It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1909

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1909

Week of September 9 - 15: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Warning to juvenile offenders … Petty thievery of the most exasperating character has been rampant for some time amongst us. There were plenty of reasons for suspicion against a number of lads who seem to have burst away from all parental control, but suspicion is far from being proof.

On the evening of last Saturday, however, four juveniles, aged respectively, 14, 13, 12 and 11 were found with a lighted candle and well supplied with matches in the big warehouse of G. T. Rogers, back of his residence. They had broken in, or opened in some way, a ventilating scuttle over the main door. One of the smaller lads was then lifted up and dropping inside opened the door for the others.

They had not been there long until, by mere accident, they were found by the man in charge. He shut them in and called up the police.

The arrest was effected by Constable McLean, who locked the boys up in the police cells.

The case came before the police on Tuesday, the charge against the boys being burglary. On being charged the boys admitted their offence, and also their complicity in quite a number of other stealings about the city.

The eldest lad was evidently the leader of this gang of young desperadoes and could not contradict the statement made that he had induced the others into many of the offences. Indeed, he admitted it.

The two younger children were handed over to their parents to be duly corrected and taught better ways through the medium of a strap.

To the parents of the two elder lads the magistrate administered a terrible rebuke in the most scathing language he could command—and that is saying a deal. He then found the boys guilty of the offence, and it being the first slip proved against them, he released them on the bonds of their parents in the sum of $250 to bring them up for sentence at any time the police authorities find them lapsing into the ways of thievery or other serious misconduct.

Mr. G. T. Rogers appeared before the court and, though his valuable premises were exposed to the most serious risk, made a very strong plea for mercy for the boys, whom he asked not to have branded with the infamy of the jail or the reformatory. His address had the desired effect, and to his interference, to a great extent, the parents may attribute the fact that they have their boys with them this moment.

The police authorities are determined to bring to task every one of the gangs of young toughs with which the city appears to be infested. They are known and their parents are known.

It is to be hoped that this matter will serve as a warning, or a hint, of the medicine that will be dealt out to the next batch of youngsters, or their parents, who come before the police magistrate.

Fine displays … Visitors to Cranbrook have many words of praise to say of the fine window displays in this city. It is an acknowledged fact that Cranbrook merchants have some of the finest window displays that can be seen in any town in the interior of British Columbia.

Choir conversazione … After the practice on Friday night the Methodist choir will hold a conversazione at the parsonage. All members are requested to be present, and to bring a friend with them. At the last business meeting of the choir, general regret was expressed at Miss Connolly’s retirement from the leadership on account of her approaching wedding. A very hearty vote of appreciation was recorded on the minute book of her services to the choir, and many expressions of good will for her future happiness and prosperity were expressed. Mr. Ralph Racklyeft will take the position of leader on the 24th inst.

Mass meeting … A mass meeting of the citizens of Cranbrook and district will be held on Friday next, the 17th of September in the Baptist church, when Mr. T Albert Moore, field secretary of the Dominion Lord’s Day Alliance, will deliver his popular and stirring address. Other prominent citizens will occupy the platform. A good programme, including a number of selections of vocal music, etc., is being arranged.

Ouch!… Mrs. W. J. Atchison met with a serious accident last Sunday out at their fruit ranch. In attempting to catch a horse that was crossing the creek, Mrs. Atchison stepped on a stone and twisted her ankle and tore the ligaments loose, and was taken to the hospital on Tuesday for treatment.

Farming success … Mr. William Hamilton, a practical farmer and pioneer of East Kootenay, settled near Cranbrook in 1898, and, as he says, proceeded to “ask the ground what it could produce.” His operations were largely experimental, as he was a stranger in a strange land, but they proved successful from the beginning. Although a firm believer in the benefits of irrigation, he has so far depended upon the rainfall with most satisfactory results. He has grown wonderful crops of cherries, plums, prunes, apples, pears and strawberries, and other small fruits. He has raised parsnips two feet long, potatoes, carrots, turnips, cabbages, onions, and all the other garden vegetables, of abnormal size and remarkable for the great weight of the crop. Three pounds of seed potatoes produced 68 pounds, and from 60 pounds of Early Thoroughbreds he marketed 1,500 pounds. His success with cattle, horses and poultry is quite as satisfactory. The stock requires feeding and shelter during December, January and February, running at large and doing for themselves for the other nine months of the year. His poultry pays well, eggs selling at an average of fifty cents a dozen, and chickens 18 to 20 cents a pound, live weight. His farm of 179 acres has been gradually cleared of the heavy timber, the large trees being taken by the lumber companies, while the smaller ones were made into cordwood. A few trees and stumps remain, but they do not interfere with the work of the farm. Fruit trees do well among the stumps, for the same dry, warm soil which nourished the big pines and larches grows fruit trees equally well.

