It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1906

Scam artists, streets, sidewalks, train wrecks and dogfights. All the news fit to print March 6-12, 1906

Rumours of Father Coccola’s death are greatly exaggerated.

Rumours of Father Coccola’s death are greatly exaggerated.

Week March 6 -12

Dave Humphrey

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


We were had … Sometime in November a dark skinned individual who claimed that he was from Macedonia and was travelling through the country looking for homes for poor girls in his country, who had embraced the Christian faith and wanted homes where they could learn the ways of civilization and secure an education in the English language in return for what domestic services they might perform. The proposition seemed to be a good one to a number of people in Cranbrook as it had to many in other cities in the province, and as a result it is said that $450 in cold cash was handed out to the nice appearing foreigner to send the poor girls here to commence their labors for two years for the sake of civilization. There was also a story that the man who was here had left his brother in bondage in his country for his safe return with the money.  Be it as it may, weeks have gone by and nothing has been beard of the mysterious man or the money. It is also said that he secured about $700 in Nelson, about $600 in Revelstoke, $250 in Fernie, and various amounts in the different towns along the line from the coast east. The last heard from him was while he was at Regina, and he reported to Rev. Westman that there was some trouble at home and he had received orders to stop his work. Since then there has been absolute silence, although Mr. Westman has done all in his power to secure some information as to his whereabouts and the reliability of his professions. In the meantime there is a general effort on the part of a number of people in the cities of the Kootenays to secure house help but they are not looking for anyone from Macedonia.

Which one will it be? … It is time to talk of sidewalks or raise a fund for rubber boots.

A big attraction … The Verna May Co., band and orchestra, which has just closed a six weeks’ engagement at the Lyric Theatre, Calgary, open a three nights engagement here on Thursday, March 15, in the beautiful comedy drama “Queen of Hearts,” with six big vaudeville features between acts, including the great Arnolda juggling wizard and chin balancer; Miller and May, the comedian and soubrette, the latent illustrated songs, McLean and Alvin, comedy sketch artists and Fred P. Miller, singing and dancing comedian. There will be an entire change of play and specialties at each performance. There will be a parade at noon on Thursday and free concert in front of theatre at 7:30 each evening.

Well again … Dr. James H. King, the member for Cranbrook and Liberal whip, who has been confined to his bed for several days past, is now somewhat improved and hopes to be able to attend to his parliamentary duties tomorrow. Dr. King is one of the most useful members of the house and as official whip has proved invaluable to his party, His absence caused no little inconvenience, and his return will be warmly welcomed on both sides of the house. He had intended speaking on the budget in further support of the arguments already frequently advanced by him that the requirements of Southeast Kootenay were not properly appreciated by the government of the day.

Play ball … Cranbrook should have a first-class baseball team this year. There is no reason in the world why this town cannot get up a team that will skin anything along the Crow. The material is here, and all that is needed is organization.

Ouch … Albert Lund, of Moyie, while driving a horse about the St. Eugene mine last Tuesday, was badly injured in a runaway and was brought to the St. Eugene hospital for treatment. The unfortunate man had one leg broken and was badly bruised all over his body.

Stop right now … There is more reckless shooting going on around Cranbrook. Last evening Mrs. Hoskins, while walking, had a bullet strike the ground just in front of her, throwing up the dust in a manner that was enough to carry terror to the bravest heart. This carelessness in shooting should be stopped. Some day there will be a tragedy and then the party guilty will carry to his grave the knowledge of a deed done that he would have given worlds to have escaped.

Brewery news … The Cranbrook brewery, under the new management, is rapidly getting ready to meet the demand for their product, and expect to have a new brew out some time next week. Mr. Poplier, the brewmaster of the Fernie brewery, was in town this week supervising the work, and when the brew is ready for delivery it can be depended upon as being the best. That is the only kind Mr. Mutz will permit the establishment to turn out.

Moved along … Moyie has lost its distinction of having the only lady barber in the Kootenays. Last Saturday Miss Ida Lindell sold her barber shop fixtures and good will of the business to Waiter B. Laing, who owns the shop opposite the Kootenay hotel. Wm. Pierson, of Toronto, will be here to take charge of the shop in a few days. Miss Lindell left Thursday for Spokane, and from there she intends going to Iowa to visit her parents. Miss Lindell made plenty of money and a host of friends during her six months’ residence in Moyie.

New building … Plans are being prepared for a large building to be erected at the corner of Baker and Van Horne streets just west of the Cranbrook hotel and opposite the station. It will be a two storey building and similar in appearance to the Aiken block at the corner of Baker and Cranbrook streets.

