It happened this week in 1916

May 14 - 20: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

May 14 – 20: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Marching orders … Capt. Kerr, commanding officer of the local Salvation Army, has received his marching orders and will preach his farewell next Sunday night. Capt. Kerr has been a zealous officer and has kept the Army favorably before the public during his stay in Cranbrook.

Killed in action … Mr. A. McDermott received the news a few days ago of the death of his brother Jack, killed in action in France. He visited Cranbrook in August last year, and again in September just before leaving for the front. He left Calgary with the 12th Overseas Mounted Rifles on the 5th of October, and arrived in England about the 15th. He had been in the trenches since the end of January.

More recruits … Six of Cranbrook’s popular young men left on Saturday for Vancouver to join their regiment, the Canadian Pioneers. They were met at the depot by a number of well-wishers and friends, and given a hearty send-off. Mr. D. A. McDonald of the Wentworth tendered them a farewell supper, after which a choice selection of songs and instrumental solos were rendered by the Cranbrook Glee Club.

Purchaser is blamed … Judge Arnold stated in very plain language Saturday morning at police court that he did not approve of the manner in which some people are willing to buy second-hand articles from strangers at a fraction of their cost, without the slightest effort or desire to ascertain if the articles were honestly obtained or not.

The occasion which called forth his remarks was the theft of three bridles from Dr. King’s stables, which were purchased by a local business man for $2.00 and a drink.

The Judge gave the purchaser some very pointed advice and ordered the bridles turned over to Dr. King.

Private Fred Smith, a recruit of the 225th, was arrested on the charge and received a hearing Saturday. Four witnesses were examined but beyond identifying the bridles, were unable to connect the prisoner with the case in any manner.

Judge Arnold in dismissing the charge against Private Smith stated that he was glad to do so, more particularly on account of the uniform he wore, and would have pleasure in notifying his commanding officer that he was discharged without a stain on his character.


Military escort … By kind permission of the officers of B. Company 225th B. Batt’n., the children will be provided with a military escort on Empire Day. The children will meet at the Central School and march from there to the Rex Theatre, escorted by the military guard. The parade will leave the school at 2 o’clock, and every school child in the city is expected to be present. In the evening a dance will be held in the Auditorium, the proceeds of which will be used by the Overseas Club to help defray the expenses of the day.

Death of Mrs. David … Mrs. David, widow of Chief David, Tobacco Plains, Kootenay Indians, died at the Indian village, Roosville Valley, and was interred at Roosville cemetery last Tuesday, aged 94. Her eldest son Chief Paul who succeeded his father is away at Ottawa with a delegation of B. C. Indian chiefs. The funeral was largely attended as she was very much respected by both Indians and the white settlers.

Plan works well here … The Calgary Herald advocates the working of short-term prisoners and goes away south to Bellevue, Ohio, for an example. Cranbrook has followed this plan for some time back with most satisfactory results. All short-term prisoners here, both city and provincial, are employed on the streets and for municipal work, and as a result this city gets practically all its municipal work done for the expense of the prisoner’s board, etc.

The board supplied the prisoners is solid and substantial but inexpensive, and during times like the present when labor is scarce the prisoner’s labor solves a problem for the city authorities, as well as having a deterrent effect on vagrants and other minor law-breakers. In the winter they are employed clearing the sidewalks of snow. etc.

Recent casualty … The name of John R. Marshall, No. 443045, is among the recent lists of casualties. Marshall left with the first contingent. He was an employee of W. B. McFarlane for some time before enlisting.


Business section fire … The most serious fire in years broke out shortly after midnight Monday night in the business section of the city. As a result the stocks of the Cranbrook Drug & Book Co. and of W. B. McFarlane are badly gutted with smoke and water, and the upper stories of the two buildings completely wrecked. Part of the stock of McCreery Bros. is also damaged with water and some damage done the McCreery building.

The alarm was given shortly after one o’clock by the guard at the Armoury, Private Buchovitch, who noticed fire coming out of the rear of the drug store building. On the arrival of the fire brigade the entire rear part of the upper storey of the Cranbrook Drug Co. was a mass of flames, and the water was first turned on there. Three of the C.P.R. men who were among the first to arrive on the scene, reaching there before the arrival of the hose, state that the fire seemed to have got a good hold of the rear of the Drug Co., and when they first got there no fire could be seen in the McFarlane store adjoining. The flames however had got such a hold that it was impossible to confine them to the Drug Company and they broke out in the McFarlane building.

At one time it looked very serious for the rest of the block but abundance of water, splendid pressure, and good work on the part of the firemen and others enabled the fire to be got under control, though not before it had got through the wall to McCreery Bros. reserve room, and much damage was done to their stock through water and smoke. With four streams playing on the blaze the pressure remained steady at 100 lbs to the square inch.

The blaze was a very spectacular one for a while and almost the whole city turned out en masse to witness it. Fortunately no wind was blowing or the result might have been different.

The origin of the fire is a mystery but is supposed to be the work of an incendiary.

The building occupied by the Cranbrook Drug & Book Co. is owned by Jas. Finlay, and the loss is, we understand, covered with insurance. The stock of the Drug Co. is badly damaged with water, and much of it will be a complete loss, while the fixtures are also badly damaged.

Thank you … McCreery Bros, wish to thank the Fire Brigade and others for their willing and most efficient work on the morning of the sixteenth, as it was only through their efforts that our property was saved. Although through necessity, we suffered considerable damage by water, we were able to open for business at noon of the same day, and hope to have everything as usual in a few days.

