It happened this week in 1914

August 1-7: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

War declared … Great Britain declared war on Germany tonight. The momentous decision of the British government, for which the whole world has been waiting, came before the expiration of the time limit set by Great Britain in her ultimatum to Germany demanding a satisfactory reply on the subject of Belgium neutrality. Germany’s reply was the summary rejection of the request that Belgium neutrality should be respected. The British ambassador at Berlin thereupon received his passports and the British government notified Germany that a state of war existed between the two countries.

Latest in Canada … A mob stoned the German and Austrian consulates and German clubs here today. Much damage was done. The Daughters of England throughout Canada have decided to raise $100,000 to present a hospital ship to the admiralty. The Northwest Mounted Police will not be allowed to go away to participate in the war. An attempt was made to dynamite the Canadian Northern railway near Fielding station, Parry Sound. A military force has been placed on guard.

Forest fires rage through district … J. D. Gilmour, chief of the forestry branch for this district, has been a very busy man during the past week on account of the many forest fires which have been raging throughout the district. According to Mr. Gilmour the fires have not materially damaged any of the standing timber of the district but the fire-fighters have succeeded in keeping the fires within the radius of cut off lands. These lands, on account of the dry slashings left from the operations of the lumbermen, have proven fine kindling on which the fires have nourished.

There have been no fires in this district of any consequence for the past four years and the accumulation of slashings have increased, and the exceptionally dry weather of the past month has caused every little fire to rapidly broaden into a forest conflagration.

Fort Steele news … A band of youthful burglars entered one of the local stores on Thursday last after midnight and were successful in cornering the market on Bull Durham and several other fancies Their capture is expected any minute. The fire at Bull River Falls still burns bright. The reflection can be seen right over the mountains from Steele.

Recovering … Phyllis Staples, the little two-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Staples, was made quite ill last Saturday, drinking a small quantity of paint, in which was mixed kerosene. Prompt treatment was given her, and at this writing she has almost completely recovered.

Forest fires … There are fires in the country in nearly every direction from Wycliffe. Several small fires which broke out in the woods along Perry Creek Saturday afternoon, about four miles from town, for a time assumed a serious aspect, and at the present time are still burning. Fire Warden Meyers was early on the scene, and a large crew of men was sent over Saturday night from the Otis Staples Lumber company plant and fought the fire until Sunday afternoon when relieved by another crew. At first the fire was confined to the brush but later spread to some of the uncut timber lands, but it is thought as the timber is green at this time it will not cause much damage.

Notice … To whom it may concern: The Undersigned claims a half interest in one certain stallion named “Esswood,” No. 24608, lately offered for sale by James Fusee, and I will take action to protect his interest against any person who purchases said animal unless satisfactory arrangements are made before hand with him. James Squire, Waldo. B.C.

Tennis enthusiasts … Much interest is being manifested in tennis these days, the fine court of Mr. Elmore Staples is in use daily, and the fever has spread to the club boys, who are converting their baseball ground into a tennis court. A great deal of energy has already been expended in clearing the ground and evening it into a smooth surface. The necessary equipment for a double court has been ordered, and it is hoped that playing may be commenced within a week.

Nurse volunteering … Miss Verna Appleton, a graduate nurse of the St. Eugene hospital nursing staff, has volunteered as a nurse with the army. She was the first one to apply from Cranbrook and was accepted by the officials at Victoria.

New legs … Mr. L. Reilly, whose legs were amputated in St. Eugene hospital last December as a result of being frozen on the road between Cranbrook and Windermere, was downtown today for the first time in eight months on his new artificial legs, which were donated to him by the good charitable people of Cranbrook. He has had his new limbs now for five weeks and is able to get around very handily. He was very profuse in his expression of thanks to the Herald and to the people who donated to the fund. He expects to endeavor now to raise a fund for himself and engage in his business of shoemaking.

