50 Years Ago
☆ The Madera County Board of Supervisors approved a request by the Diamond Jubilee committee to place a historical marker designating the geographic center of the state in the Madera Courthouse Park.
☆ Suspected killer Taylor M. Teaford, 32, graduated to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list. The North Fork native had eluded capture since July 1967, when he is thought to have slain his grandmother. The sheriff’s office had already spent hundreds of hours tracking down leads in its search for Teaford.
☆ Midway Super Market advertised prices: Round steak 88 cents per pound, frozen lemonade 10 for $1, tomatoes 19 cents per pound.
40 Years Ago
☆ It did not take long to tear down the once-popular French Poodle Restaurant on Highway 41. Midway Market purchased the land.
☆ After months of rumor and speculation, Raley’s Supermarket and Drug Store has been secured as the major tenant for the Golden Oak Shopping Center at the intersection of highways 41 and 49 in Oakhurst. The store will occupy a 50,000-square-foot building in the $5 million center, which is being developed by Ed and Sara Wilkins of Coarsegold and Willard and Betty Eisner of Fresno.
☆ It will cost Madera County $18,000 for additional law enforcement at Bass Lake Memorial Day weekend as 250-300 Hells Angels will converge on the area. The Angels have been coming to the lake for the holiday weekend since 1961. Lt. Jim Hickman of the sheriff’s department has stated there has never been any major trouble. “There’s been brawls and scrapes and drug arrests,” Hickman told the Board of Supervisors, “but nothing major has ever occurred, although the potential is always there.”
30 Years Ago
☆ The last of America’s traditional, big tented circuses with a wild animal zoo at no extra charge is coming to Oakhurst for one day only. The Carson and Barnes 5-Ring Circus, featuring a herd of 25 elephants,will give two shows under the sponsorship of the Sierra Star.
☆ Johnny Come Lately is gone. And the management at Sierra Sky Ranch would like to have him back. Johnny is the peacock who has been in residence at the Ranch for at least eight years. According to a spokesman for the ranch, an eyewitness saw two people grab Johnny and stuff him into a car.
☆ Sierra Telephone began the process of transferring customers to new digital switching equipment. Customers With the new digital equipment, special custom calling features such as call waiting, three-way calling and remote call forwarding will be available.
20 Years Ago
☆ An expected appeal of county approval of a go-kart track in Oakhurst has been filed with the Board of Supervisors. The county Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the track and other services proposed as part of the Yosemite Fun Center, despite vigorous protests that the track would create noises too loud for neighbors and the community.
☆ “I’m the only one still alive who taught in 1950,” states Elizabeth Bissett to a small group of Oakhurst Elementary students who are interviewing her. The interview is the kick-off activity for a three-year project that will culminate in the formal celebration of Oakhurst Elementary School’s 50th anniversary in the year 2000. Mrs. Bissett was a teacher at the present OES when it was dedicated in October 1950.
☆ Sheriff’s Sgt. Tommy Tomlinson retired after 29 years in law enforcement, including 17 years heading Search and Rescue efforts out of the Bass Lake Substation. People who have worked with Tomlinson all agree on one thing: If they are ever lost, they want him to be looking for them. During his years in SAR, he was involved in more than 540 missions. “Because of the actions of the SAR team, at least 15 lives were saved,” he recalls. Tomlinson looks forward to “going back to my roots, which is cattle and horses.”
Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star.