It happened in 1913

It happened in 1913

August 30 – September 5

Pictured above: The Cranbrook Race Track circa 1913

August 30 – September 5: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Slowly recovering … A. A. Mackinnon, who was called to the coast by the serious injury of his brother, Alex Mackinnon, who was dynamited in the miners’ rioting at Ladysmith, returned last Saturday.

The dastardly crime of the striking miners in throwing several sticks of dynamite into the house, and underneath the bed where his children were sleeping, is without a parallel in provincial history.

The sturdy heroism of the father, who seized the burning mass and carried it through the house and out into the kitchen, where it exploded in his hands, blowing off his right hand, cutting out one eye, injuring him in­ternally end wrecking his home, should be rewarded by the vigorous prosecution of the cowardly ruffians who perpetrated this monstrous crime.

Mr. Mackinnon says that his brother is slowly improving and it is now thought that he will live, al­though his life was despaired of for several days.

The doctors sewed his eye back in place and it may be saved.

His most serious injury will be the loss of his right hand.

He has six little child­ren, the oldest boy being about nine years old.

The atrocious alleged union men, who are a libel on real union men, arc endeavoring to cover their crime by equally atrocious lies: witness one which was printed in the Western Call under date of August 29th, edit­ed by H. H. Stephens, M.P.:

“But there is another side to this story, the strikers allege, with every evidence of truthfulness, that the in­jured man was a strike-breaker, or as they call him “a scab,” that he had several sons who were also strike­breakers, but one son refused to go to work and stood by the strikers, for which he was soundly beaten by the father.

“The strikers hearing this determined to remonstrate with the father (no doubt in a very forcible manner), who, seeing them coming towards his house, seized a stick of dynamite and attaching a short fuse, lighted it, and attempted to throw it out of the window, but it struck the sash and fell back into the room, where­upon he again caught it up to throw at the strikers, when it exploded in his grasp and blew his arm off, causing almost fatal injury.

“If the latter story is true, and our information is reliable, the injured man is the criminal and deserves all he got and more.”

Buy locally … Cranbrook stores should be a source of greater pride to the citizens of the city. Nearly every week the local stores are called upon to fill orders for people residing near Fernie or Nelson, not but that those towns have up-to-date stores, but that the stocks carried in Cranbrook are in excess of any city of its size in this part of the country.

It is doubtful if as large stocks as are carried here can he found in another town of the size in the Dominion of Canada.

The travelers tell us that Cranbrook merchants buy the best class of goods and in larger quantities than anywhere outside the big cities. This is apparent to even the cursory observer who visits any of the larger Cranbrook stores.

The best grade of merchandise is carried by all the stores and there seems to be a big demand for this class of goods in this city. The window displays are also in keeping with cities many times the size of Cranbrook; interesting and beautiful displays being the common thing, with daily changes in nearly all the shops.

Jailed … Don R. Godkin, formerly manager of the C.P.R. telegraph office in this city, was apprehended by a C.P.R. detective at North Portal, and brought back and placed in durance vile at the provincial jail on a charge of absconding with funds belonging to the telegraph company. The case will be given preliminary hearing before Magistrate Hill at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Elko news … A banker going home to dinner saw a $5 bill on the sidewalk, he picked it up, noted the number and went home to dinner. While at home his wife remarked that the butcher had sent a bill amounting to $5. The only cash he had was the $5 he had found which he gave her to pay the butcher. The butcher paid it to a farmer for a sucking pig, the farmer got $5 worth of goods at the store with it, the merchant paid it to one of his helpers who wished a small loan on account, he paid his room rent with it showing the banker a $5 note, went to the hank and paid the note. The banker recognized the bill as the one he had found and which to that time had paid $25 worth of debt. On car­eful examination he discovered that the bill was counterfeit. Now what was lost, in the transaction and by whom?

Wardner news … Several of the people of Wardner attended the sports held at our little sister town of Bull River on Monday last. All report having had a very enjoyable time, as Bull River people are all good entertainers.

Moyie news … Little Rose Ewing, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ewing, of this place, was taken dangerously ill last Thursday. She was taken to Cranbrook on the flyer for treatment and has returned much improved. Choke cherries are said to be the cause of the trouble. Moyie seems to be the center of attraction for all the autos in the country. Lying, as it does, between Creston and Cranbrook, right on the new road, there is seldom a day passes without several autos visiting our burg. Keep it up boys. We are always pleased to welcome visitors to our town.

Fort Steele news … The schools opened on Monday with a good attendance. Miss Curley is principal and Miss Lewis from Nova Scotia is in charge of the second division. The schools have undergone repairs during the holidays.

Creston news … The feature event to be seen at the Nelson Fruit Fair this year will be the day and night Fireworks which will be put on by the Hitt’s Co. of Seattle, the Hitt Co. of recent years have supplied the pyrotechnic displays at the biggest Exhibitions in the West amongst others being the A.Y.P. Exposition, and as this will be the first display in the interior, it will no doubt prove a great attraction. The vaudeville programme will be the most pretentious ever attempted by the Fair management, several thousand having been spent on this item alone.

Cranbrook band … Band concerts will hereafter be played on Sunday afternoon at 4.15 instead of Sunday evening as heretofore. The city band, under the leadership of Bandmaster Austin, will play music at the band stand in front of the government building.

