HELENA, Mont. (AP)--Earthquakes hit the Northwest from British Columbia to Wyoming Monday night and early today, leaving a mounting death toll over southwestern Montana. The shocks were so severe a big Montana dam was damaged and a mountainside toppled into a river.
Sixteen deaths were reported.
Six deaths were reported to Sheriff Lloyd Brook at Virginia City, by a helicopter pilot who flew over the scene. The Idaho State Police in a radio broadcast said there had been eight deaths. A radio station executive who got into the area said he learned that two people had been buried by a landslide in the Madison River canyon below the big slide area. He theorized more might be dead.
There was no way, Civil Defense headquarters here said, of determining whether there is duplication in the reports.
The report of the people covered by the slide came from Richard D. Smiley, president and general manager of radio station KXXL at Bozeman, Mont., who got into the stricken area as far as the big slide. He said he was told that three boys escaped the same slide.
The helicopter pilot told Sheriff Brooks he had counted the six bodies during a flight over the scene.
The quakes shook Yellowstone National Park, filled with summer tourists.
Dean Stone, managing editor of the Maryville-Alcoa (Tenn.) Times, was among the tourists routed by the quake. He said the hotel and Mammoth Hot Springs rumbled for several minutes and that at least one auto was trapped inside the park by a rockslide.
Dr. W. A. Melther, manning a hospital in Ashton, east Idaho town, said he treated half a dozen minor injury cases from West Yellowstone. Three or four of the people, he said, were pretty badly shaken up.
He said there is a general exodus from the western gateway of the park, 57 miles northeast of Ashton.
The assistant chief ranger at Yellowstone Park, Frank Sylvester, said most west side roads were closed by slides but tourist travel was carried on through other entrances. A water main broke in the eastern wing of Old Faithful Inn.
He reported there appeared to be no damage to Old Faithful and other famed geysers and scenic features in the park.
He said the last heavy tremor in the park was in 1924 and that the geysers also escaped damage.
He reported roads closed by rockslides included south from Mammoth, Norris Junction to Madison Junction and from Old Faithful to Madison Junction.
Most of the residents of Ennis, Mont., about 50 miles downstream from Hebgen Dam, were evacuated in the predawn hours but about a hundred remained. The evacuation was ordered when it appeared the third of a million acre feet in Hebgen Lake might pour down on them. The evacuation was called off when the mountainside blocked the river so tightly it shut off all the stream's flow.
Many of those who left Ennis went to nearby Virginia City, famed in Western lore as the birthplace of the Vigilantes.
The first quake struck at 11:30 p.m. (MST).
All tourists staying in the town were awakened at 2 a.m. and were advised to get out. The same advice was given to tourists at Three Forks, several miles downstream.
Civil Defense Director Potter appealed for helicopters to aid in the rescue and asked the U.S. Forest Service to send in a smokejumper equipped with a radio to help organize the people. A smokejumper is a parachutist who jumps into forest fire areas to fight blazes.
The search and rescue coordinating center of the 4th Air Force at Hamilton Field, near San Francisco, said it is mustering helicopters to try to rescue the marooned persons. The 'copters are being rounded up from Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, and the Army at Ft. Lewis, Wash.
Varied reports came out of the condition of Hebgen Dam. The Montana Power Co., which owns it, said it was damaged at the top and that it "could go." At various times through early morning hours there were reports it had "gone out."
The fatalities were reported by a helicopter pilot, who said he counted the bodies as he circled the area.
Two of the dead were in the Cliff Lake area, killed when a quake sent a cliff hurtling down on them. Another was believed to be in the Wade Lake area. The Sheriff at Virginia City, Mont., did not know where the other bodies were seen. He had no identification of the victims.

The first four injured persons brought to the hospital here at 2 p.m. today were identified as Margaret Holmes, 72, of Billings; Ray N. Painter, 46, and his wife, 42, of Ogden, Utah, and Clarence D. Scott, 59, Fresno, Calif.
The Billings woman and Mr. and Mrs. Painter were listed as surgical patients.
The condition of the patients was not immediately available.
Four other injured persons were expected momentarily.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


Earthquake damage within the city of Bozeman was not extensive according to numerous reports received by noon today.
Many stores reported that merchandise and displays were toppled over and many glass-packaged items broken.
Tops of chimneys were toppled on many houses, particularly on South Willson and in the southern section of the city. There was one report of extensive soot damage within the home from the fireplace where bricks were shaken down from the top of the chimney.
Father Paul Mackin reported that some concrete fell from the tower of Holy Rosary Catholic church onto the roof making a small hole. He reported no damage within the structure as far as he could tell.
Martin Whalen, physical plant superintendent at MSC, reported there were no injuries and no extensive structural damage to buildings on the campus, although bricks were dislodged from chimneys, window ledges and other protruding sections on the outsides of the buildings.
"The most extensive damage was to Montana Hall, where a number of bricks were dislodged," Whalen said. "There was no damage to the heating plant."
Bernard Merkle, secretary of the local carpenter's union, reported that no damage has been discovered as yet on any of the buildings now under construction in this area. He also stated that in his tour around town he heard no reports of extensive damage other than the bricks dislodged from chimneys.
City Manager M. F. Henderson reported that, to his knowledge, no reports of any great damage have been received by the city office, the firemen or policemen.
He issued a warning for all owners to check the cornices and ledges on the older buildings in the business district carefully as the quake has probably increased the possibility of falling bricks.
County commissioners reported at noon that there were no county bridges out and no bad damage according to reports from bridge crews in the area.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


Mrs. Doris Wood, American Red Cross field representative will arrive in Bozeman today to assist the Gallatin County Chapter of American Red Cross to assist the local chapter if disaster aid is needed.
Dr. Paul Visscher, chairman of the local chapter said that the Pacific area office of the organization has been in constant touch with the local chapter.
An offer of supplies has been received from the Billings Chapter.
A team of Red Cross officials from Idaho have gone to the West Yellowstone area to offer any assistance and guidance needed, Dr. Visscher said.
The Bozeman Chapter is handicapped because they can't get through to West Yellowstone and the Idaho chapter can.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


Bozeman came to life and light suddenly just before midnight last night.
Many may not have heard the rumbling roar of the city's most severe earthquake in more than 30 years but few slept through the rolling pitching motion of the earth as buildings swayed for half a minute.
Within seconds after the earthquake was felt, lights began blazing in houses everywhere and within minutes only a few scattered houses were dark.
Many people, perhaps remembering other 'quakes rushed into the streets or spent an anxious hour trying to reassure their children that all would be well.
While only two or three minor jolts have been felt in Bozeman since 11:40 p.m. last night, the area around Hebgen and the Madison River canyon apparently is in a very unstable condition.
Rock slides are still fairly common there and telephone linemen report that poles are swaying from the effects of earth motion.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


The telephone carrier circuit between Bozeman and West Yellowstone is out, Mt. States T. and T. officials reported at noon.
The lines were reported out of order at 11:55 p.m. last night and a crew was dispatched immediately up the Gallatin Canyon, Walter Miller commercial representative of the telephone company said. A late report from the crew revealed that two landslides and one fallen tree had caused breaks in the line several miles north of West Yellowstone.
Miller urged local residents to restrict their phone calls for the next 48 hours, making only those necessary, as the switch boards are being flooded with unnecessary calls. He pointed out that the lines are badly needed for the emergency which now exists.
Crews are working on the last mountain top going into West Yellowstone and rushing repairs on the last 12 miles of disrupted line.
Linemen said "the ground is shaking so bad it feels like you're walking on jelly."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP)--An amateur radio operator in West Yellowstone reports that every chimney in that resort community was knocked down by Monday night's earthquake. All glass was shattered.
A Livingston radio operator said his information came from operator Warren Russell at West Yellowstone, which has been cut off from telephone communication since the earthquake.
He quoted Russell as saying the pavement in West Yellowstone "looks like it is coming toward me in waves a foot high."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


CHEYENNE (AP)--Gov. Joe Hickey of Wyoming today offered to do "all possible" to help Montana and Yellowstone Park officials in the aftermath of Monday night's earthquake.
"If any help from Wyoming is needed, we'll do all possible," Hickey said. He said he planned to call Gov. J. Hugo Aronson of Montana and Yellowstone Park Supt. Lemuel A. Garrison, offering aid.
The park is under federal jurisdiction, but Hickey said if road crews or other assistance were needed, Wyoming would help out.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


Twenty-four Boy Scouts in Rosary troop were reported in no danger at their Spring Creek camp grounds on the west side of Hebgen.
The scout troop, their scoutmaster Ken Hardesty and three other adults went into the Hebgen area Sunday.
It was reported by the Forest service this morning that the boys were all right and that they are in no danger. The Forest Service has sent in a preventive guard to be with the troop.
The camping area where the scouts are located is flat, open country and there is no danger that they could be trapped in a land slide or by falling rock, the report said.
They have plenty of room to move, should earthquakes continue in that area, it was reported.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]

Communications Are Lacking

Only meager reports on the possible loss of life and injury trickled into the sheriff's office here this morning but plans were put into effect to evacuate an undetermined number of injured persons.
A Bozeman doctor, two nurses and two ambulances were dispatched to the Duck Creek Y near the northeast end of Hebgen Lake about 10:30 this morning to take care of reported injured persons. Others were standing by.
The injured were reportedly brought from the dam site and transported across the lake in boats to the junction of Highway 191 and Montana 1.
Late this morning Montana Power Co. from its Butte office said that a 20 foot wall of water rolled over the dam just after the earthquake and it was then that several persons were injured in a housing area just below the dam.
Because of the lack of communication facilities--all telephone lines into the area were knocked out--little information directly from the disaster was available here.
But the same Montana Power Co. report made to Sheriff D. J. Skerritt indicated engineers who went to the dam said they believed the structure was not in immediate danger of bursting.
Meantime, a fleet of 10 Montana Highway Patrol cars was sent here from Billings this morning to help.
The patrol cars and drivers may be used to establish a chain of shortwave radio relays between the sheriff's office here and Hebgen Lake.
Nearly all of the information reaching Bozeman this morning from the disaster area was from amateur radio.
It was also reported this morning that the Bozeman Deaconess hospital was setting up to handle at least ten emergency cases but there had been no word or verified accounts of the number of persons that might be expected for treatment.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


Six critically injured persons, hurt in the devastating earthquake and landslide in the Hebgen Lake area were being flown by plane from West Yellowstone to Belgrade and rushed to the hospital here for treatment.
The six were rescued by helicopter from the blocked slide area below Hebgen dam. They are the first of the injured to be taken from the slide section where some reports indicated as many as 200 persons were trapped.
There was no report at 12:30 p.m. today as to the extent of the injuries suffered by the six disaster victims nor as to their identity.
At the same time it was reported that the hospital here was being set up to care for many victims.
Because of the sketchy information filtering out of the area, there was no way of determining how many injured would be brought here.
However, doctors, nurses and hospital personnel were standing by for whatever might be required of them.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


Roy F. Berg, administrative officer for the local forest service, reported before noon that a two man crew had been dispatched from West Yellowstone to the lookout tower on Horse Butte, located on an arm extending into Hebgen Lake. They reported the lookout was still standing but unsafe and everything in it was "topsy-turvy."
Berg stated that his men reported no structural damage to the government buildings in West Yellowstone but extensive personal property damage was reported within the structure.
"The men reported that in going to the lookout they had to cross numerous one to two inch cracks in the road and that they could not estimate the depth of the cracks," Berg said. "There was also a report of glass breakage and general shaking up of the Cinnamon lookout station."
Berg said that contact had been made through the lookout station in the Gardiner district to the rangers in West but that at 1 p.m. all contact had been lost.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--A Montana civil defense report said today between 100 and 150 people in about 40 automobiles apparently are marooned in a canyon between Hebgen Dam, damaged by earthquakes during the night, and a rockslide seven miles below the dam.
The Montana civil defense director, Hugh Potter, said the report was from the pilot of a State Highway Department plane which flew over the scene.
The rock slide has dammed the river below the dam, Potter said he was advised, and the water is rising slowly.
He said this indicated that the dam is holding, at least partially.
Potter quoted the pilot of the plane as saying that rain and low clouds kept him from getting a good view of the dam itself.
The Montana Power Co., which owns the dam, said at 7 a.m. the 7 foot-high concrete structure is leaking. One spokesman expressed fear it "could go." Earlier the company said there was a hole in the top of the dam.
The highway--U.S. 287--has cracks in it so big automobiles are unable to move, the plane's pilot said.
Potter said he understands that the people would be able to walk either way to escape personal danger.
He appealed to U.S. Forest Service to fly an experienced smokejumper--a parachutist who drops into areas to fight forest fires--into the region. This man would be equipped with a radio to contact airplanes, Potter said, and could organize the people and help them out.
He said helicopters are en route to the area from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and Malmstrom Air Force Base at Great Falls, Mont.
Richard D. Smiley, president and general manager of radio station KXXL at Bozeman, Mont., tried to drive into the area from Ennis but reported he was stopped by the rockslide. He said there were boulders in the road "as big as automobiles" and the highway is completely impassable.
He returned to Ennis.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


George W. Barrett, district engineer for the Montana Highway department, said at noon today that U.S. 191 is closed from Bozeman into West Yellowstone.
The approaches are reported out on the bridges between the Duck Creek junction and West Yellowstone and between the junction of Highways 287 and 191 into West, it was reported. Highway 287 is reported closed from Ennis south by a slide across the river and road at the mouth of the Madison.
Barrett reported that crews were dispatched at 3:30 a.m. this morning to the Hebgen area. Heavy road equipment from the Naranche and Konda construction firm, which is working in Gallatin canyon, was sent to the scene at this time, along with other equipment, he said.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


West Yellowstone, the most popular entrance to the nation's largest national park, was digging out from under debris and counting thousands of dollars in property damage this morning on the heels of the mightiest earthquake this area has ever seen.
While no buildings were flattened by the roaring, rolling earthquake, the roof of a cafe was torn loose, one wall of the school building was reported down and a service station front fell.
In addition, much damage was caused when stocks of merchandise in stores crashed to the floor during the quake and untold structural damage to buildings has not yet been discovered.
Business was at a standstill in the park entrance community but every resident was prepared to help in any way possible with injured persons and provide food and homes.
Several minor injuries to West Yellowstone residents were reported, some of them taken to Ashton, Idaho, for treatment. None was reported seriously hurt.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