Streets & sidewalks … One subject that might be profitably discussed at the board of trade meeting on Tuesday evening, is that of sidewalks. The condition of the streets at the present time is enough to arouse the ire of a saint. There should be sidewalks of some kind put down, and at that meeting they could do no better than to start a movement of this kind.

New site for public buildings … The mayor and city council seem to be unanimous in their opinion that the new offer for a site for the public buildings is a big improvement upon the site originally selected. The poplar grove at the end of Baker street in a plot of ground about egg-shape and has a greater area than the six lots selected on Norbury avenue. It is the idea of the mayor and council to place the building in the center of the park and then beautify the grounds by lawns and flower beds. By building on this site Cranbrook will have a place to take strangers to a beauty spot in the town, an attractive place in which every citizen will take pride. The Herald believes that every man in the town will heartily support the council in this move. It is a wise one in every respect. As Alderman Jackson said at the meeting last evening: “I have property on the other street and if the buildings went there it would be worth money to me, but the park is the only place in the town for those buildings and I am heartily in favor of that location.” And Alderman Jackson did not hurt himself with the people when he would not let private interests stand in the way of a movement that was for the public good. This new location will give more room for the buildings and at the same time will give a commanding site that will place the new buildings in plain view of the railway station.  It will also tend to confine the business on Baker Street as that street will be further improved to the east.

Good news … Everybody in Cranbrook will be overjoyed to know that the report regarding the probable death of Father Coccola at the hands of the Indians in the north is not well founded. No man who ever lived in this section had to a greater extent the love of the people than Father Coccola. He was looked upon as a true Christian gentleman, one who had given his life for the salvation of the ignorant and the unsaved, and the personal sacrifices made by him have been equalled by very few in this world. He is doing a grand work among the Indians in the north and the Herald joins with his ardent admirers in wishing him success.

Train wreck … A serious accident occurred on the Crow’s Nest branch on Saturday morning last, a few miles east of Sirdar. The train was moving along at its regular rate, when the driver saw from his cab a huge amount of rock fall upon the track. He did all possible to stop the train but was too close. He warned the fireman, Joe. Alexander, and at the same time jumped, and was safe, but the fireman had not sufficient time and when the engine and four cars rolled over he was pinned fast to the ground. After some time the body was released and brought to Cranbrook on the passenger train. The event cast a gloom over the city. He was a bright active young man, his parents and friends live in Scotland. The sad news was wired to Medicine Hat and the Caledonian Society of which he was a member sent a man here to look after the remains of their fellow lodgeman. The body was taken to Medicine Hat Monday where the funeral will take place.

Lively times … There was quite an exciting time on the street Thursday when two large dogs got into a scrap. In a few minutes a large crowd was in view. Cranbrook is always lively.

Well deserved praise … Cranbrook had a fire recently, but Cranbrook has a fire brigade and on the occasion the members acquitted themselves so well that the town was saved and the damage was confined to the building in which the fire broke out. The Cranbrook people showed their appreciation by showering praise on the brigade and supplementing the bouquets with a substantial purse. If as prompt and efficient work had been done in Fernie two years ago half a million dollars worth of property would have been saved.

Cranbrook looks good … Cranbrook is the principal City in Southeast Kootenay with a population of over 3,500. It is the commercial, banking, and social center of the Kootenay valley. Is a divisional point on the Crows Nest branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The surface and character of the country tributary to Cranbrook are agreeably various. Beginning with the immense prairie, containing thousands of acres, northeast of the city, chiefly valuable for stock-raising dairying and other kindred institutions. Then the great tables of bench lands extending back to the mountains, covered with forests of pine, fir and tamarack. On these bench lands the soil is good, with plenty of water, plenty of rainfall, and no irrigation is needed. On many of the benches there are spots where there is but little or no timber, where it is easily cleared. Rich grass grows all through the timber and on the benches, furnishing unlimited grazing for cattle. In some of the main valleys, and most of the lateral valleys are to be found splendid farming and timbered lands. There are great opportunities for industrious people to get cheap homes here and to engage in agricultural, horticultural and stock-raising pursuits on any scale. The mines of the district and lumbering camps furnish a constantly increasing market for all kinds of ranch produce. There is room in this district for thousands of settlers, and now is the time to get in and take up land.

New stage service … Hanson of Wasa, was in Cranbrook Monday on business. It is reported that Mr. Hanson will purchase an automobile, and arrange a twice a week stage line between Wasa and Cranbrook.