle entrance fee, from $5 to $20, and annual entrance fee from $15 to $40. Specific improvements planned from the increased revenue are: replacement of existing shuttle bus fleet; Yosemite Valley transit; general Yosemite transportation improvements; expansion of the shuttle system; and other projects, such as visitor orientation and infrastructure improvements.
☆ Making it clear that he has no patience with bureaucrats and no confidence in environmentalists, State Sen. Dick Monteith spent a rainy night Monday with two dozen of his mountain constituents. The senator also offered criticism of the media. The press made a big issue of changes in the membership of the state Coastal Commission made by Republican Speaker Curt Pringle, but, Senator Monteith says, barely mentioned the latest changes made by new Speaker Cruz Bustamante, D-Fresno County.
☆ Owners Phil and Judi Lord announced the reopening of the Mountain House Restaurant this past weekend, after being closed five days for remodeling. The structure was built in the 1930s and has become a well-known landmark on Highway 41 at Road 222. The Pine Room was added in the 1940s and still contains the original bar.