Nearing 100 … There are now 93 on the roll of B. Company and the local officers expect to reach the hundred mark by the end of the week. Fifteen recruits have been signed up during the last week, and interest continues brisk.

Among the recent military appointments are the following on the 225th: To be adjutant, with rank of captain, Lieut. H. E. Barnes, (107th Regt.); to be quartermaster, with honorary rank of captain, Lieut. C. H. Skinner, (107th Regt.).

Lady Ursula … The charm, grace and courtliness of ancient days was brought back again last night in the clever presentation at the Parish Hall of “The Adventure of Lady Ursula.” The entire play breathes the spirit of Ye Olden Days when the swaggering chevalier fought duels over a lady’s smile or frown, and not only was cleverly acted but beautifully costumed and staged.

Not the least charming feature of the presentation was the accomplished manner in which the young ladies took the parts of the gallant courtiers and ardent lovers.

While all the parts were well taken we feel that special mention is due Miss Roberts. She made a winsome madcap Lady Ursula, and took a difficult part with a finish and abandon which is seldom seen outside of the first ranks of high class actresses.

Mr. Raworth made a good Blimboe but has difficulty in living down his reputation as a comedian, the audience continually looking for a laugh which was not forthcoming.

Miss Alexander as Sir George Sylvester, Miss Woodland as Dorothy Fenton and Miss Cherrington as the Earl of Hassenden, with Miss Whitehead, Miss Watts, Miss Rumsey, Mr. Davidson and Mr. Crebbin completed an excellent cast.

The Cranbrook Orchestra added to the enjoyment of the evening by contributing selections between the acts.

The play will be repeated Saturday evening when the officers and men of the 225th will be the guests of honor. Those who missed seeing the play on Wednesday should make it a point to be present Saturday. It will also be produced by the same company in Fort Steele and Wycliffe next week.


Watch contest … The St. John Ambulance Association will give a tea and cookery sale in Christ Church Parish Hall on Wednesday afternoon, May 31st. The members hope to have disposed of all the coupons for the watch contest and to be able to announce the result during that afternoon.

Mother’s Day … Sunday last was Mother’s Day, and was observed by fitting sermons in the local churches. This day, which was founded about seven years ago by Miss Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, is now almost universally recognized, and why should it not be when we consider all we owe to our mothers. A white carnation is worn in tribute to a departed mother and a colored one for a living mother. The local supply of carnations was very limited, and for that reason the token was not much in evidence on Sunday.

Open for business … The Creamery opened for business on Monday and a very satisfactory quantity of cream has been received for the opening week. Several patrons have already made two trips to the creamery and a number of others are getting their first shipment ready. The first churning will be put through the latter end of the week. Ice cream machinery is also being installed and the creamery will commence the manufacture of ice cream, which will be sold in bulk either wholesale or retail.

Council notes … The regular meeting of the council on Wednesday was unusually short. Those present were Mayor Clapp in the chair and Aldermen Erickson, Balment, Leask and Hanson. Minutes of previous meeting were read and adopted.

A petition from the residents of Cranbrook street for street sprinkling was read and filed. The engineer also reported verbally that the water trough was now ready to be placed, and would be situated on Cranbrook Street near Bullock’s barber shop. The cost of the trough was $7.50.

Some discussion arose as to the dangerous condition of the old barn at the rear of the Cranbrook Hotel, the roof of which caved in last winter with the weight of snow. The clerk was instructed to write the owner to have the ruins removed.

The Fire Committee reported having the interior of the fire hall painted and improved.

The Relief Committee reported having given assistance to Mrs. Stojack, the foreigner whose case was recently brought before the council.


Very important strike of molybdenite … A highly important strike of high grade molybdenite has been made not far from the west bank of the St. Mary River a few miles above the Meachen Ranch.

It has been known for some time that the mineral occurred in the locality mentioned, but it was only within the past two weeks that positive information came to hand that it was there in commercial quantity.

Two claims have been staked on a series of seven parallel quartz leads, all carrying molybdenite. These veins cut the diorite formation a little west of north in this conforming to the general contact strike of the district, and the main leads appear, in some cases, to be connected by a system of stringers of about a foot in width.

One of these connecting stringers was uncovered with a shot or two a few days since and showed fourteen inches of exceptionally high grade molybdenite from wall to wall.

The mineral, as a general tiling, appears to occur in a foliated form, somewhat like mica, but in the claims mentioned, the ore is of a striated form, suggesting asbestos. It is of a lustrously brilliant white color, brighter by far than burnished silver. On exposure to the air for a time it takes a bluish tinge, not unlike galena.

The importance of the strike consists in this that the ore is one of the most important in relation to the steel industry as it is used in the form of molybdenic acid as an alloy which increases not alone the hardness of the steel but also its tensile strength. On this account it is used extensively for the steel breech pieces of the heavy guns used on board ship where pressures up to two hundred tons to the square inch are not uncommon.

The cred it of this most important strike is to be credited to the pluck, perseverance and scorn of laborious days of Donald McInness who was ably assisted in his researches by William J. Meachen of St. Marys Valley, a man second to none in his knowledge of minerals In the Province.

It may be a little early to proclaim mighty things from the house-tops and proceed to blow our heads off over the find, but it can safely be said that it is exactly one of the discoveries which will attract the right kind of attention to Cranbrook as an important mining area.

There are several great financial interests in the field for molybdenite at present. About six pounds of the concentrating ore has been sent to the agent for one of them and further developments await action on his part.