The Week Of August 5 – 11: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives
Queens Hotel … During the past two weeks the Queens hotel has been undergoing a line of improvements that has made a very material change. The rooms upstairs have been papered and painted, the dining room has been improved in many ways and the hotel does not look like the same old place. Messrs. McDonald & Andeen are anxious to give the public the best in their power and they have made the Queens hotel one of the most popular in East Kootenay. Both gentlemen are well known in the district and their personal popularity is constantly increasing their business.
Fernie celebration … The celebration at Fernie last Monday was unique in its way, as it was a commemoration of the rise of that town after the terrible disaster of a year ago, when it was swept away from the face of the earth by one of the worst conflagrations that Western Canada has ever known. And the celebration was a great success in every imaginable manner. There were people there from all over the district and from outside points, and they were there to rejoice with the people of Fernie over the great success that they had achieved after a blow that would have caused many people to have given up in despair. A year ago there was virtually naught but ashes and smoldering embers in the town of Fernie. Today it is again a city built better than ever before, with a confident and courageous people who know no such word as, fail, but with confidence in the resources of the district, the town, and themselves, are doing glorious work in making a new and a better Fernie. One of the big industries that was wiped out of existence was the Fernie brewery, and an article by Joseph Ryan, written especially for the Herald, showed that the company recovered and spent a quarter of a million dollars to make a better and a larger plant. The saw mills have all been rebuilt, the business blocks are better than before, the hotels are in shape to give the people the best of accommodation, the residential portion of the city has been rebuilt with beautiful homes, and today Fernie is a substantial Fernie, a town that has the confidence and the respect of the financial world and has secured the admiration of the people on account of their bravery, their good nature, their fortitude and their determination to win out in the face of any misfortune.
Great road promise … Dan McNeish is authority for the statement that within two years there will be one of the finest driving roads in the province between Fernie and Elko.
Fort Steele Brewing Company … “Hopfen und Maltz Gotterhalts,” in other language, “may the Lord preserve malt and hops.” That motto seemed to be largely and most generously approved by a thirsty, but entirely appreciative crowd at the formal opening of the new premises of the Fort Steele Brewing Company at Fernie, on Monday last, the anniversary of the great fire of a year ago, which swept the older concerns off the earth in an hour, or less, of the afternoon of the 1st of August, 1908. Most people would be inclined to mark the anniversary in mourning; not so the people running the fortunes of the Fort Steele Brewing company instead of recalling the occasion with sorrow, they wisely issued an invitation to old man, Mr. World, and his wife, even to the third and fourth degree in blood without regard to age, sex, nationality or previous conditions of servitude. And they came. All of them, or nearly all of them. The beer, the good, clear, amber-colored beer, was free and there was no end to it. The end, at any rate, lay at the far side of the 7,000 barrels in stock. The thirstiest Slav or Dago might well mourn the limitations of human capacity. Seven thousand barrels! If it were mere gallons some of them, who came there to perform on their national beverage with a freedom and irresponsibility borne of the knowledge that the “blow-out” cost them nothing, might cope with it. But barrels. It fairly beat them. The crowd was mighty and the hospitality was as profuse as the capacity of those who were about to receive. And they were truly thankful. Beer in glasses, goblets, schooners, men-of-war, dreadnoughts. Cheese, from the delicate variety of Switzerland to the deadly product of Limburg — thrice accursed of the gods, but beloved of those whose olfactories are away out of plumb. Anon, the Italian band came out from Fernie and played most excellent music to a delighted crowd. Let the crowd revel while we have a look around.
Moyie news … It has practically been decided to build a new four room school house in Moyie. The present one is not large enough and unless a larger one is built the children cannot be properly taken care of. This is a necessity and everybody should do all in their power to help it along.
Frank news … A young man from the country who, for obvious reasons, shall be nameless, celebrated in Frank Saturday night and Sunday to such effect that when he started home he got tired over in the slide and got off his horse and laid down to snooze. Later he found the horse, but the saddle was gone. It was recovered by the police at Coleman.
Not caught yet … The police have this week been engaged in endeavoring to trace the past record of Mike Kulczycki, who killed Angus Ruis in a fight Saturday of last week. It had been reported that Kulczycki had had a knife record at Edmonton, but thus far in prying into his life for the ten years he has spent in different parts of Alberta and British Columbia nothing of a damaging character has been unearthed.
$70,000 By-law passes … The election held last Tuesday for the carrying of the bylaw that was to give to the city the waterworks was carried by a vote of 91 to 17, a very good majority. This means that as soon as the financial arrangements can be made the city will take over the city water system and it will become a public utility.
Look out … There is a considerable amount of chicken and duck stealing in the north end of town, and the residents intend to make things warm for the party or parties concerned if they are caught.
New fire horses … The new fire team that was purchased by Mayor Fink the past week is now installed and is being put in daily practice by Driver Foster. If the team is all right Mr. Foster will get all there is in them. The team is a fine appearing pair of animals and will no doubt prove a credit to the fire department.
Taken in hand … There was a Hindu revolution in town last Friday, and two of the Orientals tied into each other. Chief Dow took charge of the party at fault and placed him in durance vile for a number of hours, and in that time he was tamed down so that he consented to observe the laws of the city and also to pay his fine.
Skunk grass … There is a bad growth of what is called skunk grass on several streets on the Baker Hill that gives the avenues a very bad appearance.
Auto expert … D. J. Condon, special expert of the White Steamer automobile, has been in the city the past few days going over V. Hyde Baker’s machine and seeing that the works are all right. The company have men going over the country the year around in this work and that is one of the reasons why these machines are kept in such good order.
Steam plant planning … Maurice Quain, superintendent of the Electric Light and Telephone companies of this city, returned yesterday from a trip to several cities in the States, where he went to look over the equipment of a number of large plants for the purpose of securing pointers on the new steam plant that is to be established here for the Electric Light Company.
Electric vehicle … A. E. Watts of Wattsburg, has purchased a new electric automobile, which Arrived at Cranbrook last week. The auto is one of the nicest in the district, and was formerly owned by the Prince of Wales. ( Dave’s Note: See photo of Watts’ electric vehicle which is now in Maple Ridge being restored by Edward Salvail)
Social and moral reform … A delegation appointed to meet the Moral and Social Reform Council of Cranbrook will meet the police commissioners on Friday afternoon at three o’clock in the city council chambers to present the petition of property owners asking the enforcement of the law relating to the social evil. The following gentlemen compose the delegation: J . F. Armstrong, Dr. E. W. Connolly, G. W. Patmore, Rev. C. O. Main, W. G. Morton, J . E. Kennedy and F. McKenna.
Church Band… The Cranbrook evangelical Mission Band visited the North Star camp last Monday night and held service for the boys. The band hopes to visit all the camps in the near vicinity in turn. These services are appreciated by the men, many of whom do not get into town on Sunday. The united churches have the arrangements in hand and a plan has been prepared covering the work for the summer.