OMAHA (AP)--Engineers and Hydrologists of the Corps of Army Engineers assembled today for a flight into the Hebgen Dam area of Montana, damaged by earthquakes.
Maj. Gen. Keith Barney, Missouri River division engineer, conferred by telephone with Lt. Col. Walter W. Hogrefe, Garrison (N.D.) district engineer, under whose jurisdiction the Hebgen Dam area falls, and directed Col. Hogrefe to prepare for a flight.
Aside from available for any rescue work needed, the Corps of Engineers is anxious to survey the area to see if flood damage can be minimized should the Hebgen Dam give way.
Gen. Barney said maps and charts in his office showed the reservoir behind the 90-foot high dam has a capacity of 350,000 acre feet and as of August 13, had about 337,000 acre feet in storage.
About 210 river mile down stream the Canyon Ferry Dam on the Missouri River, which has a capacity of about two million acre feet of water, is nearly full, but it could possibly absorb another 100,000 acres feet of water Army engineers said. However, the surge of water from a possible break in the Hebgen Dam would flatten out considerably by the time it reached Canyon Ferry.
The engineers said Great Falls, Mont., the nearest large city, is sufficiently distant so that it probably would not be much affected.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


HELENA, Mont. (AP)--Hebgen Dam, which figured in Tuesday's earthquake disaster, was an engineering feat of its day when it was started in 1910. The earth-filled concrete core dam was built by men and horses in the years before Power equipment.
It was completed in 1915, as one of the largest dams at so high an elevation--6,000 feet--in the world. It is 87 feet high, 718 feet long.
Hebgen, on the Madison River, is the first of a series of dams to convert the power of the Missouri River system to man's use. It is owned by Montana Power Co.
Hebgen backs up 325,000 acre-feet of water in a long, narrow southwestern Montana canyon, to the northwestern border of Yellowstone National Park. Its reservoir also contributes to world recognized trout fishing stream, keeping it fishable in the otherwise dry late summer months.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


HELENA, Mont. (AP)--The 11th earthquake in a span of 10 hours shook this Capital City Tuesday morning.
The Weather Bureau said it lasted about two or three seconds, and apparently, like the others, caused no serious damage. Windows were shaken and cars rocked.
The heaviest tremor was the first, at 11:30 p.m. Monday. This broke some windows and lasted about 35-45 seconds, the Weather Bureau said.
The latest tremor occurred at 8:28 a.m.
It was the 2,956th recorded since Helena's disastrous quakes of 1935. The Weather Bureau said most of these, 2,883, occurred within the first two years after the 1935 disasters. These were the first earthquakes in the United States recorded by modern instruments.
Helena earthquakes in 1935 caused property loss estimated at over four million dollars.
Civil Defense headquarters said a tremor at 8:27 a.m. also was felt at West Yellowstone, Mont., north of Livingston and Great Falls.
At Carroll College, school authorities said their seismograph registered two of the 11 earthquakes. A spokesman noted that the seismograph takes a magnitude of five to set it off.
At Berkeley, Calif., a University of California seismologist set the first quakes's magnitude at 7.8 on the Richter scale. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 had a magnitude of 8.25 on the same scale.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


THREE FORKS, Mont. (AP)--Two Los Angeles tourists, Mr. and Mrs. Percy House, said today they were advised to flee from the town of Three Forks after an earthquake--and did.
They were staying at the Three Forks Motel.
Shortly after the quake, House said, employees aroused everyone and said the radio was urging that we leave the town.
"We grabbed our clothes, threw everything into the car and asked: "Where do we go?" he said. "We were advised to head for Helena and we did."
House said dozens of other tourists had similar experiences.
House identified himself as manager of a store fixture firm.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Gov. J. Hugo Aronson was given the full picture of the terror and destruction in the Hebgen Lake area Tuesday.
The report was relayed to the chief executive by State Civil Defense Director Hugh Potter. Aronson was at his Cut Bank area ranch.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


GREAT FALLS (AP)--The city of Great Falls has felt another tremor. This was about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and lasted about one second. It rocked the chairs of Electric City newsmen who were writing of the first quake which happened about 11:40 p.m. Monday.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


AFTON, Wyo., (AP)--Earth shocks which shook a wide section of the Pacific Northwest were felt at Afton, seven miles east of the Idaho border, last night.
Lee Call, editor of the Star Valley Independent, said he was puzzled at first by the shock. He was at work in his office.
"Then I looked up and saw each of the fluorescent lights swinging in the same rhythm in a six or eight-inch arc. Then I knew what it was."
There apparently was no damage in Afton, he reported.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


WASHINGTON (AP)--The relatively young and still-rising mountains of the West are believed to be the culprits that caused the series of earthquakes in the northwest Monday night and today.
The opinion was advanced by Capt. Elliott Roberts of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey who added that this is a standard theory to account for all past earthquakes which have occurred in the West.
"The western part of the United States," he told a reporter, "is an area of geological change. The mountains of the West are still growing slowly higher, and are rated as geologically young mountains.
"And the rising up of the ground that causes the pushing-up of the mountains results in a condition of change which in turn creates stresses in the rocks all the way from the earth's surface to a depth of several hundred miles.
"This stress can build up over long periods of time and then, on occasion, result in an earthquake. It is rare, however, that actual faults or uprisings of the earth's surface are produced."
Roberts is director of the geophysics division of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, and heads up the federal government's major department for recording and analyzing earthquakes.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 18, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--About 300 persons have been rescued from the still trembling earth of quake-rocked Madison Canyon of southwest Montana, the U.S. Forest Service announced today.
This includes all known survivors of Monday night's quakes, a spokesman said.
The death toll remained at eight. It might rise to at least 12. One woman was reported missing and survivors said they saw three others crushed in an automobile.
Air Force Capt. A. S. Champion of Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif., said aerial search of most of the quake-ravaged area has been completed.

At least five members of the Gallatin Sheriff's Posse, who left Tuesday morning from Wapati Ranger station, have joined a search party below Hebgen dam.
The Posse members, with others, are looking for any possible survivors of the earthquake or for the bodies of persons who perished in the grinding landslide and floods in Madison canyon.
On the other side of the rock slide Marines from Butte were searching the nearly-dry Madison river bed for disaster victims.
No effort will be made to dig into the big slide at Rock Creek campground to see whether it contains more victims until after the land movement ceases, said A. E. Zion of the Montana Highway Department.
He described the slide as half a mile long and up to 300 feet high.
A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers said all danger is past at Hebgen Dam, damaged by the quakes.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]

Landslide Trap Is Sprung; 81 Victims Brought Here

A trap that had imprisoned more than 100 vacationers in a dangerous and precarious situation between earthquake-weakened Hebgen Dam and the landslide-blocked Madison River canyon was sprung late Tuesday night.
The uninjured streamed out of the area by car, truck and boat.
The major relief was afforded when a temporary road was punched around the damaged highway section on the north side of the lake to provide an escape route for the trapped people.
Heavy equipment, directed by personnel of the Highway Dept., constructed a passable road and had the route ready for emergency travel about dark last night.
Within two hours, the stream of survivors began trickling into Bozeman. By 12:30 a.m. this morning a total of 81 persons from widely scattered sections of the country had checked in here.
The 81 received here probably represents most of the persons who were trapped in the area but officials said some made their way to West Yellowstone.
Most of the people who came into Bozeman was plainly tired and shaken by their ordeal and a suspense-filled day behind a dam they thought might go but generally were in good condition and happy to be out of the earthquake area.
The Gallatin Red Cross disaster organization and Gray Ladies quickly organized to take care of the incoming disaster victims.
They were housed at Pryor Hall last night and as they came into the dormitory, they were given coffee or milk and their immediate needs were cared for.
Family units were especially happy although many of them lost all of the possessions they had taken on what they had planned as a joyful vacation trip through the west.
While most of those who came into Bozeman were complete family units, there were several children whose parents had been injured in the slide or flood and were in the hospital.
Where necessary, the evacuees received pajamas last night and today the Red Cross was following through to provide clothing for those who lost everything.
The Harold Kruger family of Montello, Wis., perhaps was a rather typical example of the personal losses sustained by many.
Kruger, his wife and three children had stopped at Rock Creek camp grounds about 6:30 Monday. Their schedule, Kruger said, had originally called for them to be in West Yellowstone that night.
They pitched their tent and with many others in the area settled down for the night.
About 11:30 p.m. Kruger said he heard a sound "like a jet plane or a train around the valley. Then the rock slide came."
He and his family got out of their tent and Kruger took his family to high ground just in time to avoid being swept away in the flood.
But the family car, two tents, and the vacation money in the form of traveler checks disappeared under water.
Kruger said there were five cars in that area lost either under the rock slide or water. He also said that there were people in one of the cars. He didn't know who they were nor where they were from nor how many.
This morning Mrs. Kruger said, "We have always liked Montana and now we love it. People here have been wonderful."
The Krugers will be returning to their Wisconsin home shortly. They will have clothing and train tickets.
Others who lost their possessions likewise are finding that through the Red Cross and the generosity of Bozeman people that they will lack nothing to make their stay here as pleasant as possible and they will be assured of money to get home.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]


The number of persons who died in the cracking earthquake and landslides that followed probably will never be known.
Reports now indicate there are eight known dead.
But it may be days, weeks or months before the total number of missing can be determined and possibly days before the canyon area and lake can be thoroughly searched.
At least two accounts have been made to newsmen that a family of three--a man, a woman and a crippled boy--were buried in their car by the huge rock slide that blocked the canyon. A family from Cottonwood, Ariz., and a family from Wisconsin told reporters they saw the car engulfed by the landslide. Nobody had any idea where the family was from.
There also was a report that a car loaded with four or five people was plunged into Hebgen Lake during the earthquake when a section of the road and hillside along the north shore dropped into the water.
Also missing is Mrs. Grace Miller, an aunt of Robert Miller of the Elkhorn Ranch in the Gallatin Canyon.
Mrs. Miller lived alone in a cabin along the Hebgen Lake shore.
The cabin was seen in the water yesterday.
At least three other persons are known to be missing.
What cannot be determined is: were there any campers in the area now engulfed by a mile-long rock slide?
Workers are continuing to search through the area and at the lake.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]


Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Sandiland and Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Sandiland and three children of Bozeman were camped at Wade Lake Monday night.
They said a part of the mountain near their camp fell down and uncovered a great big spring which gushed out of the exposed part of the mountain.
The two women and children walked about a mile and a half over the top of the washed out mountain to Elliott's tourist camp, the only buildings on the lake shore.
All of the cabins were demolished and a large home was badly damaged. So far as Sandiland can determine, there were no casualties at Elliott's camp, or on Wade Lake.
There are several campers in the area, cut off by the slide.
The two Sandilands remained to help out in the area.
The women and children were brought to Bozeman by a man whom they did not identify, but who told the women he was looking for his parents.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]


GREAT FALLS (AP)--An Air Force plane flew 60 pints of whole blood to the Bozeman hospital Tuesday for treatment of the injured in the earthquake.
The pilot, Capt. Chester Cooper of Malmstrom AFB, was to continue on to West Yellowstone in the dark with three dozen surettes of demerol, a mild sleep producing drug supplied by the Air Force Hospital on demand of medics in the West Yellowstone area.
The whole blood from Montana regional blood center was taken partially in a mass drawing Tuesday. The drawing gained momentum in the afternoon as news of the southwestern Montana disaster reached residents.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Damaged roads in the earthquake-torn Madison River area of southern Montana began to reopen Wednesday as Highway Department crews plowed away rocks and debris.
Yellowstone National Park was open and ready for visitors. All entrances were open except at West Yellowstone.
U.S. 20 and 191 were reopened into West Yellowstone. Damaged bridges over Cougar Creek, Duck Creek and the Madison were expected to be open to traffic by afternoon.
U.S. 191 south from Bozeman and the crude road plowed into Hebgen Dam from upstream Tuesday night were reserved for emergency travel Wednesday. Officials said U.S. 191 would probably remain closed to normal traffic for 24 to 36 hours.
A road from Hutchins Bridge over Reynolds Pass into Henry's Lake, Idaho, and West Yellowstone was being cleared Wednesday.
Montana Highway 1 south of Ennis remained closed. A crude road was planned over the 50-million ton landslide seven miles below Hebgen Dam, but the Highway Department said it would be used only to move earth clearing equipment into the heavily damaged area.
Department officials said there was no present danger of the slide dam giving way.
Meanwhile, Highway Engineer Fred Quinnell Jr. and members of the Highway Commission began assessing damage to the roads and plans for clearing away the Madison Canyon slides. Commission Chairman Harry Burns of Chinook and Quinnell both inspected the area Tuesday.
Commissioners met with Army Engineers representatives Wednesday on clearing plans.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]


"We saw the mountains falling with the most awful roar.
"We could see trees flying in the air like toothpicks."
Mrs. Polly Weston, San Jose, Calif., told today of the horror of Monday night's Montana earthquake.
Mrs. Weston, her husband, Hal, and two nephews were among the first survivors from the Rock Creek camp area to reach Bozeman. They were trapped 24 hours by a mountain slide and flood.
The Westons were getting dinner after a night of fishing when the quake-triggered landslide came down.
"I thought, Holy Cow! A bear is at the trailer again," Mrs. Weston said.
Her husband added:
"I thought someone had coupled onto our trailer and was trying to pull it away."
"And then the screaming started," Mrs. Weston said.
She found a little girl with a head injury and the child's grandmother with an injured leg.
Mrs. Weston said she saw 10 trailers swept down the Madison River. She did not know if anyone was in them.
Harold Krueger of Montello, Wis., reported seeing five cars buried in dirt and rock. He, too, did not know whether they were occupied.
David Thomas of Nye, Mont., told of using a raft to rescue Mr. and Mrs. Grover Mault of Temple City, Mont., who had been clinging to a tree in the water seven hours.
Eugene and Richard Burbank, sons of Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Burbank of Brigham City, Utah, found fish flopping on the bank when daylight came. They cooked and ate them.
Bozeman prepared to care for 167 survivors.
Early arrivals included:
Mr. and Mrs. Robert R. Potter and son, 122 Custer, Billings, Mont.
Mr. and Mrs. David Thomas and three children, Nye, Mont.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Regena and three children, Roundup, Mont.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]