Water restrictions … It was decided on account of the present condition of the city water system to limit the hours for lawn sprinkling from 7 to 9, both morning and evening, and to notify all water consumers that to immediately discontinue the use of water for all purposes on hearing the fire whistle and the chief of police was instructed to see that these provisions are carried out.

Fire … Fire broke out in a shack near Bull River Falls Saturday. It spread to the timber near at hand and travelled rapidly up the river. All of the available men in the C.P.R. camp and a number from Bull River were rushed to the scene and managed to get it fairly under control before Sunday morning.

During a high wind Sunday it jumped the river but did not get very far. Monday afternoon it got beyond all control. It climbed three parts of the way up Iron Mountain, and got into the heavy brush at the head of Iron Creek.

Three men have been reported as being caught in the flames Monday. This report was confirmed Tuesday.

Three men who managed to come down the river report four camps as being completely burned.

A number of men have managed to cross the hills into Fernie.

Mr. and Mrs. Rankin, formerly of Cranbrook, who have been living up the river for some time, got safely into Fernie.

Fourteen men who were last seen hemmed in by the fire are reported as missing.

Mr. and Mrs. Dibbins and daughter, who were living at camp 1, were also reported to be missing.

They are supposed to have been caught in the flames while trying to reach Fernie.

Nothing can be done from this end of the fire, as it is impossible to get through. A big rain is the only thing that will stop it now.

Fire update … It has been reported here for the past two days that a number of lives have been lost in the forest fires, which have been raging in this valley, but late tonight reports have been brought to the city that everyone has been accounted for and that no lives have been lost. Two men engaged in fighting fire were badly burned but will recover. These are the only accidents which have happened.

Boys arrested … Russell St. Eloi, Charles Barnhardt and Harold Bridges, three young boys of the city, were arrested during the past week charged with theft.

There have been a number of cases of residences and stores being broken into and various articles taken during the last two weeks. The city police have been endeavoring to trace the matter down with the above result.

Russell St. Eloi and Charles Barnhardt were charged with breaking into the warehouse of A. C. Bowness and stealing about half of the contents of a case of whiskey in small flasks. They were brought before Magistrate Arnold on Tuesday and Russell St. Eloi pleaded guilty and was placed under suspended sentence, and placed in charge of his mother on the understanding that she would immediately take him out of the city.

The case of Charles Barnhardt was heard before Magistrate Arnold this morning and he was sent up for trial and the case will likely be heard in the county court next Saturday.

Harold Bridges came before Magistrate Arnold on two separate charges this morning. One was for breaking into the store of the Cranbrook Trading Co. and stealing some harness, and for breaking into the Fort Steele Co-Operative store at Fort Steele and stealing a varied assortment of goods.

The punishment of these boys fall most heavily upon their families who reside here and should teach other boys of the city with like propensities to turn from their paths and not to follow in the footsteps of these unfortunate youths.

Boys, in order to become men, must guard against the weakness of their nature and devote their time to work or study if they are to become useful citizens. It is neither smart nor profitable to be a thief and only by following the straight and narrow path of strict honesty can any boy hope to take his place in the world beside the men of affairs, who find their greatest happiness in always doing right.

Corbin news … Another serious fire was reported checked on Monday at Corbin. This fire was started from one of the engines of the Corbin Coke & Coal Co. and raged fiercely for several days on the company’s property. They employed a large force and succeeded in checking its advance after several days’ strenuous work.

Fires at Flagstone and Elko were started from sparks from the engines of the Great Northern Railway Company and by careful and energetic work were confined to the cut-off lands of the districts.

Several fires have been in progress at Perry Creek during the past week which the force has succeeded in checking. The cause of these fires is unknown and about forty men were engaged in the battle to subdue the flames.

Other fires of the district have been reported from Waldo and Hosmer but they are all reported checked at this time.