Waldo news … Mr. Hislop reports that there are forty-one scholars in the school and others seeking admission. The residents of Waldo must set about getting a new school, as the present one is crowded, and so many children in a small room is unhealthy. Air space is at a premium.

Moyie school … The public school opened last week with a large attendance. The teaching staff consists of Miss Mar­tin, of Wardner, and Miss Johnson, of Revelstoke. Both teachers are graduates of the Provincial Normal School and are well known in this district. Miss Johnson, who for­merly taught in Elko and Wardner, has recently taken a special training in primary work and now has charge of the primary division here, while Miss Martin is teaching the senior division.

Crows nest pass route … That the Crow’s Nest Pass route will be an alternative main line for the C.P.R. before the end of 1915 is now an assured fact. For several years there have been rumors of this going into effect because of the feasibility of the proposition. The lower grades, the absence of snow slides and mountain slides in the winter and spring and the more direct route from Winnipeg to Vancouver, has made the adoption of the route as the eventual main line, a practical improvement over the present northern route. This has been rumored and denied times without number in the past two years, but here it is in black and white, from the annual statement of Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, president of the company, to his shareholders, for the year ending June 30th, 1913: “It is not the intention of your directors to proceed with the second track (on the main line) in the more difficult sections along the Thompson and Fraser rivers, until your Kettle Valley line is ready for traffic between Midway and Hope, in 1915, so that you may have an alternative route available between Medicine Hat and Vancouver, via the Crows Nest Pass, if anything unforeseen should occur during the prosecution of the double track work to obstruct traffic on the main line.”

The report, dated Montreal, August 11, 1913, and bearing a facsimile of Sir Thomas’ signature, was received in the Herald office last week.

If it is the company’ s intention to link up the Crows Nest line to make it an alternative main tine route, the building of a line from Hope, on the present main line, to Midway, on the Crows Nest, and the construction of a rail line between Nelson and Kootenay Landing, will provide the links missing at present.

In order to build from Hope to Midway, the Hope Mountains will have to be tunneled.

The line from Kootenay Landing to Nelson is shown as “projected” on the map accompanying the annual statement. It passes through Proctor, being built from Nelson to that point. Recent reports from Montreal state that tenders have been called for the construction of the Kettle Valley line in B.C.

With this authentic information, which means that many times the traffic over this route will be accomplished in 1915, the future of Cranbrook as a railroad center is much brighter.

It is evident that the reputed remark of Vice-President Bury that there would be double the number of men employed at the shops at Cranbrook within two years had some foundation of fact.

With the diversion of the through trains over this route the importance of Cranbrook as a railroad town will be many times doubled. The C.P.R. is heavily interested in this city and although slow in making their changes, they have every reason to wish to see the possibilities of this district develop and there is every indication that they intend to make the pace in that direction through the Crows Nest Pass.

Ancient order of foresters … A most enjoyable evening was spent last Thursday by the members and friends of Court Cranbrook, No. 8943, and Pride of Cranbrook Circle No. 153. The occasion was the celebration of the ninth anniversary of Forestry in the East Kootenay. Nine years ago the 26th day of August, a deposition to organize a Court of the order in Cranbrook was granted to a few members and it is gratifying to note that the majority of these few are still members of Court Cranbrook. They have seen the ups and downs of the Court, but hard times never dis­couraged thrill, and today they are proud to belong to a progressive Court, which has so much at heart the true principles of Forestry, which bind men together in bonds of keen­est sympathy and teach them how exquisite is the pleasure of relieving distress, aiding the weak and com­forting the mourner. At 10 p.m. one hundred and thirty persons sat down to a sumptuous supper, served by the members of the Court, on tables daintily decorated with ferns, asters, nicotinea and sweet peas. During the supper some of the talented members entertained the other members and friends with songs, recitations and speeches.

Pye building … W. D. Hill, one of the foremost pioneer merchants of this city, arrived here from Vancouver on last Monday, having purchased the Pye stock, which he is placing on sale in the Pye building on the corner of Baker Street, opposite the Hotel Cranbrook.

“Billy” Hill, as he is familiarly called, accompanied by his son, Wilbur Hill, arrived in Cranbrook on the first C.P.R. construction train to reach this city about eighteen years ago. He first engaged in business in what is now the dining room of the Cross Keys hotel, later moving to the present stand of E. A. Hill, branching out from there into the building occupied today by Halsall and Co., conducting two separate departmental stores.

Their success in the mercantile business in this city was phenomenal, being one, of the largest concerns under one head in the interior of British Columbia.

Mr. Hill describes their growth concisely when he states that “they started in business with the contents of a 34 inch trunk and after twelve years disposed of a stock aggregating $100,000.”

Four years ago Mr. Hill moved with his family to Vancouver, where he has since resided. His gents’ furnishing stock was purchased by his brother, E. A. Hill, the Fink Mercantile company taking over the furniture and two years ago Halsall and Co. acquired the ladies’ furnishing store.

Mr. Hill and his son have many friends in this city and district and Mr. Hill has been busy shaking hands since his arrival. They have purchased the A. C. Pye stock at Assignee’s sale and will dispose of same to the people of Cranbrook.

It has always been said that whenever a man leaves Cranbrook he will return, and although Mr. Hill says he will not remain here, he expresses his pleasure at being able to meet his old friends again and is glad that Cranbrook and district have continued to grow and enjoy abundant prosperity during his absence in the last few years.


It happened in 1913