HELENA, Mont. (AP)--The 7,600-foot peak had no name. It does now.
"Call it, Earthquake Mountain," a man said. "Just look at it."
The top was gone, jerked from the place where it had stood for ages by a terrible twitch of the earth. It crashed down in the darkness on sleeping dozens of vacationers along the Madison River in southwestern Montana.
When the rumbling was over, nature had left almost two mountains.
The new mountain--perhaps "little earthquake" from now on--is 250 to 300 feet high, and a quarter-mile long from canyon wall to canyon wall.
It lies across the Madison River. Behind it is the frightened town of Ennis. Seven miles in front of it is the scattered, pocked-marked Hebgen Dam. In the middle were people, trapped between a 1915 power dam that took years to build and an awesome mountain created in seconds by nature.
With them were expensive trailers, station wagons, cars and tents. No thought of them now.
Those who lived through the nightmare told stories they could hardly believe themselves. The stories were mostly the same--an eerie awakening to a horrible noise, an unearthly shaking of the entire earth itself, then stillness.
Grover C. Mault is 71, on vacation from Temple City, Calif. He and his 63-year-old wife had picked a quiet spot along the Madison for their evening camp. They were in their trailer, a mile below the dam.
They hear the rockslide ahead, then saw the quiet river surge up. They climbed atop their trailer, which started to float.
Mault grabbed the branch of a tree. It snapped. The trailer floated on. Then another branch came into view. Mault made a desperate try. The branch held.
Mault and his wife climbed off the trailer and into the tree. They stayed there all night. Rescuers in boats found them Tuesday morning, and took them to a hospital.
Paul Jesswein, photographer for Montana State College at Bozeman, 90 miles from the catastrophe, drove to the scene expecting a routine landscape. "I was aghast at what I found--it was fantastic," he said.
The Rev. Elmer Ost of Queens, N.Y., recovering from the first shock, organized a group of perhaps a dozen survivors.
"Through most of the night, we heard people crying for help, screaming," he said. "The front end of that mudslide just didn't give people a chance."
Ost took a piece of paper and scribbled a note to Henry Tretsen of Scarsdale, N.Y.
"We have been in the earthquake," the note said. "We lost all but we are safe. Coming home by train immediately."
Many of the stunned survivors, some in pajamas, stood on cliffs awaiting rescue.
Four miles from the dam, a state highway ends sharply as if it were cut by an axe. Fifteen feet below is water from picturesque Hebgen lake. The movement of the earth virtually tipped the lake on its side.
Some 300 years away was the rest of the chopped-off road. In the chasm between there is an automobile, now junk.
Farther down toward the dam, two houses floated aimlessly in the water. Just the top of one showed.
At the dam, 100 persons awaited rescue.
An Air Force helicopter landed behind the dam. Rescue workers carried stretcher cases carefully across it.
Farther on, a dozen men and women stood on a grassy ridge above the camp that had disappeared beneath rock and timber below. They were told a helicopter would take them off.
Those who said it know the fury of an earthquake in the mountains in the dark of night.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]


By Annabelle Phillips
I stood quietly on the stairs and watched the 14 injured victims being admitted to the hospital here yesterday.
An air of hushed sympathy and quiet efficiency hung over the small back entry as one by one the victims were unloaded from ambulances, police cars and private vehicles by volunteer citizens and hospital personnel.
Shock, fear, utter belief showed in the eyes of some. Many lay with their eyes closed.
All were battered, bruised and bloody.
Some had small slips of paper, bearing their names, pinned to them.
As I watched, I marvelled at the speedy efficiency with which the hospital operations were carried out.
Within minutes after the victims were taken to the third floor in one elevator, the empty stretchers were brought down in another one. Drivers loaded the equipment and rushed back to the airport for the next group of victims.
People, young and old, appeared like magic to offer their services in any way.
Blood donors quietly arrived.
Two small boys lingered outside the entrance offering to run errands. I asked them once if anymore victims had been taken up. Their answer was no lady, just one man and bottles of human blood. I knew the plasma had arrived from Great Falls.
Red Cross women and Grey Ladies arrived to answer scores of phone inquiries and send messages to out-of-town friends and relatives seeking word of their loved ones.
People came checking the identity of patients who bore names identical to theirs.
Relatives of the victims arrived in a surprisingly short time from many areas. Fear was written on their faces.
The hospital was on a 24-hour emergency basis. Exhausted nurses and teams of doctors worked on caring for the injured.
Unbelief of the magnitude of the tragedy showed in the eyes of one woman as she related her experiences. I could almost see and hear the screams of frantic people searching for loved ones and begging for help.
Terror haunted the face of one shocked woman who saw neighboring campers buried under tons of rock within feet of her family. Close by her side was her uninjured 10-year-old son offering comfort and reassurance. Uppermost in their mind was the uncertainty of the whereabouts of his father and sister whom they expected to find at the hospital. They weren't there.
A small girl was brought in, her head bandaged. The next stretcher bore her injured father. She was probably unaware that the first patient received was her fatally injured grandmother or that her injured aunt was also a patient. Shortly after the uninjured mother arrived, going from one to the other with words of comfort.
I talked in the waiting room to two ladies from Kansas who had just arrived in town from Cody, Wyo., and hearing of the injured, came to the hospital seeking word of their two brothers and their families believed to be camping near Hebgen. They had not been admitted. Tears welled in their eyes as I told them many were believed killed in the area.
As I left after word arrived that all the injured had been evacuated, people were still coming, seeking any word of their loved ones.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]


Out of the maze of tragic stories of the victims caught in the center of the disaster area at Hebgen Lake comes the tale of the heroic fortitude of a 10-year-old boy who stood staunchly by the side of his shocked mother throughout the ordeal.
Royal Bennett of Cottonwood, Ariz., was praised here by rescuers and nurses alike.
"He's quite the boy, that kid. Brave and sharp as a tack," one commented.
Royal and his mother, Mrs. Henry F. Bennett, 37, were the last of the injured to be admitted to the hospital here last night.
They were brought by helicopter from the slide area to the junction eight miles from the dam and into Bozeman by car by free lance photographers, A. P. Madison and Jim Wiemals of Billings.
The Bennett family--mother, son, invalid 41-year-old father, Henry, and 14-year-old daughter, Jeannette--were camped within 50-feet of the huge mountain which thundered into the Madison river.
They watched with horror as neighboring campers--a man, his wife and crippled son--were buried under tons of rock only a few feet away.
They sought help for an unknown number of terrified people trapped by a tree and rocks in their trailer only ten feet from theirs. There was no way they could release them--their fate is unknown.
With help, they dragged the invalid father up a mountainside in his sleeping bag, out of the danger area.
The uninjured boy stood quietly on a mountain nearby and watched water cover the spot where they'd been within a half-hour's time. All their possessions, totaling about $5,000, were lost, he said.
He heard people screaming and crying for help.
Utter disbelief and terror filled the face of the shocked mother when she arrived here to find her daughter and husband were not in the same hospital. No one could tell her until this morning that they were flown to another hospital for treatment.
The comfort, which only a child can give a mother, was felt by the nurses attending the shocked woman.
Said Royal to his rescuers:
"This is the first time I've ridden in a helicopter.
"This is the first time I've ever been in an earthquake.
"We're going home on the train--it'll be the first time I've ever ridden on one.
"What a whale of fun I'd be having, under different conditions."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 19, 1959]


By Tom Maddox
WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--Three light tremors jolted the southwestern Montana earthquake area Wednesday night and early today. There was no damage. The shocks awakened residents.
The shocks, coupled with a driving rain, hampered efforts of searchers to renew the hunt for possible additional victims of the Monday night quake, which touched off major landslides.
The tremors were the latest in a series that has continued since the major shock and sent small landslides down the mountain slopes.
Ground parties, aided by skindivers, want to search above and below Hebgen Dam, hard hit in the Monday night shocks.
Searching crews are made up of men from the Civil Defense organization, sheriff's office, U.S. Forest Service and volunteers.
They said they would not attempt to dig into the 50-million-ton landslide below Hebgen Dam until the comparatively slight tremors subside.
Bodies of eight quake victims have been recovered from the devastated mountains and canyons. Reports from survivors indicate the toll may rise to 12. They told of seeing a car with a man and a woman and a crippled boy buried by an avalanche.
A woman reported by Sheriff Donald Skerritt to be missing and presumed drowned was found alive Wednesday night. Grace Miller, about 60, whose lakeside home was washed away in a wave of water propelled by a landslide, had walked 15 miles to a ranch.
Coroner Charles E. Raper says he believes the body of Mrs. Thomas Stowe of Sandy, Utah, is in the Madison River. He reported the family car and her belongings have been found in the stream. Her husband was killed.
Officials have said they believe more bodies may be found by digging into the landslides and probing Hebgen Lake and the Madison River.
Skindivers are planning to go into the lake when the muddy water clears. They will check a report that two persons drowned in a car submerged in dirt and water.
All of the known survivors--about 300--have been moved out of the quake area. Some roads, buckled and twisted by the quake, have been made passable by the use of bulldozers.
Many highways in the western part of Yellowstone National Park were blocked by landslides and the damage there was expected to run into the millions of dollars.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


Emergency aid to the injured earthquake and rockslide victims in Monday night's Hebgen Lake Madison River tragedy came quickly.
Two teams from Bozeman were among the first to make themselves available and responded quickly Tuesday morning to calls for medical help, nurses, supplies and equipment.
A Bozeman Doctor, Dr. Richard Nollmeyer and his two nurses, Mrs. Barbara Ann Nute and Mrs. Jack Gilbert were the first medical personnel to reach the stricken area.
A group of six Bozeman nurses and Richard Lubben, superintendent of the Bozeman Deaconess hospital were at West Yellowstone to provide the only first aid station at that point where many injured were treated after their arrival by helicopter from the quake scene.
Considerable favorable comment was heaped upon these people by survivors of the disaster.
Dr. Nollmeyer and his nurses, accompanied by Gar Lutets, Johnny Kinna and Danny Sprague, of City Taxi, walked five miles from the Hebgen Lake road to the dam.
With them went two pillow cases of medicines and Dr. Nollmeyer's medical kit.
This group spent the entire day helping with the injured and shocked survivors and not leave until the last of the injured had been removed.
The team of nurses and the hospital administrator responded to a call from the sheriff's office for aid.
Nurses making the trip to West Yellowstone were Mrs. Sue Barclay, Mrs. LaVonne Lindgren, Karlene Topel, Mrs. Carl Rognlie, Mrs. Ann Blackhall and Marilee Heffelfinger.
Nurses were taken in Highway Patrol cars. Medical supplies, blankets, stretchers and other equipment was taken in two pickup trucks, one driven by Lubben and the other by Harold Miller of Bozeman.
A Hollister, Calif., physician, Dr. R. D. Quinn who had flown to West Yellowstone Monday morning, worked with the injured throughout the day, providing treatment during the break between the helicopter lift and plane trip to Bozeman.
The Bozeman unit arrived at West Yellowstone just after the first four injured had been brought out of the Hebgen area.
Thereafter, they were on hand to help with all patients brought to that area.
An emergency first aid station was set up at the West Yellowstone airport hangar. Beds were made of baled hay, blankets and sleeping bags.
Lubben said that with the exception of plasma, medical supplies carried into the scene were adequate for the initial treatment.
Two nurses returned to Bozeman during the afternoon with one plane to help with critically injured patients. The other four also returned by plane after the last of the injured had been evacuated.
A total of 15 injured were brought to the hospital here and cared for without any problems.
Lubben pointed out that when a call for assistance came it was believed that 60 or more persons might be brought here.
He said that the hospital here had facilities to handle 65 accident cases.
Throughout the afternoon of Tuesday, the Bozeman team and Dr. Quinn operated the only first aid station at West Yellowstone. A young doctor, unidentified, made several trips in the Army helicopter that was ferrying the injured from the quake site.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP)--Park Service crews hope to begin work early next week to clear the 75 miles of roads in the western half of Yellowstone National Park, plugged by a series of earthquake triggered landslides Monday and Tuesday.
"There are still some overhanging ledges above some of the rockslides and it's too risky to ask crews to start bulldozing out the slides when there is a threat of more tremors," a park ranger said.
Two minor earth tremors were felt in Yellowstone Park during the night, but no further damage was reported.
More than a dozen landslides have blocked all roads in the western part of the summer wonderland. Another landslide was touched off Wednesday when highway crews were bulldozing one slide near Mammoth Hot Springs and workers had to scramble for safety, the Park Service said.
A few cracks and crevices have been reported in the lower geyser basin between Old Faithful and said. Some of the runoff from the thermal hot springs is going into the cracks in the earth's surface instead of following their normal course into Firehole river.
Park Service officials said the thermal wonders affected by the crevices are small and there didn't appear to be much change in the subterranean thermal activity.
There are a few places where the road between Old Faithful and Madison Junction, near the park's western border, where the highway dropped a foot or two, park rangers said.
Two seismographic crews were brought into the park today to make a thorough study of underground which jolted the area Monday night and Tuesday.
Although roads in the western half of the park are closed, all gates except West Yellowstone are still open to tourist travel. Only major tourist attractions in the park that can't be reached are the Lower Geyser Basin and Norris Geyser Basin.
Four buildings at the park headquarters in Mammoth, near the north border, all still closed pending a safety engineer's inspection. They included the main administration building, visitor's center and two park ranger homes.
Supt. Lemuel A. Garrison has set up park headquarters in a tent outside the main administration building.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


The Hebgen Lake area from the Duck Creek intersection of Highway 191 and Montana 1 has been closed to all except authorized personnel and residents, it was reported today.
Crowds of curious have made search work nearly impossible at times and forced the closure of the area.
Efforts to locate a car reported to have been tumbled into the lake by a slide of earth were unsuccessful, the sheriff's office reported this afternoon.
Three divers and two assistants from the Gallatin Sheriff's Posse had no success in their effort to locate any car in that section.
Diving operations were halted this morning because of muddy water. No further efforts to search under water until the water clears.
It also was announced that all helicopters except a small one from Malstrom AF base, Great Falls, had been released. The remaining 'copters at the disposal of Civil Defense but probably will be released by CD Friday.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


