Back in Time

Historical Perspective


The possibility of keeping Grade 8 students at Blue River Elementary School was discussed at a public meeting in Blue River. Most of the students spent the week from Monday to Friday at the dorm in Clearwater (at a cost of about $35 per month), and many parents felt the Grade 8 students were too young.

Dave Shanko of Little Fort had the closest guess of the time it would take the Vavenby Legion barrel to drift down the North Thompson River. Each year the distance was changed to make it more interesting.


Tenders were out for the completion of a new bridge across the Clearwater River for Highway 5. At the time, only the supports were finished.

Kamloops residents Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Smith celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Gilbert Smith was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan in 1890, and came to the Kamloops and North Thompson area in 1906. He was a pole buyer in Blue River in 1929, and in 1944 established a pole yard in Barriere.

Eatons opened a catalog sales office at the Lucky Dollar Store in Clearwater.

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Three vehicles were trapped behind a 40-foot landslide on Clearwater River Road. Torrential rains had caused the road bank to collapse.

Blackpool fire hall was taking shape. The roof should be up by the following week, said director Keith Hanna.

Chief B.C. Forester Bill King and Bob Nixon of the Sierra Club attended a two-day workshop on high altitude logging with forest industry representatives at the Wells Gray Inn. The major problems with high altitude logging were water flow and maintenance of wildlife, especially caribou, said Nixon.


Twelve teams of Squirts, Peewees and Bantams were to invade Clearwater to compete for provincial championships. Local teams taking part were Wells Gray Curling Club (Star Lake) Peewees coached by Les Neufeld and John Yurkiw, Star Flight Astros Bantams (also from Star Lake) coached by Lawrence Redman, Dean Redman and Ernie Smith, and Safety Mart Squirts, coached by Ken Kjenstad.

Louise Gebert was the Strawberry Festival queen and Cindy Fraser was the Strawberry Princess.


Doug Bryden, vice-principal at Parkland Secondary School in Cranbrook, was to be the new principal at Clearwater Secondary, said School District 26 superintendent Don Handfield. Bill Keast, principal at Lac La Hache, was taking over at Raft River.


The community members who attended Land Resource Management Planning open houses in Barriere and Clearwater demanded more open communication with the people “on the ground”. Upper Clearwater rancher George Briggs objected that loggers, farmers and ranchers were so busy working that they couldn’t have any input. LRMP process coordinator Kevin Kriese said it was a concern they had heard.

A traffic advisory from Clearwater Forest District warned anyone using the temporary structure put in over a cave-in at 21.5 km on the Clearwater River Road to use extreme caution.

Slocan Vavenby Bantam C Boys, coached by Evan Smith and Scott Thomas, won bronze medals in the provincial championships in Port Alberni.


A flash flood washed out the culvert at Spahats Creek on the road to Wells Gray Park, isolating the park and Upper Clearwater. Local farm equipment fixed erosion problems at the Philips Creek Bridge, while several other washouts were reported on various Forest Service roads.

Officials from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment said local residents probably had nothing to worry about as far as contamination from Dutch Lake creating problems with the CID’s new well, located across the road from the lake. “Sand and gravel have an amazing ability to cleanse water flowing through it,” one said.

School District 73 predicted the K-7 enrollment at Dutch Lake Elementary to drop from 223 to 200 in the following September.


Voters from the valley helped M.P. Betty Hinton retain her seat in the House of Commons in Ottawa. The percentage of ballots cast in her favor was higher in Clearwater and Barriere than the average across the constituency.

Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing sought valley support of a proposal for summer training camps for national ski teams on the glaciers near Blue River. Andy Aufschnaiter, MWHS resort manager, presented the company’s case at a 2010 Olympic Legacy meeting in Clearwater.


A meeting with Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake, Pete Pelton, Steve Pelton and Forest Minister Pat Bell discussed ways to make wood available so the Peltons could re-open their birch sawmill in Upper Clearwater. New products and markets meant 16 people could go back to work.

Clearwater’s Peter Ormondy won $100 photography contest sponsored by the tourism agency in Kamloops for a brochure. The picture was of a kayaker in the lily pads on Dutch Lake.


Clearwater Crushers crushed all opponents to win the U16 provincial softball championships in Clearwater. Pitcher Karter Romeo was chosen to play in the Canadian championships in Fredericton.


The official groundbreaking for the Clearwater and Area Affordable Housing Project took place last week, where representatives from Yellowhead Community Services (YCS) and the District of Clearwater put shovels in the dirt, signifying construction is underway. YCS will manage and operate the 26-unit facility, which will be available for low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities.

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