(Tribune archives)

(Tribune archives)

90 years and counting at the Williams Lake Tribune

We at the Tribune are proud to continue offering a community newspaper

This time 90 years ago the Williams Lake Tribune was making its first run of press.

Founded by W.P. Cotton, the first paper hit the street on Oct. 31, 1930 when there were 90 registered voters in the one-year-old village of Williams Lake.

Having a length of eight to 10 pages, the paper featured local news on the front and back page and national content inside that was sold to local weeklies.

Articles on the front page of the Volume 1, Number 1 issue ranged from one about the discovery of a body near a small island in the Chilcotin River, another about bears being responsible for killing cattle, to sailing on Williams Lake.

“Williams Lake is lower now than it has been for several years, and it has kept very clear this summer,” noted the paper.

The paper also welcomed the formation of the Lodge of the B.P.O.E. (Elks) in Williams Lake and listed its officers H.J. Baillie, Bryson Patenaude, W. Lock, W.S. Western, J. M. G. Smith, Colin Muir, J. Beesley, J.A. Leech, P. Coxon, T. Thomas, A. Gosman, R.L. Walters, W.J. Crossing, J.M.G. Smith and L.J. Crosina.

Today the Williams Lake Tribune is free but, in those days, an annual subscription was $2.

“A new venture necessarily involves a certain risk, and in the newspaper world, a great responsibility,” the paper noted in an introductory piece.

It is intriguing to note that the Board of Trade monthly meeting was scheduled for Nov. 4 at the Tribune office.

Agenda items included the fire hall, a petition the federal government for a building to house a post office, telegraph office, fishing office and more, forming an oil syndicate to hold and develop oil properties contiguous to town and the election of officers for the coming year.

A sample of the ads showed a winter supply of apples were available for $1.75 a box at Mackenzie’s Ltd., one could order a fall suit from Bryan’s Tailor Shop and Pantatorium and Rife’s Drug Store had a qualified druggist.

The paper ran the Pacific Great Eastern Railway Company’s schedule which indicated the train ran northbound Tuesdays and Fridays from Vancouver to Quesnel and southbound Wednesdays and Saturdays, with sleeping accommodations on all trains.

Fast forward 90 years and the paper has seen many changes, but it is still printed locally on our press at First Avenue North.

Today it is offered both online 24/7 and in print.

We at the Tribune are proud to continue offering a community newspaper and having the honour of covering the news, culture, sports, heritage, politics, industry and people that define the diversity of the Cariboo-Chilcotin.


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