Joseph Hladecek, San Francisco area service representative of the American Red Cross, arrived in Bozeman Tuesday evening to take charge of the Hebgen disaster operation and to direct the local organization in procedure.
Other outside Red Cross personnel who have come to assist with the increasing amount of work at the local office are:
James F. Cook, Washington, D. C., communications specialist; Robert J. Nash, Springfield, Ill., teletype operator; and George Montaign, Red Cross disaster specialist.
Mrs. Doris Wood, field representative from Missoula, and Ralph Carlson from the San Francisco area, are at Ennis directing operations, and Robert Wisemer, Idaho field representative is at West Yellowstone.
More than 200 telegrams have been received by the Red Cross office from relatives and friends requesting information about Yellowstone Park visitors.
Information on the tourists who were evacuated from the disaster area has been difficult to obtain because a major portion of them failed to report at the Gallatin office.
However, a complete list will be furnished by the field representative at West Yellowstone or the state highway patrol so that more of the telegrams might be answered.
The teletype installed by the Red Cross for the emergency is being used for an exchange of information between the three offices at Bozeman, Ennis and West Yellowstone. It has speeded up the answering of inquiries and the locating of separated families.
Three ambulances were sent to the disaster area by the local Red Cross office, which also furnished transportation for the injured from the airport to the hospital.
Extra hospital beds were supplied by the Red Cross. With the cooperation of Miss Gloria O'Connell, assistant director of residence halls, arrangements were made for housing evacuees.
Blood plasma was flown in from Great Falls and Cheyenne, Wyo., at the request of the Gallatin Red Cross.
In the midst of tragedy, the people at the Red Cross office have had the pleasure of helping victims of the earthquake. A father, mother and three children from Wisconsin who lost everything at Rock Creek camp--car, trailer, clothes and money--were taken to a department store where they bought complete new outfits. They were also given cash from personal necessities, housed and fed. Their train transportation home was furnished by the Red Cross.
The work at the Red Cross office will continue as long as people are reported missing, Howard Nelson, local disaster chairman said. The books on the Hebgen disaster may never be closed but an attempt to answer all inquiries will be made. To this end, the office is working in cooperation with Don Skerritt, director of Civil Defense.
At the Red Cross office, the Gray Ladies, headed by Mrs. Herman Lehrkind, are working on inquiries. They are Mrs. Frank Eaton, Mrs. A. W. Overturf, Mrs. Paul Eneboe, Mrs. J. H. Newhall, Mrs. Max Worthington, Mrs. Joe Wantulok, Mrs. Ed Barnett, Mrs. Dean Epler, Mrs. Charles Erick...
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


Mrs. Ray Painter, 42, 4345 Porter Ave., Ogden, Utah, died at the hospital here just before noon, the second person injured in the Monday night earthquake and landslide at Hebgen to die.
Mrs. Margaret Holmes, 72, Billings, died here of injuries Tuesday night.
The death of Mrs. Painter, who with her husband and four children were camped near the major slide area on the Madison river Monday night, brings to nine the number of known dead in the disaster.
Mrs. Painter and her husband were airlifted out of the slide area by helicopter and then flown by plane to the airport here.
Painter, also injured in the disaster, was to have been released from the hospital today.
Hospital officials said that all remaining patients treated for injuries would be able to leave the hospital with the exception of Joseph H. Armstrong of 4490 Raymond Road, Royal Oak, Victoria, B.C. Armstrong was reported in fair condition with a leg injury.
The official list of injured persons including those treated at Bozeman, Ennis and Butte hospitals reached 29, which includes the names of the two women who died at the hospital here.
Apparently the most seriously injured were airlifted to Bozeman.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


(Editor's Note: Grover C. Mault, from Temple City, Calif., gives the nightmarish account of how he and his 68-year-old wife escape death in the collapse of a mountain at Rock Creek Campground in southwestern Montana. The Maults spent a horrible night in the water.)

By Grover C. Mault
As told to Annabelle Phillips of The Bozeman Chronicle
"We were camped at Rock Creek Court and Campground and had been there for six or seven days. Monday night a group of us, including Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Scott, and a Mrs. Bair, had supper together. Later we talked and then walked for about a half mile.
"We were amazed about how beautifully the moon shone on the mountains and the river. Coming back we found a beautiful spot on the side of the road where we commented about having a home. We visited for a while, then went to bed.
"What time it struck, I don't know. We were all asleep in our trailers. There were a lot of bears in that area and when the first jolt hit us--I thought they were trying to get into our trailer.

Moon Made It Bright
"The missus said, 'No, it's an earthquake'. I looked through the window and the moon made everything just like daylight. I couldn't begin to tell what I saw out that window.
"Everything was going upside down. A second or so later our trailer was knocked end over end. Luckily it landed on its wheels or we never would have escaped.
"Then it seemed like something, I don't know what, picked up the trailer and hurled it into the water. I got the missus out of the trailer and lifted her on top. She was clad only in her nightie.
"I went back in to get sweaters or something. The moon had disappeared and it was dark. Before I could get out, the water was up to my chin. I crawled back on top, put on some wool trousers, shirt and a sweater. I wrapped other clothing around my wife's legs.
Prayed To Reach Tree
"By this time there was only three or four feet on top of the roof where we could stand. It was sinking fast. I told my wife, 'I pray the Lord we drift toward that tree.'
"We did. I got hold of a branch and the end pulled off. I clutched again, got a better hold.
"I clung to the missus with my right hand and my left hand was around the tree. The trailer went out from under us.
"It was horrible. As I tried to pull the missus up, the limbs broke off.
"I tried to grab higher limbs and clung to the missus with my leg. As we kept on going the limbs kept breaking. Finally we found one that would hold us.
"We hollered and hollered. People came on foot and tried to get us with ropes. We were surrounded by 25 to 30 feet of water already. They yelled for us to hang on, that they were going for a boat.
Man Rescues Wife
"We clung to the tree, our bodies in the water almost to our necks. My wife went under three or four times. The last time she was gasping for breath, but I managed to pull her out. She wanted me to let her go. But I told her that if she went, I'd go too.
"While we clung there I could see the mountains sliding and falling every few minutes. There'd be a terrific roar followed by more slides. It was pitiful. I thought the world had come to an end.
"It was hazy, thunder, lightning, then it began to rain.
"We prayed it wouldn't rain because we were so wet already. My collar was the only thing that was dry.
Couldn't Have Held On
About 8 or 8:30 in the morning (Tuesday) they came for us in a boat. They came just in time. If they'd been another ten minutes, I couldn't have held on.
"You don't know what we went through. Nobody will ever know.
"At first we could see lights, then everything went black, we couldn't hear anything over the roar of the tumbling mountains.
The men had to help us into the boat, we couldn't move our legs. We were literally frozen. I'm finally thawed out today (Wednesday).
"A truck had brought the boat to the water's edge. Three times, while they were trying to get to the truck, it had to be moved forward because of the rising water and the men had to row further.
"The day before I walked about a half mile toward where the slide now is. There I talked to people who were camped in tents.
"There was one man and his wife, his mother, father and a brother in one tent, six or seven in another, including some children. There was one trailer, but I didn't see anybody around it. I'm sure these people were covered by the slide because they told me they were going to stay a few more days."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


VIRGINIA CITY (AP)--Coroner Charles E. Raper Wednesday said he knows the body of a ninth earthquake victim is in the Madison River of southwestern Montana.
Raper, whose mortuaries at Virginia City and nearby Ennis held the bodies of seven victims of the quake, put it this way:
"We know Mrs. Thomas Stowe's body is in the river. We found the family car and some of her belongings.
"We plan to search further downstream Thursday."
One of the bodies at Virginia City is that of Mrs. Stowe's husband from Sandy, Utah. An eighth victim died in a Bozeman hospital.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


Volunteers to help search for bodies in the Madison Canyon slide area were asked Thursday by sheriffs at Bozeman and Virginia City.
Twenty volunteers, headed by Bozeman fireman Herb Hoey, left the Gallatin County seat to join a similar Madison County group at the base of the Rock Creek slide.
Meanwhile, a private pilot, Al Newby of Bozeman, made his 12th flight over the canyon Thursday morning. He said the new lake behind the slide is now about two miles long.
He estimated the land has been covered by 30 to 40 feet of water at the slide where the road is submerged. Behind this lake and up to Hebgen Dam, 4 to 5 miles away, the Madison River remains in its bed.
A Montana Power Co. official in Bozeman reported the slide will hold for the foreseeable future. Earlier, Army Engineers had expressed doubt the earth slide would be able to dam the water at higher levels.
Closure of Montana Highway 1, which carried considerable eastbound traffic to Yellowstone Park prior to the quake, has increased travel into Bozeman.
Motels and hotels in the city have been jammed. They already were largely filled by delegates to a 4-H Club fair.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP)--Neighbors said Wednesday that Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Cunningham and their crippled son, Stephen, 4, left for Yellowstone Park Saturday and have not been heard from since. There have been many eyewitness reports that a couple and their crippled son were seen carried off in the thundering landslide which followed Monday night's earthquake in Madison Canyon.
Neighbors said the Cunninghams were traveling in a car and truck with Mr. and Mrs. Carl Cunningham and son, James, 16.
Authorities at the scene of the landslide have said that bodies of persons buried beneath the massive slide many never be recovered.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


VIRGINIA CITY, Mont. (AP)--The bars stayed open all night in tough Virginia City but this historic western town has seldom been more sober.
This one-time rip-roaring gold camp is at the edge of the Montana earthquake area.
Shaken survivors streamed into town.
And Virginia City, itself a picturesque survivor of the march of history, was ready to take care of them. Hotels, restaurants and taverns kept their doors open to provide food and shelter.
By this morning Virginia City was just plain exhausted. Many of its 320 residents hadn't slept since the quake hit Monday midnight.
As the countryside shook, citizens gathered downtown. There was little of the usual hilarity that has kept this old home of the vigilantes a reminder of the pioneer West.
People exchanged bits of information and discussed a ceaseless flow of rumors. One was that the whole town of Ennis would be evacuated immediately and that Virginia City should prepare for refugees.
Housewives went home to prepare extra beds. Men stayed down town to watch and wait.
People from Ennis started drifting in. Hot coffee and sandwiches came from the kitchens. Waitresses didn't try very hard to collect. It seemed unimportant.
The bars were supposed to close at 2 a.m. but Sheriff Lloyd Brook said, "Keep 'em open."
"Everyone is just tuckered out completely," Mayor Warren Reichman reported last night, "and we just had a few more shocks here."
Virginia City has lived through a lot of excitement in its many years but none quite like this.
In the old days it was gold strikes, gunfights, robberies and hangings.
Virginia City came into being shortly after the Civil War when gold was found. Biggest of the strikes was Alder Gulch, which produced millions of dollars worth of gold.
Badmen flocked in on the heels of the gold finds. Most notorious of the desperado gangs was that led by Henry Plummer--the sheriff.
Vigilantes organized to bring back some semblance of law and order. They hanged Plummer and some of his outlaws in the building which now is Virginia City's city hall.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


The mountain fell first--and then the water came.
That's the account of a California dentist and his friends who survived the Madison Canyon earthquake and avalanche below Hebgen Dam Monday night.
Dr. Reed Quesnell of Arcadia, Calif., gave the account when questioned concerning a theory that water spilling over the dam raced through the canyon and swept some campers away before the mountain collapsed.
"Not so," said Dr. Quesnell. "First came the earthquake. Then the mountain collapsed into the canyon. And after that came a wave of water. This wave is what hit and injured a number of those hurt in the disaster."
Dr. Quesnell, his wife, and two friends and their families--Sam Kuening of Lakewood, Calif., and Ike Kuening of La Puente, Calif.--said they believed an unknown number of campers in the area were buried by the big slide.
"We have vacationed there every summer for 10 years," Dr. Quesnell said. "And every year there have been the same two trailers in the same place. They were there again this year, so close to the river they could fish from their doors. And those two trailers did not come out of the canyon when we were evacuated Wednesday. There undoubtedly are many others buried with them."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE (AP)--Officials directing rescue operations at the Montana earthquake scene said Wednesday night they believed all distressed persons are out of the area.
What remains from the monstrous underground upheaval is a gigantic mopping up operation and a methodical search for possible victims who may have been trapped in the slide.
Plans are to ask for some National Guardsmen to patrol the area to protect property and prevent looting of deserted mountain lodges and personal property left behind when hundreds of tourists fled.
All phases of the quake aftermath were discussed by groups in a meeting here including forestry service personnel, Civil Defense officials, Red Cross, the military and State Police.
The number of State policemen has been reduced by one half and Idaho volunteers have returned home. More of those who were sent into the disaster area after the quake will be released from further duty tomorrow.
No more air operations are required the officials concluded as all rescue is considered completed.
Thirty persons were brought out of an area on Horse Butte Wednesday. They had never been in danger but road conditions prevented them from getting out of the area earlier.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


Due to minor earthquake damages to two Manhattan public school buildings, the opening date for the coming school term has been postponed until repairs have been completed, Ronald Mattson, superintendent of schools, announced at noon today.
The opening date, previously scheduled for Aug. 31, has been tentatively set for Sept. 8.
"Cracks have been discovered in the walls of the high school building, built in 1923, and the old grade school, constructed in 1913," Mattson said. "Both are brick buildings. The new elementary school and gym was undamaged."
He added that engineers had been contacted to survey the damage and recommend needed repairs.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


Height and width of the huge rock and earth slide blocking the Madison River about 7 miles below Hebgen Dam has not been established by exact measurements.
Figures on estimated length, width and height have varied by hundreds and even thousands of feet.
The Gallatin National Forest office has come up with some admittedly rough figures but figures made from educated guesses by people who are familiar with the situation.
These figures indicate the slide, at it highest point, is about 400 feet. The length is estimated to be 4,000 feet and it is believed to be 2,000 feet wide.
No information has been reported whether the rock slide at its top is higher, lower or about level with the top of Hebgen dam.
Conceivably, there can be only one huge lake but more likely there will be the old Hebgen and a new lake.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


OMAHA (AP)--It's still all right to plan a trip to Yellowstone Park, the Regional Park Service Office in Omaha advised tourists today.
Park Service officials said they had been flooded with calls from persons who either were planning to go to the park or had some one en route there.
All roads to the park are open except on the west side, a spokesman said. The west entrance is closed as a result of Tuesday's earthquake.
"The concession people in the park have assured us they can provide food and accommodations and there is lodging for visitors in the park," he asserted. Earth and rock slides blocked roads at four points in the north and east parts of the park, but travel elsewhere in the park is normal, he added.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


