Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star
50 years ago
* Mountain merchants launch a three-day Dollar Days sale in an effort to promote shopping at home. Specials range from free Thrifty Green Stamps just for going into Top’s Drugs, while Stuart’s Tack and Saddlery will knock $1 off all winter footwear. At the Pink Penny, there will be $1, $3, and $5 tables. The Chevron Station advertises $1 lube jobs, while Clark’s Yosemite Richfield will give a free inner tube to purchasers of a recapped tire. Colbern’s Village Department Store will cut $1 off all $3.98 men’s long-sleeved shirts. In Ahwahnee, Sierra Grocers is selling 18 cans of Del Monte tomato sauce for $1, while the Ahwahnee Store features nylons at $2 per pair. Clementine at Trinket Corner has boys’ flannel pajamas for $2 and girls’ sweaters for $3, values which normally would cost $4.50.
* The Bass Lake Parents Club meeting became the scene of the second round in the fight to save the Bass Lake Elementary School. Philips Eastman, 5th District supervisor, had stated that he had been approached to have the school closed and the buildings turned into a government center. Principal Bill Scott presented statistics on the scholarship standing of his students to be as high as any others in the area, and that the decision would be up to the people. A petition in opposition will be circulated.
* The Broken Bit advertises a Mountain Monday special of Roast Chicken with dressing at $1.50, All You Can Eat.
40 years ago
* The growth of the mountain area is apparent in the local schools that are overcrowded. Oakhurst Elementary was designed for 300 students, and presently has 435 students. 16 ½ acres of land adjacent to the campus have been purchased for expansion at $5,000 per acre, located between Oak Creek and the Fresno River. Preliminary reports show the need for a middle school of grades six through eight.
* Snow ends 26 day drought. Precipitation so badly needed has finally come. Heavy, wet snow fell on the area for two days, causing a power outage in the entire mountain area. Sixty-five PG&E employees from the valley were brought in to assist local employees in locating and repairing broken power lines. Sierra Telephone was also plagued with the same problem, but has much of the system back in order. Mariposa is the only area that is still a disaster.
* Midway Super Market advertises: ruby grapefruit at 69 cents for an eight-pound bag, soft margarine at 59 cents, a basket of cherry tomatoes for 29 cents, and artichokes at three for 79 cents.
30 years ago
* Blackout Bingo starts this week in the Sierra Star, and it’s free for adults over 18. Each Monday, $60 will be given to the winners. Pick up your cards from those merchants listed on the feature page each week on Monday, and you can play as many cards as you wish. Bingo numbers will be in the ads of these merchants. Each week, cards will be a different color. All 24 numbers on your card must be matched by the numbers in the Star ads. If you cover all the numbers on a card, bring your winning card to the Sierra Star-Home Advertiser office by Monday noon. If there is no winner, the prize money will go to the next week’s winner.
* A barrier wall will be constructed along School Road at Oakhurst Elementary School before the end of February. The Madera County Board of Supervisors ordered the wall to be erected in response to a petition citing the fact that two vehicles have crashed through the wire fence and into the school grounds in recent days. More than 800 people signed the petitions, which were circulated by Kathy Musacchio and Marcia Wilkins.
* A 19th Century Hometown Jamboree is to be held at Fresno Flats Historical Park and will offer entertainment and food for all ages. A highlight of the day’s activities will be the playoff for the King of the Mountain horseshoe championship. Non-profit community organizations will have booths at this Jamboree. Fresno Flat members of the committee include Eleanor McGowan, Betty and Bill Foster, Betty Benoy, Frank Neufeld, Dana and Red Richards, and Ruth Hunt, president.
20 years ago
* Twelve members of Americorp arrived in Oakhurst and will be here about a month to work in the community. They will be doing erosion control along the River Walkway, planting about 500 oak trees, and putting in footbridges. The group is staying at the Batterson barracks.
* At the conclusion of a “very successful” Narcotics Enforcement Team undercover operation at Yosemite High School, NET Commander Lt. David L. Bradford has concluded that “Yosemite High does not have a drug or gang problem.” In addition to not being able to buy drugs on the YHS campus, Bradford said the undercover agent did not observe any student using or in possession of drugs on campus. Bradford noted that students had told the undercover person that Principal Robert LaBelle and the administration do not “fool around with you. If you get caught you can get kicked out, and they don’t hesitate to call the sheriff if you’re high or have anything on you.” He said it is the fear of getting caught and the firm action taken which appears to have the greatest effect in deterring drug activity on campus. “The students and parents can consider themselves fortunate to have such a safe and drug-free place to go for education,” Bradford said of YHS.
* Construction on the new US Forest Service $1.6 million Minarets District office in North Fork is on schedule. According to Bill Bell, the USFS resident engineer, they are anticipating a June completion date. The Minarets Station has been an administrative site since the USFS was created in 1905. The original building served as the headquarters for the Sierra National Forest, which 100 years ago encompassed what is now the Inyo, Stanislaus, Sequoia, and Sierra national forests.