The City of Nelson sent out a stern warning to water users in July, 1918. Photo supplied

COLUMN: From a prison garden to a garden party

Greg Scott from the files of the Nelson Daily News

JULY 1918

Dateline July 2, 1918

Dominion Day was spent in a quiet and truly war-time way in Nelson yesterday. There was no celebration and many took a well earned holiday. The war gardens received a lot of attention. The lake was the scene of much boating yesterday afternoon and evening. The bays below the old Canadian Pacific Railway wharf were lined with scores of canoes and parties were to be seen lunching among the trees near the water’s edge. Several fishing parties were out early in the day and some good catches brought back last evening. The saddle horses at the different transfers were out yesterday and several parties took long trips to the surrounding mines. One party rode as far as the Molly Gibson mine, below the Kokanee Glacier, and reported that they were stopped by a large snow slide about a mile this side of the mill. One member of the party said that the snow was over 40 feet deep in the slide.

Dateline July 2, 1918

Enough potatoes and other vegetables are grown in the jail garden to supply the inmates for the year. W.R. Jarvis, Warden, stated that onions had always been the greatest success although carrots were grown to a large extent, considering the quality of land at the disposal of the jail. Besides the plot in the immediate vicinity of the jail there are six lots at the corner of Stanley and Vernon Streets which are all in potatoes. The lawn and flower gardens surrounding the Court House have been especially successful, from a gardening point of view, this season and many visitors to the city have been attracted by the appearance of the shrubs and flowers. All the roses are doing well, especially the climbers. The lawn is also kept mowed by the prisoners.

Dateline July 5, 1918

Dr. E.G. Smyth has some of the Kootenay roses in bloom and several flowers were displayed in a downtown window last evening. There are about 50 genuine “Kootenay” rose bushes in the city and it is believed that the doctor has the first to bloom. The Kootenay rose was named on request of the Nelson Improvement Association when about six years ago they asked an Irish firm, one of the largest florists of Newlonards, to hybridize a rose especially for the district and call it Kootenay. The rose, which is a primrose yellow, has come through all the stages of being hybridized and last fall plants were ready for shipment. The first shipment was received this spring and consisted of 20 bushes. They have been distributed throughout gardens in the city and it is expected that several blooms will be exhibited at the flower show.

Dateline July 10, 1918

Peep o’ Day ranch will be the scene of a garden party this afternoon. The entertainment which goes along with the affair will be provided under the initiative of the local chapter of the Daughters of the Empire. Street cars, ferry and launches will be the means of transportation to the Rutherford ranch home. The ferry, of course, will ply across the lake, connecting with each street car and carrying. And for those who take part in the fete there will be lots of good things to eat and interesting things to do to pass away the time and, best of all, the proceeds will go to war funds. At the ranch home lawn there is all kinds of entertainment arranged for. The committee says there will not be an idle minute for anyone. Quoits and other amusements have a part in the program. There will be cherries galore and ice cream and strawberries and cake and the money goes for the soldier boys. (Ed note- story July 11 noted $159.30 raised, $2,450 would be the 2018 equivalent)

Dateline July 19, 1918

Water in the city reservoir dropped two feet yesterday and if the people of the city do not exercise more discretion in the use of water the city will be forced to put into effect regulations against the use of sprinklers in all gardens except war gardens, stated Mayor McQuarrie yesterday. The city is announcing publicly that citizens who have leaky taps or other sources of water waste must have them remedied or their water will be turned off. In addition to this it is necessary, the Mayor pointed out, for more care to be exercised against waste of water through allowing sprinklers to run unnecessarily. It is the desire of the civic authorities not to put in anti-sprinkling regulations into effect if it can be avoided and they point out that the only way in which that can be done is by cutting out waste of water.

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