Back in Time

Back in Time

50 YEARS AGO: The Minister announced the creation of Clearwater River Park


The Minister of Recreation and Conservation announced the creation of a new provincial park at the junction of the Clearwater and North Thompson rivers. It was to be known as Clearwater River Park.

Four bulldozers from Blue River were used to haul a Coachways bus out of a canyon at Cayuse Creek. The accident occurred at one of the worst curves in the one-way signal light controlled section of the old highway between Avola and Blue River. The three passengers were taken to Kamloops by a passing salesman.

An article from parents said residents and taxpayers should be proud of the new dormitory in Clearwater for students from Blue River. The letter congratulated Mr. and Mrs. Eley for the caring of 24 young people.


A man kidnapped the wife and 10-month-old daughter of Clearwater’s Royal Bank manager. The woman and child escaped from a cabin between Vavenby and Avola. The kidnapper was arrested as he attempted to collect a ransom of $100,000 at the bank.


Twenty-nine new Lions chartered the new Vavenby Lions Club. Frank Wilson was the charter president.


Fire completely destroyed the Townsend residence at the junction of Highway 5 and Candle Creek Road. The fire had been burning for some time before it was reported, and had too strong a hold when firefighters arrived.

An article featured the life of pioneer Otto Anderson, who had passed away on Oct. 26, 1982. Born in Sweden, he came to the valley in 1928. He owned a series of three sawmills near Blue River. He and another man once shot a caribou while trapping along the Rausch River. They cached a big chunk of meat under their bough bed when they went to sleep. When they woke up in the morning, the meat was gone and there were grizzly tracks showing how it had been stolen.


Residents were incensed by tax increases for school affairs. The government’s funding formula resulted in the tax rates for School District 26 being the second highest in the province, said secretary-treasurer Tim Klotz.

Despite gloom and doom over local mill shutdowns, other areas of town were humming. Al Miller was enlarging his Hub Grocery and Gas Mart.


Blue River residents could be facing a $400 increase per parcel of land for proposed re-construction of their water system, said Wilf Mourre, chair of the improvement district.

Jack Braaksma was elected chair of School District 26. Ed Shook was voted in as vice-chair.


Taxpayers in Clearwater and Vavenby could be paying a little more in taxes, said Area A TNRD director Bert Walker. Much of the increase was to set up a reserve fund for the Sportsplex.


About 70 Vavenby residents attended a sometimes stormy meeting of the Vavenby Improvement District. They were unhappy about the resignation of a trustee and the VID’s maintenance person, as well as rumors regarding difficulties with the water system’s intake.

Steve Pelton became the new president of Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, taking the place of Richard Rutley. Also elected by acclamation were vice-president Rich Willan, secretary Linda Cairns and treasurer Goldie Krawec.

About 130 relatives and friends gathered at the Clearwater Ski Hill Lodge to recognize the accomplishments of longtime valley resident Bob Miller. During the event he was presented with a provincial prize for his woodlot management.


Clearwater Rotary Club got a $1,000 cheque to help defray the costs of replacing and installing a new boat launch and wharf at Dutch Lake. MLA Kevin Kruger also came through with a $10,000 lottery grant. Other businesses and people helping with the project included Argo Road Maintenance, Black River Contracting, Tom Bone, Borrow Enterprises, Doug Borrow, Orlynn Braaten, Randy Carter, John Downey, Gary McCoy, Len Marsel, Dave Naden, Dale Rauch, Ron Rotzetter, Kelly Sunderman, Hans Wadlegger, and Wadlegger Logging and Construction.

In an effort to help bereaved people at this time of year, the North Thompson Funeral Services held its second annual Christmastime Gathering at its chapel.

Raft River Elementary Grade 6 students held a Fun Night to raise funds to assist a village in Guatemala. There was a concession, big bounce castle, wheel spin, crafts sale, a radar gun to measure floor hockey shots, a basketball and bean bag toss.


TNRD released plans for a multi-use park to be developed next to Blackpool Hall. It would feature a “rock and ropes” play area, a post-and- beam picnic shelter, and seven exercise stations along a 250 m long pathway.

Clearwater Rotary Club’s annual Christmas Tree Light- Up attracted a large crowd. It was held at the Wells Gray Infocenter for the first time.


The proposed twinning of Kinder Morgan’s Transmountain pipeline might cause some disruption but overall would be a benefit to the North Thompson Valley, according to Mayor John Harwood. He was commenting on an announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the federal government was approving the project.

A fire at Mountainview Trailer Park took the life of a 61-year-old woman. The structure was fully involved when firefighters arrived.