Back in Time

Back in Time

Historic Perspective


A cow leisurely crossing the road along McLure Flat caused a tractor and house trailer from Penticton to leave the road. The trailer, full of furniture and personal belongings, was being moved to Kamloops. The driver, unable to swerve due to an oncoming car, jammed on the brakes and jack-knifed the trailer. He kicked out the window to free himself.

Sequel to the story: A driver of a late model Chrysler stopped to offer help but found everything was under control. He continued on for a quarter-mile where he hit a cow, killing it and almost demolishing his vehicle.


Acting fire chief Ray Donnelley started a real smoky tire fire before practice Thanksgiving evening. He turned in the alarm with only the RCMP alerted that it was a practice. The phone system worked, the fire truck worked, and the fire was put out — time five minutes.


Bob Helme, manager of Uncle Bob’s Furniture in Clearwater, was interested in opening a bowling alley. He had received 600 replies to questionnaires placed around town, but felt there would have to be 1,000 more for the venture to be feasible. Plans for the venture were therefore shelved for five years.


Clearwater Chamber of Commerce president Ken Kjenstad gave a special presentation to Karl Simmerling in appreciation of his community service over the previous seven or eight years. Simmerling had been TNRD Area A director for two terms.

Back in Time


Volunteers were being sought for the first Wells Gray Loppet. The event was planned for March 9, 1985. Skiers were to go twice around the 26 km course for a total distance of 45 to 50 km.

The board of School District 26 voted to reduce Star Lake School to just Kindergarten to Grade 3, commencing the following September. Grades 4 to 6 were to be moved to Dutch Lake. At the time there were only four Grade 1 pupils at Star Lake.


A complete sawmill overhaul and modernization was underway at Slocan’s Vavenby plant. Cost of the project was expected to be in excess of $15 million. The changes would allow what formerly took three shifts to be done in two, and would decrease waste. The mill would be “state of the art,” said quality control supervisor Gary Radmacher.


A pungent aroma coming from an Alberta pickup truck stopped for speeding led RCMP Cst. Mike Savage and Auxiliary Cst. Wade Elliot to find nine garbage bags full of high-grade bud marijuana in the back. The plants were estimated to have a street value of more than $200,000.


B.C. Parks announced that it was closing road access to the Flourmills Volcanoes (located southwest of Clearwater Lake) because a bridge had decayed beyond repair. “It’s just another unfortunate thing that’s happening with the current economic situation,” said Friends of Wells Gray Park president Steve Murray.

No challengers came forward, so Bert Walker was unopposed in his bid to be both TNRD director for the Clearwater and Vavenby area, and School District 73 trustee for the upper North Thompson. Steve Quinn was unopposed in his bid for a fourth term on the TNRD board.


The Ministry of Transportation highways staff had requested a small deletion from Wells Gray Park area for a new crossing at Second Canyon on the road to Wells Gray Park, the park’s public advisory committee was told. Another discussion for the committee was about proposed re-location of grizzly bears from Wells Gray Park. Moving the bears to the North Cascades could result in conflicts to the locals in that area, some committee members felt. The number of visitors to the Wells Gray Park was still far below 1998 numbers, the peak year for the park.


Clearwater council members received a letter from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure advising that the Ministry was prepared to provide road and bridge maintenance from the date of incorporation until Sept. 21, 2012. With close to 60 km of roads and three bridges, the Ministry estimated the current cost of maintenance within the District of Clearwater at $242,000 per year.

Tay Briggs accepted a $15,000 cheque for Information Wells Gray from MLA Terry Lake during an economic development meeting. The money from the tourism ministry would be used to help cover the costs of operating the Info Center.

Tuition fees rose for more than 90 per cent of college and university students, according to a report released by Statistics Canada. The fees rose on average by 3.6 per cent to $4,917.


Clearwater town council gave the contract to develop a biomass heating system for the new Dutch Lake Community Centre to Fink Machines of Enderby. Cost of the project was put at $166,000.

A group calling itself Secwepemc Tska7 Warriors claimed responsibility for lighting a fire on a bridge on the road to a proposed lead-zinc mine at Ruddock Creek. The bridge was near Tum Tum Lake, about 15 km northeast of Avola.

Crews were at work installing drainage works between Wells Gray Inn and Highway 5.


Voters in the District of Clearwater cast their votes, selecting a new mayor and council to take them through the next four years. Merlin Blackwell took the mayoral vote with 644 ballots cast in his favour, equalling 72.3 per cent of votes received, with runner up Jon Kreke receiving 236 votes, coming out to 26.5 per cent of the votes marked for the mayoral candidates.

The 2018 race season was successful for local racer Kayden Clark, even though he started late in the season and only made it to four race weekends. Clark, only being 16-years-old and never having raced a car before, did well, bringing home four trophies and some cash prizes. He came in first place twice, second place four times and had two third-place wins, running a 1979 Camaro.

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