It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1904/1905

To drink or not to drink, a great train wreck, and other news and notes from October 16-22

To drink or not to drink: that was the question in 1904

To drink or not to drink: that was the question in 1904

Dave Humphrey

Items compiled from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre Archives


New optical parlors … W. F. Tate, the optician, has fitted up his new optical parlors in rooms above the store. Many people do not care to be subjected to public gaze when being examined for trouble with their eyes, Mr. Tate, realizing this, has gone to considerable expense to fit up private parlors for this branch of his business, and in the future it will prove a source of no little satisfaction to his many customers. Mr. Tate has just returned from the east where he devoted considerable time to furthering his knowledge in optical science and purchasing additional instruments. He is now prepared to give the best of satisfaction in this line and will devote his time to this work. Those who are of the opinion that their eyes need attention should see him without delay.

To drink or not to drink? … That is the question. Moderation in eating or drinking is the proper thing. A stimulant at times is a necessity, and if you want to prolong your life you must take an occasional sip. For table use or to serve over the bar I can supply the highest grades of WINES LIQUORS and BEERS. A. L. McDERMOT Wholesale Phone 17


Train wreck … One of the most disastrous wrecks, so far as the extent of cars derailed, and the most fortunate, so far as injury to the passengers, occurred last Saturday morning one mile west of Jaffray, on the C. P. R. The west bound passenger was turning a curve on an embankment near the East Kootenay Lumber company’s mill, about 9:10, when all the people on the train felt the bumping of the wheels on the ties. A moment later, and the passengers in the pullman felt the car swaying, and then it turned over, the embankment being high enough to permit it to lie on its side with the roof below. As the car turned, the trucks of nearly all the coaches were plowing through the soft dirt of the grade, and just as the train had lost its momentum, one car after another, beginning with the sleeper turned slowly and gently over and dropped to rest on the side of the grade, leaving Superintendent Erickson’s car at the rear and the engine in front standing. Naturally the passengers were panic-stricken for a minute or two, and the cries of fright mingled with the crash of broken glass and confusion of the people created pandemonium. But it was only for a few minutes. The inmates of the different cars soon saw that there was no further danger, and those who had escaped any injuries turned to assist others less fortunate. The wrecking train had four of the coaches on the rails by Sunday evening and the other two were righted by Wednesday night. Mr. Eager has been in personal charge of the wreck and pushed the work to get it cleared up as soon as possible. Superintendent Erickson, who was in his car that failed to turn over, was kept busy looking after the welfare of the injured passengers, and received the thanks of all for his courteous attention and strenuous efforts to relieve them in every way possible. Considering the nature of the accident, there was comparatively little damage done, only the sleeper and diner being injured to any extent. Conductor Becker was in charge of the train and D. Murphy in the engine, and M. McFarland firing. Mr. Bazzard is still confined to the hospital, but is recovering. Mrs. A. McBride is also in the hospital, and is getting along nicely.

Editor change … F. E. Simpson, manager and editor of the Cranbrook Herald, and A. S. Bennett, for several years his assistant, will start the publication of the Lethbridge Herald about the first of next month. Mr. Bennett will have personal charge of the Lethbridge paper, and M. D. Billings, who has been with the Old Man for the past four years in Cranbrook, will be in charge of the Cranbrook Herald, while the Old Man will have general editorial supervision of both, and keep his eyes on the finances of the two Heralds.

(From the Vancouver World) … Cranbrook is on the eve of incorporation. This move has been under consideration for some time, and now its actual consummation seems virtually beyond doubt. Cranbrook is a growing town whose virtues are loudly sung in eloquent praise by two bright papers, and its elevation to the status of an incorporated burgh will be welcomed by every section of the province as a further substantial indication of the progress B. C. is making. While the great Northwest is going ahead by leaps and bounds, British Columbia in comparison seems to be kept in the shade; but still the tide of immigration that is flowing this way is steady, even if it has not yet assumed the proportions of a raging torrent. As the months go by, a healthy line of provincial towns is steadily growing in prominence and importance, so that ere long this province is bound to have a prosperous, well populated belt all along existing lines of transportation.

Long walker … Father Mersoner has received another letter from Father Coccola who is now at Stuart’s Lake Mission. He has been making journeys on foot to outlying stations, sometimes travelling 40 miles in a day.

Lest we forget … How very leaky memories are! We forget from year to year what the weather was at such and such a time the previous year. As life goes by we almost forget how it used to be when we were boys and girls. Elderly people are quite apt to forget that they cut about the same pranks that young people cut nowadays. They remember not the parties, dances, the singings and spellings and other amusements that they went miles and miles to attend; and reached home about the same hour of the night — or morning — as young people now do. In those far away days how musical the words “get up” sounded from the bottom of the stairs. Time has brought to the elderly people ripe judgment, wiser conduct, and greater dignity of demeanor. Let us trust it will do as much for the rising generation — and be as patient as possible while so trusting.

Good gold showings … Fred Pieper has two claims, three miles west of Cranbrook, the Paymaster and the Bimetalic that are making excellent showings. An open cut has been run and at the depth of 22 feet the paystreak has broadened to about 50 inches. The ore carries gold, copper and silver and in places there are heavy croppings of galena. An assay on some gold picked near the surface gave $39 gold, 23 per cent copper and 9 ounces silver. Mr. Pieper will run a tunnel at least 75 or 100 feet this winter and feels satisfied that he has a good thing.

Nabbed … Delaney, the individual who was charged with an attempt to steal jewelry from W. H. Wilson’s window by the aid of a wire worked through a hole bored in side side of the building, was taken to Nelson Wednesday to await trial. Delaney is another one of the delectable creatures who has been allowed to hang around Cranbrook consorting with a colored woman who accompanied him from Fernie to Cranbrook and gave him a ten dollar bill when he was placed on a train by an officer.

Traction engine coming … The Standard Lumber company has shut down for a few weeks to install some important improvements, among which is a complete electric plant. This company is also negotiating for a traction engine and cars to be used in logging. This will do away with the use of horses for this work and will make it possible for the lumber company to bring in logs at a distance of from three to five miles cheaper than they can now bring them with horses one or two miles. The adoption of the traction will revolutionize the lumber business in this district, and give new life to the business.

Jumped bail … The case against Walter Turnbull charged with taking $100.00 from the stocking of one Pearl Ranson, of this city a few months ago, was called in Nelson last week. Constable Barnes had the complaining witness in court but the defendant was missing, having discovered that the climate of South East Kootenay was injurious to his health. He tad given bonds to the sum of $500.00 and the court held his bondsman for the amount.