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‘Good old days’ were deadly

For The Madera Tribune

Little Burt Hambleton was carried to Arbor Vitae Cemetery in 1902 in this horse-drawn hearse after he was killed in a hunting accident. His father managed the Southern Hotel on B Street.


Originally published Oct. 22, 2022.

• • •

It was the middle of August, and in a few days school would begin again for Burt Hambleton and Jimmie Thurman. The summer of 1902 had been pure elixir for the pair of Madera teenagers. They had done their share of swimming and fishing, and now they were going to try their luck at hunting before returning to the confines of a classroom again.

Both boys awoke early that Saturday morning and made ready for their safari, which would take them hunting for doves along the Fresno River. It had all been arranged the day before; Jimmie would walk from his home on North C Street over to the Southern Hotel on B Street where Burt lived. His father, J.M. Hambleton was the proprietor of the new lodging house.

When Jimmie reached the hotel, Burt was waiting on the porch with his 12 gauge, double-barreled shotgun ready to go.


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