Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star
50 years ago
☆ The State Department of Public Works has earmarked $222,000 for the construction of weighing facilities in Oakhurst 1.5 miles north of the Fresno River bridge. The facilities will be for the use of the California Highway Patrol in enforcing weight provisions of the California Motor Vehicle Code.
☆ Weeks News Capsules: Comedian Dick Gregory announces he’ll run for president; Swedish girl, 18, starves to death emulating Twiggy; L.A. meteorologist charges perils of smog to civilization are comparable with those of nuclear war and population explosion; U.S. casualties top 100,000 in Vietnam.
☆ A donkey rodeo and gymkhana was held under the sponsorship of The Sierra Trail Riders. Bob Robinson manned the microphone. On Saturday the donkeys made a slow start but pleased the crowd with their stubborn refusal to cooperate, and Sunday they gathered steam and were off to a roaring start.
40 years ago
☆ Marguerite Dupzyk made the first long distance call ever made on Sierra Telephone’s new dial system. Bass Lake was the first area to be cut over to the $18 million operation. Oakhurst, Ahwahnee, and Coarsegold will join soon. Dial all seven digits for local calls after that time.
☆ Grading has begun on the corner of highways 41 and 49, where a $2.5 million shopping center is planned. It will include a bank, family restaurant, drug store, and 26,000 square foot market (Raley’s) when completed. The first phase of construction is due to begin next February.
☆ One half of the old Oakhurst School building has been transported over the bridge on Road 426 and then on to Fresno Flats Historical Park. The second half will follow soon. It started out as an elementary school, then the building housed a branch of the Madera County Library and County Court. It will be a museum at its new site.
30 years ago
☆ A court order says that Sierra Sky Ranch can only divert 50% of Lewis Creek. Sheriff’s deputies will be monitoring a diversion daily to be sure only the correct amount is being diverted. Mark Davison, general manager of Sierra Sky Ranch, says the ranch’s golf greens are brown from lack of water. The swimming pool is dry this year. The Department of Water Resources reported that 1987 was the ninth driest year of the century, with 65% of average rainfall.
☆ The Dennis Morgan Film Festival is to be held in Oakhurst. During the three day event, four major Morgan films will be shown, with matinees and the main event at 6:30 pm. There will be a dinner honoring Dennis and Lillian Morgan at the Elderberry House. Following the dinner, the Dennis Morgan Theatre will be dedicated at the MET Cinema.
☆ Midway Super Market lists pumpkins at 6 cents a pound, bell peppers and Bartlett pears both at 2 pounds. for 49 cents, and Haas avocados for 49 cents each.
20 years ago
☆ Willow Glen Museum, a dream long in the making, was formally dedicated by the Coarsegold Historical Society. The museum site is an adobe house, once used as a stage and wagon stop as far back as the 1880s. Also at the site is the Picayune School, moved from its original location along Indian Lakes Road.
☆ Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Sierra Star has scheduled an open house for next month. The newspaper began publishing in November 1957. A special section of next week’s newspaper will provide highlights of those 40 years, including interviews with its first publishers, current publisher Betty Linn, and several of the editors who served with the weekly newspaper.
☆ Yosemite High School seniors scored slightly above the state and national averages on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) this year. The test was taken by 80 seniors who are planning to attend college after graduation. In the past 11 years, YHS students’ scores have only been below the state and national averages three times.