An emergency pumping station is being erected by Yellowstone Pipeline company at its Missouri River crossing north of Three Forks to prevent any gasoline from escaping into the river in the event floodwaters from Hebgen Dam wash out the line, it was announced today.
"We expect to have the station set up about four miles north of Three Forks this week," said Erick P. Kienow, Yellowstone Pipeline superintendent. "We will tap into the line and top the flow of gasoline if there is any imminent danger of the river crossing collapsing.
"Yellowstone Pipeline company has men stationed at the crossing keeping a constant watch," he said. "We want to assure the citizens of this area that we are able to check the flow of gasoline immediately if the need arises and to protect the area from any damage. Yellowstone Pipeline company will purge the line of any inflammable liquids and replace the liquids with water."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


BUTTE, Mont. (AP)--A mountain blasted by an earthquake "looked like someone took a big scoop out of it from top to bottom," an aerial observer says.
H. A. Frank of Butte flew over the quake area Tuesday.
"At least a third of the mountain was moved. I never saw anything like it in my life, it is about a mile square," he said.
The scooped-out part of the mountain crashed across the canyon with such force that it was piled higher at the far side than near the mountain.
Frank said he saw a number of other slides. He said one was 450 yards wide. It turned the upper part of Cliff Lake into solid mud.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


DENVER (AP)--What caused the wrenching, mountain-splitting southwestern Montana earthquake?
W. B. Myers, geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, said it apparently was a major movement along a large rock fault just west of the Madison River Valley.
A fault is a huge crack in the earth's rock crust extending underground to unknown depths. Some are visible along mountain slopes.
Of the fault which sent the earth into quivers Monday night, Myers said:
"It's a steep fault in very old rocks, and yet I know of no previous quake causing movement along it in historic times.
"We do not know enough about the deep underground geology of the area to say definitely but it may well be on one of the major faults of the United States.
"It is not considered likely that this quake will trigger other quakes in the same area. Usually a movement like this relieves pressure, acting as a safety valve to put things in a more stable condition."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


MISSOULA, Mont. (AP)--Earth tremors in Montana's quake-devastated Madison River Valley "could last for two weeks to a month--maybe even longer."
That's the opinion of Dr. Robert W. Fields, professor of geology at Montana State University. He pointed out, however, that "this is only a guess, based on the experience factor in other areas."
Fields Thursday explained that the aftershocks "really are an adjustment being made on the surface of the earth to try and get back to an equilibrium."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]


PASADENA, Calif., (AP)--Another large earthquake is possible within two weeks in the Yellowstone National Park area, an expert said today.
It is possible, said Dr. Charles Richter of the California Institute of Technology, but not necessarily probable.
He said he thinks it is possible because a strong quake in the same area in 1935 was followed in about two weeks by another equally strong.
"Since we had that occurrence," he said, "we have to consider the possibility it could happen again."
It is rare for a strong quake in any area to be followed closely by one of equal strength. Usually, the succeeding shocks are smaller.
Richter said he made the statement in response to inquiries from Montana officials in charge of rescue efforts, who wanted to know for planning purposes whether more temblors are likely.
"If they are wise," he said, "they won't pull out of the area immediately."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 20, 1959]

Searchers Comb Area For Scraps Of Information

A gigantic rock slide blocking the Madison river about seven miles below Hebgen dam and near the mouth of the Madison canyon will be a grim monument to an unknown number of dead.
A Monday night earthquake that loosed millions of tons of rock and soil that tumbled into the canyon and presumably burying beneath it at least some campers.
This morning Maj. Gen. S. H. Mitchell, adjutant general of the Montana National Guard said no guard troops had been sent into the area.
His announcement, made through the 163rd Armored Cavalry Regiment here and relayed from Gen. Mitchell at West Yellowstone, said: "The governor of Montana has received no request for National Guard troops in connection with the (Hebgen-Madison) disaster."
This means that there are no plans to send guardsmen into the area.
Today there was little left of the emergency and disaster activity that was carried out Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Officials have reported that the entire Madison canyon area below Hebgen dam, the rock slide and the river bed below had been combed by searchers.
No bodies have been found for the past two days and it is believed that the possibility of finding any in the area around the canyon and slide is remote.
The belief still exists that an undetermined number of people were killed when the slide rolled into the canyon but there are no plans to dig into the slide.
But the death toll stands at nine known dead, including two at Cliff Lake.
The other seven were killed or died of injuries in the major slide area. A Utah woman, whose husband was killed, is missing and presumed dead.
Comparative quiet descended on the entire Hebgen-Madison canyon area today.
There were still people searching the area but only a handful compared with the number that were in that section for the past three days.
Hundreds of volunteers combed the canyon and slide area yesterday but turned up nothing new.
Most of the survivors have been reunited with their families and only four of the original 15 injured brought to the hospital here remained for treatment.
Remaining here are Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Armstrong of Vancouver, B.C., and Mr. and Mrs. Clarence D. Scott of Fresno, Calif. The men were listed as in fair condition this morning. Condition of both women listed as good.
Inquiries were still pouring into Red Cross emergency headquarters today as relatives of people who had been in the area sought to locate them.
More than 1,600 inquiries had been received in the past two days and many more were continuing to be received today.
The office here is set up to handle the messages and will continue in operation as long as necessary. Several Red Cross officials from other areas are here to assist local chapter volunteer workers.
Sheriff D. J. Skerritt said this morning that by the end of the day little of the personal property of nearly 300 persons in the slide area will remain.
Most of the cars, trailers, clothing, camp equipment and other items were removed by owners yesterday and today.
During the height of the search, there were forest service people, smokejumpers, Marine reservists, volunteer workers, Gallatin Sheriff's Posse, fish and game people and law enforcement officers in the area.
The smokejumpers were dropped in Tuesday morning.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 21, 1959]


"The rock slide seven miles below Hebgen dam will, in all probability, be there for eternity," according to the opinion of engineers attending an 8 p.m. meeting at the Stagecoach Inn in West Yellowstone last night, Sheriff Donald J. Skerritt, Civil Defense director for Gallatin County, said this morning.
Engineers, including the man who constructed Hebgen dam, stated they were sure, "that unless another severe jolt occurs, the dam (Hebgen) will hold," Skerritt said.
Repairs on the dam will begin just as soon as roads are available for the movement of heavy equipment, it was announced.
Hugh K. Potter, Montana Civil Defense director, was named coordinator of all operations.
An emergency office was set up at the Stagecoach Inn in West Yellowstone to serve as headquarters for the disaster area mop-up operations. Telephones are to be installed in this office this morning.
"Communications are our biggest need," Skerritt said. "Through the cooperation of the highway department we have obtained big radio equipment, which will be set up in trucks and mobile generators. One unit will be stationed at the dam, one in Madison county on high ground below the slide area and one at the West Yellowstone sheriff's office."
Montana Power officials stated they will furnish men to keep constant watch on the dam, 24 hours a day, as long as the danger period exists, he added.
"All of the area north of the lake, along the north lake shore road, is absolutely out-of-bounds from the Duck Creek Wye towards the dam, to all people except workers and people with property to remove or check," Skerritt announced. "Property owners will be issued passes at the West Yellowstone sheriff's office. Anyone else caught in the area will be considered as 'looters' and dealt with accordingly."
Ten men from the Montana Highway patrol are stationed at the area to man the blockade and handle traffic. Eight were released last night.
Skerritt said that the complete area below the dam and in the surrounding mountains has been surveyed by forest service officials to determine road and fire trail damage.
"A complete search of the ground between the dam and the slide and on the other side of the slide through the Madison valley area was completed yesterday," Skerritt said. No bodies of victims were found.
He added that pieces of clothing and other personal items found were being gathered up for possible identification to determine names of unknown persons killed in the area.
"We have discontinued diving operations until the danger of more tremors has passed," Skerritt said, adding that he felt five distinct shocks in the area yesterday, "some of which made me sit up and take notice."
All the helicopters in the area with the exception of one small machine turned over to the civil defense by Malstrom airforce officials, have been released, he said. Four helicopters search the area yesterday and a complete plane search has also been made for survivors or victims.
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Posse and forest service personnel combed the Beaver Creek and other camp areas near the disaster site yesterday for survivors or victims but none were found, the sheriff said.
Among those attending Thursday nights meeting in West Yellowstone were federal and state engineers, Montana civil defense personnel and regional CD engineers, Montana Power officials, geologists, army engineer officials, forest service personnel, Red Cross representatives and officials from the bureau of public roads. He estimated that 30 persons attended the meeting.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 21, 1959]


Orson Tudor, manager of the local Western Union office, pointed out today that telegraph facilities have been available at all times during the emergency here.
He said: "Our facilities have never been jammed at any time. We are in a position to handle not only emergency messages, but general business and social messages throughout the world without delay."
Elaine Zahara, Helena, and Joe Lewis, Billings, both automatic operators, were at the Bozeman office to assist in handling the file and the extra channel set up to handle communications.
Also in Bozeman this week were P. L. Barstow from the general manager's office at San Francisco and Ralph Fulmer of the district supervisor's office at Portland, both of whom agreed that operations here were going satisfactorily, Tudor said.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 21, 1959]


Al Newby, president and manager of Flight Lines, Inc., at Gallatin field, this morning made his 18th flight over the Hebgen-Madison area.
During the course of his trips into the area, he has taken the time to compute the size of the rock slide blocking the mouth of Madison canyon.
By flying at times below the level of the rock slide and checking his flight instruments, Newby concludes that the slide at its highest point is about 280 feet. The lowest, he believes, is about 100 feet high and about in the middle of the slide area.
These heights are figured as above the river bed.
This morning by using the ground speed of his plane and a stop watch while flying through the canyon, Newby calculates the length of the slide as possibly over a mile long.
This morning the new lake forming behind the slide had backed water for a distance of perhaps 2 miles.
Using these slide height figures, it seems that the new lake, when it reaches the top of the slide, would back water up stream to a point possibly a half mile below Hebgen dam.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 21, 1959]

Praises Billings Nurse

Editor's note: Dr. Ray G. Bayles of Bozeman was the first outsider to reach the huddled groups of injured in the earthquake-hit Hebgen Dam area Tuesday. The physician, owner of the Stagecoach Inn at West Yellowstone, said he feared for the safety of his employees and decided to make an immediate check for injured. His account gives the first word of the heroic work of a Billings nurse, Ramona Green, who had camped in the area.

By Dr. Ray G. Bayles
As told to The Associated Press
The injured and those marooned in the Madison Canyon area tell me I was the first outsider to reach them.
I chartered a plane early Tuesday morning after hearing that roads were cut and that Hebgen Dam might go out. The pilot, Bob Winterowd of Bozeman, and I flew over the areas where mountain slides occurred. As we passed, we could see groups of people gathered on high points, waving anything they had to attract our attention.
We flew as low as we could over the canyon to determine what had happened. We saw the terrific slide, the one which covered a mile of canyon, and knew anybody adjacent to it must have been injured.
The groups, gathered on high ground, apparently expected the dam to go out and flood the entire area.
We flew on to West Yellowstone, landed, and at the Stagecoach Inn I gathered all the dressings and medical supplies that I could. I already had taken my medical bag with me from Bozeman.
I went back to the airport and asked my pilot if he would land me somewhere near the dam. He said, "If you're willing, so am I." We flew out and landed within a mile of the dam in an area where people were dragging some boats out of the water.
We walked to the lake and one young fellow volunteered to drive me across in a motor boat. The lake was full of pine trees and other debris. We had to go right to the end of the dam to land, then had to cross the cracks and crevices made by shifts in the land. The ground was still quivering.
In the area just along the highway end of the dam all the more seriously injured were gathered. They were lying in station wagons, trailers, sleeping bags and anything available.
A nurse, Ramona Green of Billings, had been camping in the area with her family. They had been a little above the major slide, so had not been injured.
She had done a very fine job of keeping those people under control and calm. I got there about 9 a.m. so for about nine hours these injured lay there without any sedatives and narcotics to kill the terrible pain. She did a wonderful job of keeping them calm and quiet.
I gave the injured first aid. Fortunately we had sufficient narcotics and stimulants along to treat all of the 15 badly injured.
After doing everything possible for the injured, I took the boat across the lake and had the pilot fly me back to Bozeman to help set up the air rescue of the injured. They couldn't be taken out by boat, they were too badly hurt to be transported that way, and no roads were open. It was a matter of getting them out by helicopter.
Helicopters and other planes arrived shortly before noon. The 15 seriously injured that I saw at 9 a.m. were in a Bozeman hospital by early afternoon. I shuttled back and forth with the planes to see that all seriously injured got out okay.
The helicopters flew the injured to West Yellowstone airport. From there a DC-3, converted into an ambulance, carried the injured on to Bozeman, four at a time.
Two of these injured since have died.
Some of the injured told me they knew of several trailers and groups of people that were further down in the major slide area that didn't have a chance to get out. It'll probably never be known just how many there were.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 21, 1959]


Editors Note: A newsman who was trapped in the Madison River Canyon by the Montana earthquake, tells here of the ordeal:

