Pictured above: The interior of Fink Mercantile
December 29 – January 4: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives
Election time … The municipal political has commenced to boil and some hot times may be expected this week despite the zero weather. A committee room has been opened up in the Worden store in the interest of W. S. Santo, and another in the Matheson store on Armstrong Avenue in the interest of A. C. Bowness.
Fire! … The fire department responded to alarm caused by a fire at the residence of Mr. G. H. Chapman on Pooley Avenue. The brigade was promptly on hand but a slight delay was caused by the stem of the hydrant sticking. The fire caught in a thimble passing through a partition, then following the ceiling into the attic. The firemen had to cut through the roof to get at the fire. At one time it looked very serious, but the brigade soon had it under control. The loss is estimated at $1,000 covered by $2,200 insurance. The fire department wishes to extend their most sincere thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Ross Carr for their kindness in serving the Fire Laddies with coffee and other refreshment on Sunday, after the fire.
Brrr … A cold wave struck Cranbrook on Saturday night, the thermometer dropping to 33 degrees below zero. This continued until Monday morning when the thermometer registered 28 below. A large number of water pipes were frozen Sunday morning owing to the sudden cold snap. The plumber’s harvest commenced on Monday.
Sick list … L. P. Sullivan, Monoline operator of the Herald staff, is laid up at his home with a severe attack of the gripp. His confreres of the Prospector staff wish him a speedy recovery.
Yahk news … The Dance at Glenlilly School held last Friday was very poor owing to the lack of music. Two sleigh loads of people went down from Yahk, and the journey home in the moon light will be well remembered.
At the Edison … Special attraction at the Edison Theatre tonight, the two reel feature entitled “The Vengeance of Fat” This is a “101” production.
Latest numbers … Statistical reports of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages recorded in the Cranbrook Electoral District: Births, 157; Deaths 80; Marriages 35; Died of typhoid fever 15, and by violence 14.
New school … The new school south-west of the city will be opened on Monday next, with Miss J. G. Rothnim as teacher. This will be a great accommodation to the small children that reside in this portion of the city.
Something’s wrong … Why shouldn’t women have suffrage? We let men vote who can’t talk the English language and refuse the ballot to women who can talk enough for all of us!
Dog poisoning … Someone is poisoning some very valuable dogs in the city, this week there have been several dogs poisoned, three especially were worth over $100 each. More dastardly work cannot be imagined by the human mind than to cause the death of an innocent dog which is practically helpless in the hands of these criminals of the dark; and any help that can be given to the police which will cause the arrest of these heathens will be appreciated by all concerned. Be sure of the information and then back it up by personal integrity for what is right and just.
Space reserved for advertisers … The Hen lays an Egg and lets you know it: Moral – Hen Eggs are in great demand. The Duck lays an Egg but doesn’t tell: Moral – Duck Eggs have NO demand. Blow Your Own Horn. The “Prospector” reaches the people Moral -Advertise in it.
Eggs … During the month of December, Mrs. P. L. Owen of Cranbrook, received from 16 hens and 26 pullets 436 eggs. The market price for new laid eggs during the month of December was 75c per dozen.
The coming election … Before another issue of our paper the several names will be in the hands of the City Clerk for nominations for the Mayor and Aldermen who will represent the city in civic affairs for the coming year.
It is hoped that the names submitted will be selected with care and prudence and with due consideration for the responsibilities that pertain to the position of the advisory board of a city in progress and with the future ahead for it as we fully believe Cranbrook has today.
There is one thing we should particularly like to see in the choosing of the new Aldermen and that is that the dwelling places of those elected were better distributed. For instance, at the present time the residences of all the aldermen are situated on what is commonly known as “The Hill”.
We think it would be wise if due consideration was paid to the needs of the northern section of the city and one member of the council at least elected from that part. Another one, perhaps, could be elected from the southwest section and the others elected with due thought to the need of a fast growing city.
By so doing the care of the city would be better distributed and the different portions of the city would be under the more watchful eye of the inhabitants there of who would have someone through whom they could speak their needs and voice their wants, the elected aldermen would more particularly feel the responsibility imposed upon him in his representation.
Leaving town … D. J. McSweyn has severed his connection with the Fink Mercantile Co. and later in the month will leave for the coast. He will have charge of the Shawnigan Hotel, at Shawnigan Lake, one of the most beautiful outing places in British Columbia. Mr. McSweyn will be missed by a large number of friends in Cranbrook, having come to this city in 1902, and engaged in the custom tailoring business, and in 1906 became interested in the Fink Mercantile Co. Mr. McSweyn is one of the staunchest business men of Cranbrook, he was also prominent in Masonic and social circles, and had a host of friends including the Prospector who will be exceedingly sorry to learn of his intending departure.
At Bull River on Thursday a heavy snow slide occurred which cut off all communications with the logging camps of the C. P. R. and headquarters at the town of Bull River. As the freight teams were all in camp when the slide occurred, no accident took place. Work of clearing the snow commenced right away, but it will be some days before the road is in condition for traffic.
