Compiled from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star
50 Years Ago
Military crash – At 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, a Navy A-4 Skyhawk assigned to Attack Squadron 125, Lemoore Naval Air Station, crashed in rugged terrain near the Chowchilla River, west of Miami Mountain in the vicinity of Nelson Cove. The crash caused a severe fire in the area, with flames immediately up Miami Mountain toward Metcalf Gap. Local lawmen guarding the wreckage became cut off by flames and were forced to drive through burning areas to reach safety.
Ansel Adams visits Oakhurst – Few people know Yosemite Valley and the surrounding area as well as photographer and conservationist Ansel Adams, who will present an illustrated lecture at the Oakhurst Community Center on Sept. 28.
Coarsegold Market and Supply advertisement – Dubuque Bacon 55₵/lb; Italian Swiss Colony Pink Chablis Wine half-gallon $1.39; Fancy Red Delicious Apples 2 lbs. 29₵.
40 Years Ago
Oakhurst bank offer – Shares in Oakhurst’s Golden Oak Bank (in organization) are now available to the general public. The bank sent out 500 circulars to potential investors in the bank. Shares in the bank cost $10 per share and the minimum purchase is 25 shares. When properly licensed to do so, the bank intends to conduct a general commercial banking business throughout Eastern Madera County from its office in Oakhurst.
No parole – Richard Schoenfeld, 23, youngest of the three men convicted of kidnapping a busload of Chowchilla school children in 1976, has been rejected in his bid for parole.
No-auto plan hatches – The eventual elimination of automobile traffic from Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove area is one of the highlights of the recently released draft general management plan for Yosemite National Park. The plan proposes management and development actions for the park during the next 10 to 15 years.
30 Years Ago
Looking for work? – When the women’s prison opens in March 1990 between Madera and Chowchilla, numerous new jobs will be created for residents of Madera, Fresno and Merced counties. Reggie Drew of the Prison Industry Authority told members of the Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce that between 775 and 1280 employees will be needed for the facility. He said that the Department of Corrections will transfer 50 percent of the employees from other prisons and the other 50 percent will be hired from the three-county area.
Chicken flying! – The third annual International Chicken Flying Contest will be held as a part of Sierra Mountaineer Days. Each chicken entered will be “launched” from a box atop a 10-foot tower and from the point of touchdown a measurement will be taken to determine the longest flight. There will be cash awards for each of the four weight-class divisions.
YHS gets a satellite – The Yosemite school district approved a proposal for the purchase and installation of a satellite dish at Yosemite High. The dish is designed to receive broadcasts of classes from Cal Poly and several other universities for high school and college credits, and for teacher inservice training. The program was designed especially for rural high schools enabling them to offer honors classes and special classes such as advanced calculus to high school students who might not otherwise be able to take them due to a variety of reasons.
20 Years Ago
Children’s hospital on the move – The transfer of children from Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno across the bridge to the Madera location began in the wee hours of a Monday morning. While American Ambulance moved the majority of children to the new facility, a joint effort between ambulance service providers, including Sierra Ambulance and Pistoresi Ambulance, participated in this mammoth undertaking. The new Valley Children’s Hospital has 158 private rooms. The old hospital had 77 rooms with as many as two or three patients to a room.
Words or numbers? – The aging issue of using historic names instead of numbers to identify Mountain Area county roads was scheduled for a discussion, but the item was taken off the agenda for the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Road names proponent Dwaine Brannan, backed by several historians, urged the board to return to using names, as a 30-year-old county ordinance requires. There was no indication of when a discussion would be rescheduled.
Turkeys, too – More than half a dozen sharpshooters who took home prizes of hams, sides of bacon, or turkeys will be living “high on the hog” for a while, says Rick Whitener, chairman of the North Fork Boosters Turkey Shoot. Winners included Larry Brazil, Toby Bogges, Dave Knepel, Tom Graham, Kenny Wood, Gale Draper, Doug McMullen and John Peele.