NOTE: Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star.
50 years ago
☆ New acts have been booked this week for the eighth annual March of Dimes variety show at the Pines Theater Bass Lake. Joe Kelly and his friends from North Fork will present a medley of old time music on guitars and banjos; Elaine Fink will do several whistling numbers; Sierra High pom-pom girls will do a number from the Roaring 20s; Tammy Ayers and Katrina Fink are to do a tap dance; Gay DeMasters will present a modern dance. Mrs. G. E. “Bud” Williams announced that this year’s show has been dedicated to the memory of the late Joan McDougald, who helped with this project for many years.
☆ The program for the Sierra Kiwanis Club this week will be a talk and slides on the Coyote fire given by Harold Waksdal, recreation and land management officer at the U.S. Forest Service station at Bass Lake.
☆ Midway Super Market advertises: tomatoes at 19 cents a pound, Arizona grapefruit 8 lb. bag at 59 cents, romaine and red lettuce two for 29 cents, and bananas, 2 lbs. for 25 cents.
40 years ago
☆ Rain and snow: Oh, what a relief it is. The first major storm of the winter brought up to six inches of snow in Bass Lake and an inch in Oakhurst. Badger got over 32 inches, and opened the ski season with all lifts running. Ranchers and farmers are relieved that much-needed precipitation has come. No serious accidents have been reported by the CHP. PG&E reported power outages throughout Eastern Madera County.
☆ A notice from the new publisher of the Sierra Star, Sierra Newspapers, Inc., states that it has purchased the newspaper from Cleon and Katherine Jones. The first aim is to continue the fine product and community service provided by Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Some changes to the appearance of the newspaper will be apparent to readers. These will be affected only as a service to subscribers and advertisers. For our part, we know we like Oakhurst and have faith in its future. John H. Lunney, Publisher.
☆ It’s rodeo time. This year students from Lake Isabella to Sonora are invited to the Yosemite High School FFA Rodeo. Events will include goat tying, cow riding, and barrel racing. An added attraction will be wild cow milking for YHS teachers and a COBRA barrel race.
30 years ago
☆ Sierra Ambulance Service will place a staffed ambulance in North Fork for the 12-hour day shifts on Saturdays and Sundays for a 90-day trial period. This has been called a public relations gesture by officials of the ambulance company They have acknowledged that the 26 to 32 minute average response time from Oakhurst is too long, and they have committed the service to placing an ambulance in North Fork full time as soon as there is a nucleus of trained volunteers in North Fork.
☆ After three meetings, hours of pouring over documents, and hours of public hearings, the Madera County Supervisors came to a conclusion and voted 4-1 to pass a resolution opposing a proposed Lewis Creek hydroelectric project, and future projects of this type. Jerry Bishop, president of Save Our Streams, said, “All the streams in the mountains are worth more in their free-flowing state than the pitiful amount of power produced.”
☆ Mountain service clubs worked together in a coordinated effort to complete the work on the Oakhurst park bridge. Park Chairman David Linn states, “The generous labors of Rotary and Kiwanis, and added support of the local Soroptimist Club, has helped insure that we will meet our completion date.”
20 years ago
☆ The first Eastern Madera County Spelling Bee will be held at Coarsegold Elementary School in April. Nearly every Mountain Area school will hold bees in the meantime, selecting winners to join the regional competition. Coarsegold Elementary Parent-Teacher Association is coordinating the event. Sierra Telephone is the official sponsor of the regional bee, donating $475 to the PTA’s effort to raise enough money to send the champion speller to Washington, D.C. for national finals in May.
☆ Although surrounded by nature’s most breathtaking country, the old South Fork Timber Industries site is an eyesore. But not for long. The largest timber mill in Eastern Madera County and the heart of North Fork’s economy closed in 1994. Three years later, this location has an opportunity for reincarnation - to rejuvenate its old town with heart and soul. With a generous donation of the 135 acres that house the site and the vision of North Fork’s Community Development Council (CDC; and umbrella organization for community, nonprofit organizations), the lumber mill will cap a brilliant finish to its long history as the cornerstone of North Fork’s lumber industry and will be reborn in an amazing redevelopment effort.