Compiled from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star.
50 Years Ago
Summer fun – Action in the 1968 Sierra Softball League heated up as the Oakhurst Lumber nine met Pines Village in the second game starting at 9 p.m. The General Box squad took on the Fuzz in the early contest at 7:15 p.m.
Advertising – Come one, come all. Come ride the Groovy Slide located behind the Pines Super Market, next to the Pines Miniature Golf Course. Over 40 feet high! Regular price: One ride 15 cents, eight rides $1. Clip and present this ad and get 12 rides for $1. Kids and adults alike. Duncan & Marlene McQueen, owners.
Third aircraft in three weeks falls at lake – Taking off from the Bass Lake unofficial airport before noon in his Cesna 172, Ralph Butler of La Canada barely became airborne and had yet to pass over the end of the runway when his engine faltered and died. He was headed for the crowded Recreation Point beach, leaving him little choice but to set the plane down near the water’s edge, causing the plane to bounce hard, flip over, and cartwheel into the water about 150 feet from shore. Butler, who was unhurt, was able to unbelt himself and crawl from the plane just in time to watch it sink slowly under the water.
40 Years Ago
State buying historic site – The California Department of Parks and Recreation was moving quickly to officially acquire the Wassama Roundhouse, making available $80,050 in state funds for the purchase of the Roundhouse and the 9.6 acres it sits on. Just days after the siging of the bill, the Roundhouse tragically was knocked to the ground, but the Sheriff’s Department found no evidence of foul play.
Stamp prices – The recent rise in postal rates brought quite a chorus of complaints from the public, not only because the first-class increase from 13 cents to 15 cents was most unwelcome but because of the poor way in which it was handled. Putting it into effect over the three-day Memorial Day weekend , and just before businesses had to send out their billings, was especially irritating.
Advertising – Silvertip Lodge, Fish Camp: Every Friday – Prime Rib $5.95; Every Saturday - Bar-B-Que Beef Ribs $3.95; Every Sunday – Champagne Brunch $3.25. Mae’s “Homemade Desserts” Every Night.
30 Years Ago
Elam Room – Richard “Rich” Elam, lifelong resident of Ahwahnee, was honored at the grand opening of the Hitchin’ Post’s new banquet and meeting room facility when owner Bill Whitla dedicated the new facility the “Rich Elam Room.” Elam was the fifth of six children of early settlers Hazel and Leonard Elam. He was raised on the family cattle ranch in Ahwahnee. After a diverse career, the last 15 served as the manager of the Hitchin’ Post, Elam retired to the old home place.
No smoking – County supervisors approved a much-postponed smoking ordinance last week. The ordinance, which forbids smoking in county buildings except in designated areas, passed with a 5-0 vote to the praises of representatives of the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society.
Highway 41 congestion – Drivers caught in the Highway 41 congestion north of the San Joaquin River should not expect relief before the early 1990s and total freewaying of the section south of Highway 145 will not be complete until well into the 21st century. The proposed upgrade of Highway 41 between Audubon Drive in Fresno County and Highway 145, Four Corners, in Madera County, on which Caltrans currently is making preliminary efforts, will not be completed until sometime in the next century, probably 2015 or later.
20 Years Ago
Changing ‘L.A. mentality’ – The Tower House may be “high-tech,” but the attitude is definitely laid-back. And laid-back is clearly the order of the day, especially with all the rumors flying about the strict dress code (no Levis), high cover charge, and the “high-tech” atmosphere. It has been a rough and rocky beginning. Realizing this “L.A. mentality” just won’t fly in the Mountain Area, owner Ron Montgomery has made some swift changes.
Sawmill work – The community of North Fork, through a collaborative effort of the North Fork Chamber of Commerce and the Community Development Council, received a grant of $51,450 to continue to prepare the former sawmill site for development.
Oakhurst fire – A late-afternoon fire destroyed the abandoned Midway Market building in the center of Oakhurst. The wooden building, which started out as a bar and restaurant in the 1940s, later became the first supermarket in Oakhurst. It had been empty for nearly 10 years – and lately had been the target of grumblers who felt its deteriorating appearance was a blight on civic pride.