Conservatives attention! … A General Meeting of the Conservatives of the Cranbrook District will be held in Cranbrook on the evening of January 10th. Business of importance will be discussed. Make it a point to be there!
Trainmen’s ball …The most successful social event of the year took place on New Year’s Eve at the Auditorium when the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen held their Twelfth Annual Ball. The Ball was under the auspices of Buckley Lodge, No. 585. B.R.T., assisted by Queen Alexandra Lodge No 421, Ladies’ Auxiliary to the B.R.T. The hall was handsomely decorated with red, white and blue streamers colored bells and electric lights, from the centre to every portion of the hall, on which were hung large bunting so as to form diamonds. On each side of the room were placed large mirrors. The gallery was also decorated with bunting and a card composed of electric lights on a back ground of red, white and green, the colors of the brotherhood; also an electric siren which was sounded, and the lights turned on at exactly 12K, just as other lights in the hull were turned off. It was a most remarkable and pleasing event, and the audience wished each other the usual compliments of the season — “A Happy New Year.” It has been the custom of the train men of Cranbrook to hold this annual dance on New Year’s Eve, and now it is a fixed social event, and looked forward to with pleasure by the citizens of Cranbrook. Over 400 couples attended the dance, and the Trainmen are justly entitled to the shower of congratulations accorded them for the successful termination of this Annual Social Event.
Bull River news … The new hotel at Bull River will be opened on January 1st. The formal opening will take place on January 22nd, with a social dance, with the best music that can be secured. This will be a nice chance for an outing and a good time had by all who attend.
Deadly snow slide … A terrible disaster occurred at the Coal Creek Mine of the Crow’s Nest Pass Coal Co., at Fernie, B.C., on Monday morning December 31st, when a snow slide swept down the mountain side to the north of the city and carried with it the Carpenter shop in which some twelve or fourteen men were at work.
The slide came down so quickly that every man in the building was caught, no warning sound having proceded its coming.
The electric wires supplying light to the offices and buildings, being in the path of the slide gave the first warning to those outside the shop on account of the shutting off of lights and a rush of men from all directions was soon upon the scene and rescue work began immediately.
Six lifeless bodies were soon brought out of the tangled heaps of debris and six others slightly injured were dug out of their snowy surroundings and taken to the hospital or to their homes.
Notice of what had happened was conveyed to those in the office and other buildings where electric lights were used by the sudden darkness in which they were engulfed as a result of the breaking of the electric wires leading from the power house near the scene of the disaster.
Hundreds of men were soon on the spot and search for the missing men instituted.
Dr. Corson, of Fernie, was telephoned for, and a special train bearing him and officials was soon speeding to Coal Creek.
All day work was pushed in an endeavor to find bodies which might have been near the building when the slide struck it, but so far no others have been found and it is believed that list of dead and injured is now complete.
Following is a list of those killed:
James Buckley, Fernie; Harry Neill, West Fernie; Alex Worthington, Coal Creek; D. Roasrie, Fernie; T. Kiteaary, Coal Creek; D. Naslyczuk, Coal Creek.
The injured are: Archie Nicholson, Fernie, injured back; Percy Jones, West Fernie, injured back, perhaps internal injuries; Fred Platt, West Fernie, foot fractured and dislocated; Tony Lecret of Coal Creek, ribs fractured; George Michel, Coal Creek, leg injured; W. Cameron, Coal Creek, foreman slightly injured; S. Cardomoni, Fernie, shoulder fractured and back injured.
Young Worthington was still breathing when found and the pulmotor was used on him for about an hour and a half; at one time he seemed to be reviving as his heart fluttered slightly, but he finally succumbed.
Some narrow escapes are reported just before the slide came running down, Worthington had been talking with a man named Langdon who had turned on his heel and walked away out of the door not a minute too soon, as he was only a few feet from the door when the blow came which dealt death to his companions.
Another man, Sandy Bunch, was standing in the door when, the slide struck the building. He was struck by the body of one of the workmen and knocked clear of the rushing snow, while the other man was carried down and badly injured.
Some four or five years ago a slide occurred at the same place, carrying away the carpenter shop which formerly stood on the same location. The Coal company built a cribbing of wood across the track to the former slide, but in this case it proved to be insufficient.
Christ Church … The Annual Meeting of the Parishioners of Christ Church Parish will be held in the Church of the Parish on Monday, January 13th, 1913, at 8 o’clock p.m. The business:—Election and appointment of Church Wardens; Election of Sidesmen; Election of Lay Delegates to the Diocesan Synod; Reception and Consideration of Reports; Discussion of Plans for the Work of the New Year. The fullest possible attendance is greatly desired. E. P. Flewelling, Rector. Christ Church, Cranbrook, December 31st, 1912.
School trustees … Messrs. J. F. Fink, Harry White and A. McKowan will be nominated as candidates for school trustees in the coming Municipal election. W. F. Gurd and E. McPhee will hold over as trustees for another year.
A meeting of the International Protective Association of Aviators, Cranbrook Lodge, will be held in the Cosmopolitan Hote1 at 22:30, December 31. All members are requested to be present.