By Gerald L. McFarland
News Editor, Salem, Ore., Capital Journal.
My wife and I were asleep in a trailer six miles below the dam when the first tremor hit about 12:30 a.m. It came without warning. We thought the trailer might tip over. Then we thought we were rolling into the Madison River, about 50 feet away. We couldn't get out. The shock lasted about 45 seconds.
When we finally freed ourselves, we rounded up our party of six and found all were uninjured. The main slide had occurred about one-half mile upstream toward the Hebgen Dam. I quickly hooked up the trailer and we started out with just the clothes on our backs.
Our first thought was of the dam. We knew it was old and thought it had probably burst.
The side roads downstream were blocked by slides so we started upstream, hoping to find high ground. We expected to meet a wall of water at any time. The road was strewn with boulders about the size of a watermelon. Small trees, uprooted by the quake, blocked our way. We had to stop every 10 feet and clear the road.
Approximately one-half mile upstream, we did see a wall of water coming. We thought the dam had surely broken and this was it. The water was just beginning to creep over the side road when we found higher ground. We later learned that the water escaped over the top of the dam like a tidal wave, forced out by the action of the quake.
Within an hour there were about 150 of us on a ledge-like area. The five gallons of water in my trailer house were all the group had. We quickly made coffee and this helped to calm everyone.
The aftershocks continued all night. We counted about 25 of them. After each tremor, hundreds of slides would start. There were boulders the size of an automobile crashing around us. This was a horrifying sound.
The biggest slide down the canyon covered the highway for about a half mile. It was just unbelievable to see. The people camped near the biggest slide immediately became engulfed in the rocks and flooding waters from the river. I think six people died down there.
About 2 a.m., we formed a rescue party to bring the injured out of the main slide area. We went down into the valley, still not knowing when the dam might burst. We brought about 20 people out, and made them as comfortable as we could.
At daybreak, an airplane flew over. There were other aircraft and helicopters blanketing the scene the rest of the day.
About 9 a.m., Tuesday we organized a volunteer party to return to the main camp for food and medical supplies. We were all jittery. We thought it might be days before we could escape the rubble.
In the party besides myself were I. K. Saltzman who lives near Canton, Ohio, Terry Owen and his son Jack from Riverside, Calif., and Hank Powers of Twin Falls, Idaho. We made two trips into the camp and brought back food and medicine. This greatly improved the supply problem and helped the injured.
About 11 a.m., the first helicopter landed at the dam and took four injured out. From then until dark there was a constant stream of whirlybirds evacuating the stranded and stunned persons.
Early in the afternoon Dr. Richard Nollmyer of Bozeman and two nurses made their way to us on foot. The nurses were Rita Gilbert and Barbara Nute, both of Bozeman. They said when they heard about the quake, they volunteered to try to get to us. They had to walk about four miles over rocky ground and slides.
They were a great help. They patched everyone up, and made them ready for evacuation.
At 6 p.m. the Montana Highway Department opened an old Forest Service road high above the dam. Cars went out first, then trailers brought up the rear. We had to be pulled out by bulldozer.
Our last experience about 10 p.m. Tuesday as we were trying to get out was perhaps the most harrowing.
We were given the wrong directions and drove our car and trailer into the rising waters of the Madison River, blocked by the main slide. The trailer was actually floating at one time and we had to get out in waist-deep water and push it to higher ground. But we did finally get out about midnight.
We were so tired we camped about halfway between the slide area and Bozeman, Mont. for the rest of the night.
But we were safe.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 21, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--At least one aspect of life in this western mountain resort town returned to normal today.
The tourist business was better than ever.
The only difference: Now they are flying sightseers over the Hebgen Dam-Madison River Canyon earthquake tragedy area.
With the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park closed because of 'quake road damage, the tourist business dropped earlier this week. But today the small airport was doing a landoffice business flying charter sightseeing trips.
At noon Thursday there were 15 private planes on the airport. Also lined up for other uses were four big Air Force search and rescue helicopters, an Air Force two-engine transport. Many other planes were in the air.
V. H. Rock, who handles an automobile rental agency and sells gasoline at the airport, said that on an average summer weekday there may be from three to ten private planes at the field.
Another indication of a return to normal was a speedup in long distance telephone communications. For 18 hours after the Monday earthquake West Yellowstone had no telephone communications with the outside world.
Service was restored about 6 p.m. Tuesday, but at first there was but one line and it was jammed. This condition still existed this morning, but by this afternoon calls were being placed without delay.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 21, 1959]


An engineering survey of the Madison river earthquake slide will begin immediately, Maj. Gen. K. R. Barney, Missouri Division chief of the Corps of Engineers, announced here Saturday.
Gen. Barney said the survey is being made under the general emergency flood responsibilities assigned to the corps.
His announcement followed a three-day personal inspection of the earthquake-damaged area with members of his staff. Inspected were the mile long slide of rock and earth blocking the mouth of the Madison canyon and damaged Hebgen dam.
"Our investigation will be conducted in close coordination with state authorities and with other federal agencies having responsibilities in the earthquake area including Bureau of Reclamation, Forest Service, Geological Survey and Civil Defense," Gen. Barney said.
"After seeing the damage in the area and the potential flood threat created by the slide, and the water backing up behind it, we felt immediate and prompt action must be taken. The decision to proceed has been approved by the Department of Defense and Chief of Army Engineers, Maj. Gen. F. Itschner, Washington, D.C."
Gen. Barney said Gov. Hugo Aronson of Montana had requested the Corps of Engineers to undertake the study and the general said he had already taken "preliminary steps in this direction when the order came" to proceed with inspection and study.
The investigation has been assigned to the Garrison Engineers district of the Corps of Engineers at Riverdale, N.D., under supervision of Lt. Col. Walter Hogrefe.
Engineers and hydrologists from the Garrison district were moved into Bozeman and West Yellowstone Saturday.
Gen. Barney said the engineers office will be established in Bozeman or West Yellowstone but most likely West Yellowstone.
An initial crew of 12 to 14 men were being moved into the Madison river area over the weekend.
Col. Hogrefe arrived from Riverdale Saturday morning and immediately went into conference with Gen. Barney and other staff members from Omaha on procedures for the investigation.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 23, 1959]


Evacuees from the Hebgen dam-Madison canyon earthquake and landslide disaster found hospitality and aid extended them from the community, the Red Cross and even a large corporation.
Many of the 300 people in the disaster area last Monday night when one of the strongest earthquakes to be recorded in recent years lost everything they had except the clothing they were wearing that night.
Emphasis, when the trapped hundreds were released from the Madison canyon Tuesday evening, was to provide shelter and food, if necessary for the uninjured. This was done through the Gallatin Red Cross chapter, its volunteer workers and Montana State College at Pryor hall.
Because some families had lost all of their clothes, equipment, cars and trailers, they were in great need.
Several families were provided with new clothes by the Red Cross as well as transportation home, mainly by train.
In one case, a special problem presented itself and here the Hertz Car rental showed its heart.
The Henry Bennett family of Cottonwood, Ariz., escaped with no injury to the family of four but during the evacuation, Bennett and a daughter, Jeannette, became separated from Mrs. Bennett and a son, Royal.
The problem was magnified because Bennett is a polio victim and confined to a wheel chair.
After the family was reunited, plans were made to get the family home but airline, train and bus transportation was ruled out because of Bennett's condition. Long layovers and stops were impractical.
Charter plane was expensive and then the possibility of renting a car to take the family home was considered.
The manager of the Hertz Car firm here said, "Look, we have a car going to Ogden, Utah. Take that to Utah. There will be no charge."
Then it developed that at Ogden there was a rental car that was to go to Flagstaff, Ariz. So the family made the trip in two cars, provided free by the rental concern.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 23, 1959]


SANDY, Utah (AP)--Three-year-old Terry Mark Stowe went fishing with his dad last Sunday.
It was a reward, so that he would stay home while his mother and father went on a more extended outing Monday.
His parents were killed when an earthquake shaken mountain collapsed onto a popular camping spot on the Madison River below Hebgen Dam in southern Montana Monday night.
The body of the father, T. Mark Stowe, was found on the downstream side of the huge slide area. The mother is listed as missing.
The Stowes' auto was one of two cars found, rolled up like wads of crumpled paper, only a few hundred feet from the avalanche.
Terry is staying with relatives. He has been told about his father, but does he realize fully what it means?
"Nothing can happen to my dad," he said.
He hasn't been told about his mother.
His future hasn't been definitely decided. But his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Stowe and Mr. and Mrs. Rex G. Whitmore, along with several uncles and aunts, vow that he will have a happy home.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 23, 1959]


By The Associated Press
Did the Montana earthquake take a far higher toll of tourists than at first believed?
Families in communities scattered from coast to coast expressed growing fear Saturday at continued silence from relatives known to have been traveling in the shock area.
In addition to nine known dead, scores of men, women and children have not been heard from since tons of rock and earth thundered down into the Hebgen River Valley last Monday.
Red Cross emergency headquarters at Bozeman, Mont., said more than 2,300 inquiries had been received from anxious relatives. Some 1,500 to 1,800 of the people asked about could not be immediately traced, but a spokesman said many later turned up safe.
Of the others, said the Red Cross, many may not have been anywhere near the area. But many of the missing were known to have been close to the quake site.
Among them are eight persons from the state of Washington, six southern Californians, four from Massachusetts, three from New York State, and three from Utah.
Are they buried forever under the landslide? That was the thought gnawing at those who wait for word, good or bad.
Among those waiting are Mr. and Mrs. Roy Maricich of Anacortes, Wash.
Their boy, Peter, 8, was in a group of eight from Anacortes vacationing in the area. Their trail ends at Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park.
A letter received by the Mariciches Monday, day of the quake, said the group was going out to hunt agates and pick berries--in the Hebgen River area. It also said they would telephone the Mariciches Monday night.
The call never came. And none of the eight has been seen since.
With young Peter in the group were Mrs. Maricich's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Keltz Sr., along with Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Keltz Jr., and their three children, Don, 9, David, 7, and Karen, 6.
From Boston, the Red Cross reported that a Wakefield, Mass., Navy officer and his wife and two children have not been heard from since the quake.
They are Lt. Harry W. Patch, his wife, Jean, and a boy and girl, Harry Jr., 5, and Jean, 1.
The family, on vacation, was driving by car and trailer from the West Coast to Washington, D.C. Patch's sister, Mrs. Joseph O'Neill, said the family intended to travel through Yellowstone Park.
From Saratoga Springs, N.Y., George H. Smith, a contractor, expressed fear his wife and two daughters may have been buried under a rockslide in Montana or Wyoming while on a camping trip.
Smith said his wife, Bernice, and the girls, Joy, 15, and Nancy, 9, were to have arrived at Rock Creek Camp in Yellowstone National Park Sunday night. He said his wife was to have called him early this week, but there has been no call.
From Los Angeles, it was reported that six Southern Californians visiting Yellowstone Park during the earthquake were unaccounted for.
They were listed as Hugh Lee Moore, 36, his wife, Mary, 30, and two children of Los Angeles, and James E. Weaver, 55, and his wife, June, 50, of Burbank.
Of a number of Utah residents first reported missing in the quake area, three still have not been heard from. They are Elizabeth McMillan of Salt Lake City, and Mr. and Mrs. Ken Horton of Clearfield.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 23, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Razing of the 90-year-old original cellblock No. 1 at the State Prison which was severely damaged by Monday's earthquake was started Friday by Cahill-Mooney Construction Co., Butte.
Gov. J. Hugo Aronson and Secretary of State Frank Murray, sitting as the State Board of Examiners at an emergency meeting Thursday might, authorized the immediate action.
Prison Warden Floyd Powell stressed that the prison is still secure. The situation is one of overcrowding, he said.
The board also asked the Butte company to secure and erect a Butler-type steel building inside the prison walls. This type building may be dismantled later and converted to other use.
Also approved were:
Conversion of the women's quarters to a maximum security unit within the walls.
And conversion of a building located behind the warden's house, across the street from the prison, to accommodate women prisoners.
The building adjacent to Powell's residence now houses laundry facilities and quarters for inmates employed in his home. Remodeling will accommodate about 12 women prisoners although the prison now holds only four.
Kenneth Knight, of the Great Falls architectural firm of Knight & Van Teylingen, which is handling over-all programming plans for prison improvement, also attended the special meeting.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 23, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Eighteen earth tremors or aftershocks have been recorded in Montana's Capital City since the Monday night earthquake that ripped through much of the Madison Valley.
The U.S. Weather Bureau said Monday night's quake was the first in Helena since April 19. It brought the city's total quake count since 1935 to 2,964.
The most recent tremor felt in Helena was at 12:12 p.m. Thursday.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 23, 1959]

Forest Road Blocked By Sharp Jolt Early Sunday

WEST YELLOWSTONE (AP)--More earth tremors were felt Sunday night and today in West Yellowstone, but none as sharp as one Sunday morning which touched off a rock slide.
Police said there were four or five new tremors but none apparently caused any damage.
The Sunday morning jolt brought rangers and tourists from their beds in the Old Faithful area of Yellowstone National Park.
It was here that the devastating quakes of last Monday night and Tuesday were centered. Tremors have been felt each day since then.
Sunday's early morning shock caused a big rock slide which blocked a forest road in the Hebgen Dam area. About 20 summer homes are in the new slide vicinity, but police here said it was believed all the cabins were unoccupied.
The group from Washington, D.C., flew there via Bozeman, Mont. and Billings, Mont., after a helicopter tour of the quake area Sunday.
Sen. Frank Moss (D-Utah) termed the damage appalling, and expressed belief "quite a number of bodies" are entombed in the giant slide northwest of Hebgen Dam. The original quake last Monday night sent an entire mountainside thundering down on Rock Creek campground there.
Nine persons were killed in the quakes and a 10th is missing and presumed dead.
Reports from throughout the nation show at least 16 other persons missing. They are among those still unaccounted for on Red Cross lists at emergency headquarters in Bozeman.
They are Navy Lt. Harry W. Patch, his wife, Jean, and their two children, Harry Jr., 5, and Jane, 1, of Wakefield, Mass.; Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Lee Moore and their two children, of Los Angeles; Mr. and Mrs. James E. Weaver of Burbank, Calif.
Milford Kellogg, an Atomic Energy Commission employee from Damascus, Md., his wife and their two sons; and Mr. and Mrs. Laird R. Allen of Clairton, Pa.
One group of eight persons from Anacortes, Wash., previously reported as unaccounted for was located at a ranch near Ennis, Mont., by the Red Cross. Relatives said they had heard nothing from the families of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Keltz Sr. and Jr. since last week's disaster.
In other developments, Rep. Lee Metcalf (D Mont.) has urged Gov. J. Hugo Aronson to seek disaster area designation for the southwest Montana region hardest hit.
Metcalf said this would provide federal aid for highway repair and other needed projects.
In Helena, Aronson called a meeting Friday of representatives of federal, state and county agencies to determine what steps are needed to restore travel, communications and safety to the area.
At Schenectady, N.Y., Mrs. Dawn E. Harding waited for word of her family believed in the quake area.
Mrs. Harding said her daughter, Nuys, Calif., wrote a week ago from Ogden, Utah, that she was en route to Montana with her husband and two sons.
Mrs. Harding said she feared that her relatives may have camped in the area hit by the tremors. She said she has been unable to get any trace of the Dobbins family.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 24, 1959]