Invermere news … The all-important question of the name for the local district station to minister to the wants of the three places of Wilmer, Athalmer and here, which is to be on the line of the Kootenay Central branch of the Canadian Pacific railway, has been decided by its being officially announced as Lake Windermere. This name is most highly satisfactory to all parties concerned. The very nature of it carries a note of surpassing beauty to all persons familiar with the famous Windermere district of England, and perpetuates the name by which this district has so long been known.

Steps have recently been taken for the election of fire wardens for this place under the Villages Fire Protection Act, and three persons were duly appointed by nomination of the ratepayers. Under the act very important powers are granted these persons for the checking of conflagrations and their prevention it is proposed to have a local day of sports here at the close of the Windermere District exhibition, which takes place on the third and fourth of September.

Committees have been appointed which have undertaken to make out a good programme to extend over a day and to which many novel features will be Included.

Rifle association … The Cranbrook Civilian Rifle association held a very successful shoot on last Wednesday afternoon, this being the final competition for the Baker cup. This cup was presented to the association by V. Hyde Baker, Esq., to encourage shooting among the younger members of the association, the conditions being that no member should at any time of entry have made a score of 70 or over out of a possible 105 to be shot for at 500 and 600 yards once a month for three consecutive months, the highest aggregate score to take the cup. Lister was the winner and the cup was presented to him at a general meeting held in the government building on Tuesday evening at 8 o’clock.

Fire prevention … Since the commencement of the dry spell eight motor speeders have been placed in commission in this district by the Canadian Pacific railway in order that preventive measures may be taken immediately in case of forest fires resulting from sparks from locomotives along the right-of-way of the railway, according to R. D. Prettie, of Calgary, head of the forest department of the railway. These motor speeders follow each train that leaves the city, states Mr. Prettie, and in this way the danger from fires resulting from the sparks from locomotives is reduced to a minimum.

Water license … The Corporation of the City of Cranbrook, whose address is Cranbrook, B.C., will apply for a license for the storage of 10,000,000 imperial gallons of water out of Joseph’s Creek, also known as Joseph’s Prairie Creek, which flows north-westerly and drains into St. Mary’s River.

The storage dam will be located at 750 feet above present Water Works Dam. The capacity of the reservoir to be created is about 10,000,000 imperial gallons, and it will flood about 7.0 acres of land. The water will be diverted from the stream at a point about 750 feet above present dam and will be used for water-works purpose upon the land described as The City of Cranbrook and the territory lying within a mile thereof.

The license applied for is to supplement a right to take and use water as per Water Licenses Nos. 1577 and 1578 and Water Record No. 128. This notice was posted on the ground on the 4th day of August, 1914. A copy of this notice and an application pursuant thereto and to the “Water Act, 1914,” will be filed in the office of the Water Recorder at Cranbrook.

Objections to the application may be filed with the said Water Recorder or with the Comptroller of Water Rights, Parliament Building, Victoria, B.C., within thirty days after the first appearance of this notice in a local newspaper.

A hearing for the approval of this undertaking will be held in the office of the Board at Cranbrook at 10 a.m. September 9th, 1914.

The area over which the water will be used comprises the City of Cranbrook and territory lying within a mile thereof.

Application is hereby made for permission to change the point of diversion of the above licenses and records to the above described point.

Corporation of the City of Cranbrook, Applicant by J. T. Campbell, Acting Mayor.

Wycliffe news … The writer was quite agreeably surprised upon taking a drive out on the prairie east of town this week to see the crops in such good condition. The fields of Messrs. Crosby, West, Taylor, Hogan and Reed were noticed especially, and while in some instances the grain is not as high as in some parts of the country, the heads are all well filled and the fields exceptionally free from weeds. A large field of wheat on the Reed farm makes an exceedingly good appearance in that the grain has a fine stand, is of uniform height, and not a weed that can be noticed in the whole field. As a good crop in this section is now practically assured, it will have the effect of giving great impetus to the farming operations here.

Bull river news … The population of Bull River was increased by one on Saturday evening, when Mrs. E. Home presented her husband with another girl.