Brad Prowse: 100 years ago in Nevada County |

Brad Prowse: 100 years ago in Nevada County

Brad Prowse
The Union photo/John Hart
John R. Hart | The Union

From the pages of The Union newspaper in July 1919:

Drinking ended in Grass Valley as the town went dry last night.

Wartime mail rates drop one cent — letters now two cents, postcards a penny.

July was hot and dry.

A British dirigible is making a flight across the Atlantic — first attempt of its kind.

Colored lights shine forth on Grass Valley streets as the town has the town has never been more gaily dressed for the Fourth of July.

Fight fans swamp Toledo for Dempsey-Willard fight.

All the local bootblacks raised their rates a nickel … now 15 cents.

British airship struggling against headwinds as fuel supply drops.

Grass Valley’s first shipment of near beer arrived — less than one half of one percent of alcohol.

Dempsey wins championship over giant Willard, who was knocked down seven times in the first round. Gate was near a half-million dollars.

Patriotism runs riot on Fourth. Jack Curnow gives chief oration. An immense throng attended the carnival and the morning band concert, parade, folk dancing, waterhose fight and sports.

After battling high winds, the British dirigible made it to Roosevelt Field, New York.

Clinch Mercantile Company may open a “cash and carry” store here.

Wilson returns to the U.S. Declares peace concluded.

A camping ground on the shore of Lake Tahoe should be ready by the 15th.

Saloons are all serving soft drinks — or near beer.

Joseph Lopez, who lives on the Nevada Road, attempted suicide by shooting himself in the side with a .32 pistol. Said he was tired of living.

Forest fire burns east of Glenbrook — hillside swept bare by flames.

The war cost the U.S. in excess of $30,000,000,000.

E.J. Cott saved the Gracie boy who fell beneath the trolley wheels near the National Hotel — snatched him out of the way just in time.

Thanks to the hot weather, former saloons are doing alright with their soft drink line. Children may now enter — law banning same only pertains to places where booze is served.

Officials say Nevada County sent 663 men off to war.

A man in Bakersfield is arrested for getting drunk on cologne.

Sixteen forest fires have been discovered so far by the aeroplane patrol.

American soldiers tell of cruelties while prisoners of Germans — arrogant Hun officers often assaulted prisoners without provocation.

Norman Farrell brought a large rattlesnake to town. He amused passersby on the Nevada City streets by catching the reptile behind the head and holding it high.

Frank Howard is in Jones Hospital — he caught his toes in the gears of an ore cart at the North Star. It was over an hour before Robert Bedford found him, unconscious.

The new Bret Harte Hotel will open soon — furniture has been received.

A company filming on Donner Lake saw ten-year-old Illeen Fricke in distress — Jack Waltermeyer of the Vitagraph company dove in and rescued her.

A dirigible plunges 500 feet into a Chicago bank, killing 12 persons.

Work begins on dam at Bullards Bar.

Taft suggests compromise that will allow U.S. to join League of Nations.

Jazz bands will play Saturday night at the Grass Valley Elks Hall.

R.J. Bennetts had a new top placed on his Cadillac automobile. It keeps passengers free of dust and rain, yet able to enjoy the sun in good weather.

A proposal to cut the rim of Lake Tahoe and drain off water for Nevada is opposed by the Reclamation service.

Lookout Howe, of the Banner Mountain tower, had a scare the other day as the forest spotter pilot, being playful, buzzed him.

Grass Valley assessments are $10,000 more than 1918 — the new hotel is the reason.

Many former residents of Smartsville return to spend a quiet summer.

Rural teachers get $10 per month raise.

W.B. Bourne, owner of the Empire Mine, received a decoration from the French government for devotion to France.

Texas legislature urges intervention in Mexico as American lives are threatened.

The aeroplane spotter is helping in fighting fires. The day may come when men and chemicals can be delivered to fires by airships of some kind.

Race war rages in Chicago — twenty-seven killed and troops are sent in.

Boys damage turntable at the Narrow Gauge yard.

Carl Tobiassen married Mildred Williams — he is employed at the Champion mines.

Sister Mary Aloysius, Mother Superior of the Grass Valley orphanage, is summoned to her maker.

The plank sidewalks on Nevada City’s lower Broad Street need the nails pounded down — people are tripping.

William S. Hart signs with the Lasky Corporation — will be the highest paid motion picture actor.

Blue Tent school opens a summer session. Una Pine will tech.

Orville Wright and other leading aviation experts are visiting Truckee and Lake Tahoe.

Drunkenness on Grass Valley streets has dropped but a few cases have been noted — someone is taking a chance by selling intoxicants.

A roadhouse run by G.A. Varney at the east end of Donner Lake was robbed of $34 by two men who escaped by auto.

Brad Prowse, a longtime columnist for The Union, died in 2014. Prior to his death, Prowse researched and wrote several years’ worth of “100 years ago in Nevada County,” which can also be found at

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