Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star
60 Years Ago
Coarsegold original – Among the older ranches in the mountain area was the Indian Rock Ranch and Service Station at Coarsegold, homesteaded in 1861 by the Colmores. Later the property was owned by Mr. and Mrs. F. Burguet. The original house, added onto three times, has been for the past 22 years the home of A. H. McAllister, postmaster of Coarsegold. He now calls the ranch Swede Gulch.
1 million visitors – Despite a slight decline in the number of motor vehicles entering Yosemite National Park during 1958, a record number of people visited the park, according to Superintendent Keith Neilson. During 1958, 1,138,343 people visited the park, a gain of 627 over the record of 1957. (The park saw 4.3 million visitors in 2017, the last year that a full-year total is available.)
Such a deal – The Village Department Store in Oakhurst advertises a new Corning Ware Saucepan Set $14.95 complete. It includes three covered saucepans (1-, 1½- and 1¾-quart sizes), interchangeable detachable handle and gleaming brass-plated cradle. “Have everything you need to be a perfect hostess – convenience in the kitchen, beauty on the table.”
50 Years Ago
Sanatorium closing – The Ahwahnee Hospital Central Committee decided to close Ahwahnee Sanatorium on or before June 30, 1959. The decision was reached after patient load dropped to 15, two of whom were scheduled to leave shortly.
Strike! – League standings for Snowline Bowl Bowlerettes: Sullivan’s Fur Dressing 9/3; Johnson’s Sporting Goods 8/4; Village Dept. Store 7/5; Rosemary’s Beauty Salon 6/6; Hillhouse Paving 6/6; State Farm Insurance 6/6; Village Liquor 5/7; Moore’s Redwoods 4½ /7½; Ahwahnee Store 4½ /7½; Lev Lumber 4/8.
Such a deal – Gardner Volkswagon in Fresno advertises a new 1969 VW Beetle for $1,984.50, delivered.
40 Years Ago
Building boom – New construction in the mountain area in the last two years has been more than the previous 12 years combined. One month alone in 1978 accounted for over four million dollars in new construction permits. The month was July and the large figure was due to the building permits that were taken out for construction of the Golden Oak Village Shopping Center in Oakhurst.
Raiders coming to town – Tickets are going fast for a basketball game between members of the Oakland Raiders and a group of Oakhurst city league players. The game is a benefit for the Pop Warner Football league, and will include Raiders John Matuszak, Art Shell, John Vella, Dave Dalby, Neal Colzie, Willie Brown, Cliff Branch and Morris Bradshaw. Some of the local players include Glen Mecchi, Roger Simms, Bill Weatherly, Dick Vanamon, Jim Berry, Lyndon Tony, Jerry Bishop, Mitch Godfrey, Dr. Gary Pence and Jerry Robinson.
30 Years Ago
Volunteer fire department shuffle – After serving for 20 years as chief of the Ahwahnee Volunteer Fire Department, Herman Neufeld has stepped down from that position. He will remain an active member of the department. New officers elected were: Cliff Neufeld, captain; Glenn Harmelin, lieutenant; Jerry Riggs, training; Kathy Harmelin, secretary; and Pete Ferbrache, treasurer.
Building on the move – The historic Oakhurst building occupied by Ditton Realty, on the corner of Highway 41 and Road 426 next to the talking bear, will be moved to a new site in Coarsegold at the intersection of Highway 41 and Road 415. The building was constructed in 1955 by Jack Gyer as a real estate office, and in 1957 he began the Sierra Star in that office. In the late 1950s and early ’60s, Judge Payne held justice court in the back portion of the building.