YELLOWSTONE PARK, Wyo. (AP)--Last week's earthquake apparently did not jar Old Faithful Geyser off its schedule of eruptions, but the earth shocks apparently stepped up the paces of many other geysers in Yellowstone National Park.
Dean Stone, managing editor of the Maryville-Alcoa, Terry Times, says he was told by a park official that the affected geysers may or may not return to their old pattern.
Stone says he was told that Economic Geyser, which had been dormant for nearly half a century, was triggered into action. Its boiling water is killing trees which had grown up near its mouth. The trees are estimated to be 40 to 50 years old.
The Morning, Fountain and Clepsydra Geysers are among those which have increased their tempo of eruption since the quake last Monday night.
Large cracks around some of the geysers and changes in geyser activity has led to the closing of the road through the lower geyser basin just north of Old Faithful.
The quake also has caused some of Yellowstone Park's other thermal features to become less active. Grand Geyser has not been in action for several days, although it normally erupts every 9 hours. It is larger than Old Faithful.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 24, 1959]


LEWISTOWN, Mont. (AP)--Memorial services were held at the National High School Rodeo Thursday for two young spectators reported lost in the quake-torn Madison canyon area of southwestern Montana.
Saturday the boys turned up, very much alive.
Bill Leitzinger and Mike Debates, both of Creighton, Mo., had run a little short of funds en route to the rodeo. R. B. Frazer told rodeo officials they were working on his ranch near Lewistown.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 24, 1959]


Eighty-eight persons feared in the Canyon area of southwestern Montana were still unaccounted for today, nearly a week after the quake.
Their names, compiled by Red Cross emergency headquarters in Bozeman, were released by Gallatin County Sheriff Donald J. Skerritt of Bozeman, who urged all of them to let their families know if they are still all right.
On the official list are those who have been repeatedly inquired about, but for whom no trace has been found since the quake. They are:
Laird Allen, wife and two children, Clairton, Pa.
William Baxter, wife and two children,
Merchantsville, N.J.
B. L. Boynton and wife, Billings, Mont.
Oliver Calhoun, wife and two children,
Pendleton, Ore.
Frank K. Dobbins, wife and two children,
Van Nuys, Calif.
Merle Edgerton and wife, Coalinga, Calif.
The Rev. D. Enns, wife and two sons, Portland, Ore.
Robert Finch, wife and two children, Highland, Ind.
Harold Goodman, wife and two sons,
New York City.
Louis Gulbranson, wife and one child, Niles, Mich.
Milford Kellogg, wife and two sons,
Damascus, Md.
Hugh L. Moore, wife and two children,
Los Angeles.
Kenneth Mulford and wife, no hometown listed.
Navy Lt. Harry W. Patch, wife and two children,
Wakefield, Mass.
Roger Provost, wife and three children,
Soledad, Calif.
William Reynolds and wife, Lake Orin, Mich.
Dr. John Rupper, wife and four children,
Provo, Utah.
Mrs. Stella Rupper and Michael Rupper,
Provo, Utah.
Herman Schulund, wife and son, Havre, Mont.
Kurt Stine (or Stein), Seattle.
Arthur Ullman and wife, Davenport, Ia.
The Rev. Harry Vix and wife, Martin, N.D.
Lloyd Webster and wife, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Frank Welt, wife and three children,
New York state, no town listed.
Robert J. Williams and three children,
Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Harmon Woods and wife, Coalinga, Calif.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 24, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--The Red Cross list of persons still unaccounted for in southwest Montana's earthquakes a week ago narrowed to 33 today as six more names were removed.
The Red Cross at Bozeman, Mont., reported Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Mulford, address unlisted, were safe. The report contained no details.
It also developed that Navy Lt. Harry W. Patch, his wife Jean and their two children, had been vacationing at Grand Junction, Colo., for several days after going through the major quake in Yellowstone National Park. They now are en route to their home at Wakefield, Mass.
At one time Monday, the Red Cross listed as many as 88 persons as possibly missing. Many of these were located alive and well.
Nine persons were killed, and a 10th is missing and presumed dead.
The immediate concern here is for the massive earthslide which may have buried alive some campers in the Rock Creek area, downstream from Hebgen Dam where the quake centered.
Water spilling through the dam has formed a seven-mile long lake known as Quake Lake, and officials say the waters will crest the natural dam formed by the rock slide in from 20 to 30 days.
Army engineers from Omaha, Neb., began inspection of the area Monday to determine how best to relieve a flood threat in the scenic Madison River canyon. The nearest town is Ennis, Mont., 45 miles downstream.
The engineers are considering whether to use the slide as the core for a permanent dam, or to carve a channel through the slide.
Hebgen Dam itself was damaged by the quakes. It holds back more than 300,000 acre-feet of water in Hebgen Lake.
At Nelson, B.C., friends of Mr. and Mrs. Sydney D. A. Ballard have been advised by the Red Cross that the Canadian couple and their crippled nine-year-old son, Christopher, may have died in the earthquakes.
The family left Nelson Aug. 15 for a camping holiday in Montana.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 25, 1959]


There are many unsung heroes during any major disaster such as the recent Hebgen area earthquake.
Among those in this area are the amateur radio operators, better known as "hams." Through their efforts contact was established with West Yellowstone within 15 minutes after the initial quake rocked the area.
R. Earl Dawes, emergency coordinator for Gallatin county, said today that the emergency short wave contact was organized over W7ED. Contact with West was established through Warren Russell, K7ICM, and Hank McTuistan, who had a mobile unit in his car, WA7AYG, Dawes said.
He also told of a Father Peterson, W7RKI, who relayed communications of the lightning storm affect in the area.
"Amateurs responded 100 percent," he added. "We cleared messages through our emergency channel, turning them over immediately to Sheriff Donald J. Skerritt, until the equipment at the sheriff's office could make contact."
Dawes said that during the night and early morning (Tuesday) they made direct contact with Butte, Helena, Great Falls, Billings, Havre, Chinook, Dillon, Livingston, Missoula and Cut Bank. He said the hams relayed and received messages from Seattle and, indirectly from Pasadena, Calif., to Canada and from North Dakota to the Pacific.
"One thing which made it peculiar was the fact that we would be talking with fellows on the air when they had tremblers and we could feel them here at the same time," Dawes said. He added that this was true with both state and out-of-state calls.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 25, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--A Red Cross official said today it appears that three Canadians can be presumed dead in the Montana earthquake.
They are Mr. and Mrs. Sydney D. Ballard and their son Christopher of Nelson, B. C.
There are nine known victims of the quake and one other person--Mrs. Thomas Stowe of Sandy, Utah--is presumed dead.
Addition of the Ballards would raise the known probable death toll of the Aug. 17 temblor to 13.
The statement that the Ballards can be presumed dead came from Joseph Hladecek of San Francisco after he had talked with Ballard's mother, who went to Red Cross headquarters at Bozeman, Mont., to check. He did not retain a record of her name. Hladecek is in charge of compiling the list of missing at the Bozeman office.
Hladecek quoted the mother as saying there is no doubt in her mind that the Ballards were killed.
Earlier, Mr. and Mrs. Henry F. Bennett of Cottonwood, Ariz., told interviewers they had been camping near the Ballards at Rock Creek campground--where the major mountainslide roared down after the quake, damming the Madison River. The Bennetts said they had become friendly with the Ballards and are certain the Canadian family did not escape. The Ballard youngster was crippled.
Other survivors said earlier they had seen an automobile with a couple and a crippled boy buried by the landslide.
Fears have been expressed that others may be buried by the slide.
The Red Cross continued to list the Ballards officially as unaccounted for.
One slight tremor was felt in West Yellowstone about 7:15 a.m. today but no damage was reported.
The U.S. Forest Service began clearing a slide touched off Sunday by a sharp jolt. The slide blocks the road to summer homes on the west side of Hebgen Lake.
The danger of floods was regarded as past in the Madison Canyon area where the big rock slide created a lake.
While crews supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers cut down the crest of the debris-laden slide, a portable shortwave radio was set up on a nearby mountaintop. Volunteers will man it day and night.
The slide is backing up Madison River water about seven miles downstream from Hebgen Dam.
Col. Walter Hogrefe of Riverdale, N.D., supervising the work, said the rapidly filling lake already is more than 100 feet deep and it is filling at the rate of 12 feet a day.
"We feel there is very little flood threat as a result of the work we are doing," Hogrefe said.
An estimated 1,500 people live in small communities downstream.
Meanwhile, Montana's congressional delegation estimated the quake damage at more than 5 million dollars. They called on Gov. J. Hugo Aronson to declare a disaster area--a decision he said may be made Friday.
The loss of national forests was estimated at $500,000. The lawmakers said it would require three to four million dollars to replace State Highway One, damaged for 20 miles, and two million dollars to repair damage to Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park is south and east of Madison Canyon.
The names of people still unreported in the area since the quake now total 42, the Red Cross said.
Twenty-three of the original list of 115 were located Tuesday, many of them thousands of miles apart. In all, 73 people have been found.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 26, 1959]


Memorial services for earthquake victims, scheduled for tomorrow, must be conducted on the flats in the valley rather than in the slide area, Sheriff Donald J. Skerritt announced here at noon today.
Bishop Chandler Sterling of the Montana Episcopal Diocese has announced that he and ministers from the Catholic and Jewish faiths will conduct the services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at what may be the final resting place for an unknown number of earthquake victims.
The announcement stated that the services would "probably be at the foot of the giant slide which crashed across Rock Creek campground a week ago Monday night."
"Nobody will be allowed in the slide area on the Ennis side except army engineers and contractors they hire," Sheriff Lloyd Brooks of Madison County said at noon. "Any service must be conducted on the flats in the valley."
Sheriff Skerritt announced that no one except authorized personnel will be allowed in the Hebgen Lake area beyond the Duck Creek Wye. A road block has been set up at the wye.
Representing the Roman Catholic faith at the planned memorial services will be the Rev. Leonard Jensen, pastor at Laurin, near Ennis. Rabbi Kerte of Butte will conduct the Jewish service.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 26, 1959]


A portable short-wave-radio has been set up on a mountain overlooking "earthquake slide" in the Madison Canyon. Sheriff's officers said the unit is being manned day and night by volunteers primarily as a device to warn of possible flood threats.
The unit has direct contact with West Yellowstone, Virginia City and Ennis. Mobile equipment used previously did not have this 70-mile range.
The slide is backing up Madison River water about seven miles downstream from Hebgen Dam, which was damaged by a major earthquake eight days ago.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 26, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--Army engineers, racing a rising reservoir, hacked away at a mountainous rock slide today to channel Madison River water dammed up since a disastrous earthquake eight days ago.
Their goal is to prevent a possible flood in the valley below, home for about 1,500 persons.
"We plan to bulldoze a spillway section to carry the water out in a smooth flow," said Lt. Col. Walter Hogrefe, Garrison District engineer from Riverdale, N.D.
"We don't know how deep the spillway will be, but we'll be ready by the time water from 'Quake Lake' reaches it." That, he said, at the current rate of rise, will be about 10 days.
Hogrefe said crews also are levelling major humps in the slide to provide for a smooth flow in peak seasons when it may overflow the spillway.
The lake is now a little over 100 feet deep and about 100 feet below the work area.
It is backed up behind some 50 million tons of rock, trees and debris which thundered through Rock Creek Campground the night of Aug. 17, choking the river through Madison Canyon about seven miles below Hebgen Dam. Hebgen also was damaged, but has held firm so far.
Hogrefe said the material in the slide appears to be mostly rock and "looks fairly stable." It varies from 150 feet to 300 feet high across the half-mile wide canyon and stretches up the canyon nearly a mile.
About 32 engineers, working 24 hours a day, completed a 1,300-foot road to the downstream side of the slide Tuesday to permit movement of heavy equipment into the area.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 26, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Highway Department engineers say slightly more than one mile of highway--about 5,900 feet--was covered by last week's earthquake slide in the Rock Creek Camp area.
Extensive damage to the road, Montana 287, also known as Montana 1, was reported both above and below the slide. Large segments of the highway dropped into Hebgen Lake above the dam.
Large cracks and fissures severely damaged the roadway from Duck Creek to Hebgen Dam.
Highway Commission Chairman Harry L. Burns has said about 20 miles of road would have to be replaced. Montana's congressional delegation estimated this cost at over four million dollars.
The road is designated as a National Forest route and was built with federal money.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 26, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Unless damage to public property in excess of $500,000, other than highways, can be shown, there may be difficulty in declaring a disaster area in the Civil Defense Director Hugh K. Potter said Tuesday.
"The immediate emergency is over," Potter said. "With the exception of Gallatin and Madison County sheriff's forces and the Army Engineers, emergency staffs have left the earthquake area. They are prepared to return on short notice, however, in case there are more serious quakes that cause additional problems.
"This was a terribly spectacular earthquake. But it was in an isolated area. When the rescue of about 220 people, and removal of bodies was completed, the emergency ended for the time being. "Unless there is additional damage from quakes or floods, it will be very difficult to show $500,000 damage. Declaration of a disaster area by the President can only supply funds to state, county and cities involved after expenditure of local funds in excess of that sum."
Potter told a newsman that "as the damage to upwards of 20 miles of highway is largely a state and federal responsibility, it seems doubtful now there was a half million dollars damage to other tax supported properties. It is fortunate the quake hit in an isolated area. Had it struck in a populated section, there would, of course been extensive damage to buildings, sewers and other services.
"Obviously, before Gov. J. Hugo Aronson can ask the President to declare a disaster area, he must have facts necessary to comply with federal laws. So far there have not been sufficient factual damage reports to qualify. That is why the governor has called the conference in Helena Friday, so that an accurate check can be made by engineers and others skilled in making estimates and recommendations.
"As there is no emergency involving lives and property at the moment, we must await the Friday conference."
Potter pointed out that the federal government does not supply money to individuals, for such damage as may have been caused to store stocks in West Yellowstone, broken windows and other earthquake losses. But he said he understood the Small Business Administration had been asked to see if loans can be arranged to those individuals affected.
Potter said he had notified all home and cabin owners below Hebgen Dam to remove whatever effects they may desire, in case there is additional flood damage.
As of Tuesday, the Forest Service has returned special crews to Missoula, the military staffs have returned to bases and local authorities are in charge, Potter said.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 26, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Estimated damage from last week's Madison Canyon area earthquake already totals between 5 and 6 million dollars, Montana's congressional delegation said Tuesday.
Their report to Gov. J. Hugo Aronson again carried an appeal that he request declaration of a disaster area, thus becoming eligible for federal aid. Aronson has said the decision would be made Friday, after a conference with federal and state officials.
Sens. James E. Murray and Mike Mansfield, and Reps. Lee Metcalf and LeRoy Anderson, all Democrats, estimated the loss of national forests at $500,000, plus three to four million dollars to replace 20 miles of Montana Highway 287.
The congressmen quoted Director Conrad Wirth of the National Park Service as saying Yellowstone National Park damage would be about two million dollars.
The park is south and east of the Madison Canyon where earthquake slides Aug. 17 killed nine persons, injured more than 30 others, and may have buried an unknown number of campers.
The congressmen noted that the requirement that public property damage must exceed $500,000, other than highways, for the state to be eligible for federal aid does not apply to federal property where major damage occurred.
"You can request various disaster assistance on federal lands anytime," the delegation said.
"We will support the request and rapid action to restore all facilities."
They said the secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture and Interior have been asked to provide Aronson with advice on assistance that is available.
They added, "Great economic damage to the recreational area will continue as long as the west entrance to Yellowstone Park is closed and a good route to Ennis and Highway 10 is unavailable."
The delegation said lawyer James Bottomly will represent them at the meeting in Helena Friday.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 26, 1959]