Another farming success … Mr. R. Lounsbury, who has four acres of bottom land on St. Joseph’s Creek, started with five cows and $200 cash. He sells milk in Cranbrook at eight to ten cents per quart. His stock has greatly increased since then, and he derives an income of $3,000 a year. He supplements his dairy business by raising a few hogs, which sell readily at ten cents a pound live weight.

Catholic church notes … A retreat preparatory to the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the opening of St. Mary’s Catholic church at Cranbrook is now being preached by Rev. Father Joseph Onergell, of the Jesuit Fathers, of Portland, Oregon. The exercises are well attended and a big crowd is expected on Sunday night for the closing of the retreat. It is ten years since Father N. Ouellette, who organized the parish, celebrated the first mass in the church of St. Mary. Since that time the number of parishioners has grown steadily, and the present pastor, Father L. Choinel, is earnestly endeavoring to follow the lines that have been so well defined by his predecessor in office.

Creston news … During the recent visit to Creston of Editor Symth, of the Moyie Leader, it is stated that he asked for an escort to pilot him about the metropolis, as being accustomed to a purely rural life it was not an easy matter for him to find his way about here.

Fernie news … Dune McLennan, an old-timer of Fernie, who has been away from this city for many years, used to tell of the first church service he attended in the Old Town. Dune, was a Presbyterian minister’s son and when he saw a notice to the effect that a service would be held in the Johnson-Bricker store one night be naturally gravitated to that place. When he entered the store, which was a log structure, business was going on briskly and the shop was full of customers. A few individuals were sitting around on boxes and Dune, camped on a barrel to await developments. After a while the clerks, as if seized by a common impulse, doffed their aprons and ceased business. A parson mounted the counter and opened the service. Except for the peculiar surroundings the service was little different from that observed in the churches today. As soon as the minister concluded his programme the clerks donned their aprons again and business was in full swing in a minute.

In Fernie … Chinamen walk nine miles to Fernie from below Morrissey Junction carrying double basket loads of vegetables to be hawked about the city. The average value per basket is, one dollar and fifty cents. After disposing of their produce they walk back again to Morrissey. These Chinese men earn all the money they make.

Return to Cranbrook …Mayor Fink and wife returned from Revelstoke Saturday. Mr. Fink was attending a meeting of the Fire Chiefs of British Columbia and reports a very enthusiastic and successful meeting. The next meeting takes place in Cranbrook. An account of the convention will be published next week.

Home again … The three-year-old child of Mr. S. McLean walked on to the train last Sunday afternoon and calmly sat down on a seat. When the conductor passed through the train the little chap said he was looking for “his Uncle Ding,” meaning Philip Dingman, the conductor. The boy was put off at Fort Steele Junction and left in charge of the agent until the arrival of a westbound freight when he was brought home, arriving here about 11 o’clock in the evening. Naturally the folks were very much worried until they got word that he was being well taken care of.

Note … Don’t forget the auction sale of five acre fruit tracts on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, September 14th and 15th, at 8 p.m. First door west of Imperial Bank of Canada, Hanson Avenue. W. L. Wilson, auctioneer. This is a chance to get in on the ground floor.

Forest fire … There is a fierce fire still burning near Cranbrook which is now becoming threatening to the outskirts of the city. There are also four fires around the Perry Creek district, three on Perry Creek and one on Pitt Creek, all of a bad character. There is a small fire in the Indian reserve opposite F. Smith’s road. Three of these fires have started since last Sunday and will do serious damage to the timber, in their neighborhoods. A heavy downpour of rain is badly needed to quench these fires out and prevent further serious loss of timber and damage to property.

More monkey business … The monkey captured at Curzon Junction last week was brought to Cranbrook the other day and is now an inmate of the Imperial hotel.