Have 10-Day Deadline

WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT. (AP)--Army Engineers Thursday figured they have eight or nine more days in which to bulldoze a spillway in the massive mountain slide damming the Madison River.
Water in the lake forming behind the earthquake-caused slide is rising at the rate of 9 feet a day. The water is coming through the spillway at Hebgen Dam, seven miles above the slide, and from springs.
Eighteen bulldozers, power shovels and other pieces of earth-moving equipment borrowed from Idaho and Montana contractors were being used Thursday.
So vital is the need for heavy equipment to help beat the rising lake that one bulldozer sent by Peter Kiewit Sons Co., Idaho Falls, got a police escort across Idaho Wednesday.
Lt. Col. Walter Hogrefe, Garrison District engineer from Riverdale, N.D., said the machines are being used to level a spillway on top of the slide to carry the water over in a smooth flow.
The lake behind the slide is being called both Quake Lake and Slide Lake.
Thursday, 10 days after the quake that upset the Madison Canyon in southwestern Montana, the lake contained about 34,000 acre-feet of water.
Engineers say it will hold about 80,000 acre feet before water begins spilling over the slide, which is 48 miles above the once-evacuated town of Ennis.
Basic goal of the engineers is to make certain that Ennis and other populated downstream areas, home for about 1,500 persons, are insured against possible flooding.
In addition to the 18 pieces of heavy equipment already at the slide location, 16 more dozers are expected. The emergency call for equipment was issued by J. W. Marlow of Helena, manager of the Montana Contractors Association. Thirty-four pieces were promised, with the first arriving Monday.
Engineers built a 1,300-foot long road from the lower side of the slide to its top. This is the road over which the heavy equipment reaches the crest of the mountainous rock slide.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 27, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Representatives of federal and state agencies will meet with Gov. J. Hugo Aronson in Helena Friday to assess earthquake damage, a step the governor has asked before deciding on whether to ask for federal aid.
The list includes representatives from the Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, Forest Service, state and federal highway departments, the Red Cross and Gallatin and Madison Counties.
In addition, Montana's congressional delegation has asked the secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture and Interior to furnish Aronson with advice on various forms of aid available.
The delegation, which will be represented at the conference by James Bottomly, has asked the governor to declare a disaster area which would allow federal aid in reconstruction of the quake-torn Madison Canyon. The congressmen said estimated damage already totals over 5 million dollars.
A similar request was made by a group of senators and representatives who toured the area last weekend for their committees in Congress.
Aronson has said a decision would be made after the conference Friday.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 27, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--The list of persons missing and presumed dead in Montana's Aug. 17 earthquake rose to six today.
Gallatin County Sheriff Donald J. Skerritt added the names of Bernie L. Boynton and his wife, Inez, to the presumed-dead list, saying, "We are sure they are in there."
Skerritt, who has taken over handling of the disaster list from the Red Cross, said officials are convinced that these persons were killed in the slide at Rock Creek Campground:
Mr. and Mrs. Boynton, Billings, Mont.
Mr. and Mrs. Sidney D. Ballard and son, Christopher, Nelson, B.C.
Mrs. Thomas M. Stowe, Sandy, Utah, whose husband's body was among seven recovered after the quake. In addition, two persons injured in the quake-caused slides, died in hospitals.
Thirty-seven others are listed as unaccounted for. They are persons about whom repeated inquiries have been received, as possibly having been in southwestern Montana the night of Aug. 17.
Those from whom no word has been received:
Dr. Merle Edgerton and wife, Edna, Coalinga, Calif.
Harold Gaines, wife Phyllis, and three children, San Diego, Calif.
Donald Heady and wife, Irene, Syracuse, N.Y.
Arthur Holden and wife, Ruth, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Dr. Harold S. Murphy, wife and three children, listed only as from Pennsylvania.
James Peak, wife, son and friend, Saginaw, Mich.
Roger Provost, wife and two sons, Soledad, Calif.
Norman Smeds and wife, Winifred, Medford, Ore.
Robert J. Williams, wife and three children, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Harmon Woods and wife, Edna, Coalinga, Calif.
Fred C. Wrobbel, wife Evelyn, and two sons, Rosiclare, Ill.
Added to the unaccounted-for list Thursday were the Gaines, Heady, Holden and Smeds families.
Skerritt urged everyone who has made inquiries since the quake to contact their Red Cross office on whether the persons they asked about have returned home or remain missing.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 27, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Hebgen Dam, damaged in last week's earthquake, is holding well and continues to impound water as usual, Montana Power Co. engineers reported Wednesday.
They said a quake-caused crack in the concrete, shown in some pictures of the dam, is not considered dangerous and is not more than three inches wide.
A utility spokesman in Butte said plans are under way to repair the Madison River hydroelectric structure completed in 1915.
Meanwhile, emergency shortwave radio service has been set in southwestern Montana to alert residents of Ennis and Virginia City in the event of further earthquake disturbances.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 27, 1959]

Governor's Conference Seeks Source Of Aid Fund

HELENA, Mont. (AP)--Government and industry officials Friday estimated damage from last week's Yellowstone-Madison Canyon earthquake will run well over 11 million dollars.
They agreed the biggest problem remaining is where the money will come from.
Civil Defense officials said that because of limited damage to state, county and city property other than highways, it would be difficult to meet requirements for declaring the region a national disaster area. They were backed by a telegram from Director Leo A. Hoegh of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization.
Gov. J. Hugo Aronson said Thursday he would issue a proclamation permitting federal emergency aid for highways. But road officials Friday pointed out that even this must be on a federal-state matching basis and highway funds at both levels are nearly depleted.
This picture of the aftermath of the disastrous earthquake was pieced together at a public meeting called by the governor to assess quake damage.
Present were representatives of federal, state and county agencies as well as private industry.
The largest single damage estimate came from the Forest Service. Regional Forester Charles L. Tebbe of Missoula said damage to national forests and forest roads would run at least five million dollars.
He said his agency had spent another $82,000 on men and equipment used immediately after the Aug 17-18 quakes, and had found damage to private summer homes running at least $500,000.
The next highest figure was for replacement of damaged highways.
Montana Highway Engineer Fred Quinnell Jr. said the absolute minimum for replacing Montana Highway 287, extensively damaged and covered by slides, would be $2,650,000.
This estimate was the cost placed on rerouting the highway over Raynolds Pass near the Montana-Idaho border rather than back through Madison Canyon and would involve some $80,000 work in Idaho.
Yellowstone Park Supt. Lemuel A. Garrison said park damage would run about $2,575,000.
Montana Power Co. officials estimated damage to Hebgen Dam at a minimum of $150,000.
Maj. Gen. Keith R. Barney said the Army Engineers are spending between $150,000 and $200,000 on removing the danger of floods from a giant earthslide that choked the Madison River seven miles below Hebgen Dam.
Representatives from Ennis and quake-caused dam wanted to know whether there is still danger of a flood.
Barney and others said the danger is not entirely passed but everything possible is being done to end it.
Barney, the Missouri Division engineer from Omaha, said, "I can't guarantee absolute safety, but I'd be perfectly willing to sleep in Ennis tonight."
The meeting, in a packed Governor's Reception Room in the State Capitol, ended shortly before 1 p.m.
A telegram from Montana's congressional delegation, read just before adjournment, said a disaster designation for the damaged area would mean an extra $3,800,000 in federal aid.
Sens. James E. Murray and Mike Mansfield and Reps. Lee Metcalf and LeRoy H. Anderson renewed their request that the governor ask for a disaster designation. Also signing the wire from the Montana Democrats was Sen. Frank Church (D Idaho).
Such designation by President Eisenhower, they said, "will mean at least $3,700,000 in funds otherwise not available can be spent to help the area recover from the earthquake."
Aronson said his decision on requesting a disaster designation would be made after the meeting.
The congressmen said that if the disaster proclamation is requested, there will be four million dollars available to restore Montana Highway 1 from West Yellowstone to Ennis, 1 million dollars for roads in Yellowstone Park and $200,000 for various forest roads in the area.
They said such a proclamation also will permit the Veterans Administration and Federal Housing Administration to aid home restoration by suspending mortgage payments without penalty.
Some aid to damaged schools would be possible also.
If the proclamation is not made, the congressmen said, no emergency funds would be available for park and forest roads. And the secretary of commerce's emergency fund could supply only half the cost of restoring the part of Montana 1 which is on the federal aid system.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 28, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--Mr. and Mrs. Donald Heady, listed only Thursday as unaccounted for since the Montana earthquakes last week, are safe.
Dr. William C. Heady reported today from Clayton, N.Y. he had received a letter from Donald Heady from Medford, Ore., written after the quakes. Mr. and Mrs. Donald Heady recently moved from Fairmount, N.Y. to Medford.
The report cut the list of persons unaccounted for to 31.
Sheriff Donald J. Skerritt at Bozeman, Mont., now keeping the list, added 11 names to it Thursday on the basis of new inquiries by relatives. He also removed 11 names during the day when persons were located.
He said his office has received inquiries on hundreds of persons, most of whom have been found safe and some of whom were not even in southwest Montana.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 28, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--Civil Defense radio operators Saturday reported logging six earth tremors in the past 24 hours.
One of the log entries in the mobile communications station about four miles below the quake-caused Madison River slide read:
"A real shake--double dip." At least one other entry described a recent tremor as "sharp."
Four volunteers man the station, which links aircraft, sheriff and highway radio frequencies between West Yellowstone and Ennis, about 70 miles.
They are Jack Scully and Fred Kirby of Ennis and Guy Holtz and Lawrence Bubinski of Virginia City, seat of Madison County where the slide is located.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 30, 1959]


WASHINGTON (AP)--A special earthquake geologic area will be established in national forest lands affected by Montana's recent violent quake, the Agriculture Dept. said today.
An intensive study already has been started by the Forest Service to assess effects of the Aug. 17 18 earthquake on life, property and the earth's surface within the Gallatin and Beaverhead national forests.
When this survey is competed, boundaries will be determined and the earthquake geologic area established under regulations for setting up special areas of public interest.
"Though the quake area is clothed in tragedy," Forest Service Chief Richard E. McArdle said "the Forest Service recognizes that the area has tremendous new geological importance as the scene of one of America's severest earthquakes and its youngest natural lake."
The Gallatin and Beaverhead national forests in a giant land slide that dammed the Madison River.
McArdle said the Forest Service would cooperate in any appropriate plan approved by families in the area for a memorial in Gallatin forest to the persons who were killed in the quake.
The geologic area is expected to include the slide area, the new lake it created and many of the prominent faults and fissures in the two forests which resulted from the earthquake.
McArdle said the area would preserve evidence of earthquake action so that it will be available for observation and study.
Special trails, overlooks and interpretive signs will be included.
Development work will start after the emergency operations to open roads and restore damaged public facilities have been completed.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 30, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE (AP)--Twenty-six members of eight families are unaccounted for since last week's earthquakes which left nine known dead and did an estimated damage of 11 million dollars. Six persons are listed as missing and presumed dead.
Sixteen more names were stricken Friday from the list of persons unreported since the quake. All 16 were reported safe.
Sheriff Donald J. Skerritt at Bozeman removed these names:
Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Wrobbel and two sons of Rosiclaire, Ill., from whom a letter was received by a neighbor; Mr. and Mrs. Donald Heady of Medford, Ore.; Mr. and Mrs. Norman Smeds of Medford, who wrote relatives, and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Buckle and their three daughters who arrived at their home at Vancouver, B.C.
The list of persons considered unaccounted for, in addition to the six persons missing and presumed dead:
Ralph B. Anderson, wife Anna Marie and four children, Anaheim, Calif.
Dr. Merle Edgerton and wife, Edna, of Coalinga, Calif.
Dr. Harold S. Murphy, wife and three children, listed only as driving an automobile with Pennsylvania license.
Roger Provost, wife and two sons of Soledad, Calif.
Robert J. Williams, wife and three children of Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Harmon Woods and wife Edna of Coalinga, Calif.
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Madden of Chino, Calif.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 30, 1959]


By J. D. Holmes
Associated Press Staff Writer
What is it like?
The tremendous earth and rock slide that choked off one of the world's best trout fishing streams can be awe-inspiring, leaving you at a loss for words. Or it can be a rather disappointing spectacle.
It depends on how you relate its craggy spread-out bulk to the surrounding, majestic mountains of southwestern Montana.
It depends on how strong your feeling is that the earth, boulders and trees being thrust aside by 23 huge bulldozers, mark a grim monument to the unknown number of once-carefree campers the fallen mountain entombs.
But, most of all, it depends on your vantage point.
The disappointed reaction is best summed up by a tourist's remark passed along by a Montana Fish and Game Department employee, K. D. Sears of West Yellowstone.
As he drove Gov. J. Hugo Aronson and this writer from a grassy Forest Service landing strip to the top of the earthquake-caused slide, Sears told of hearing a woman say:
"Oh! Is that all it amounts to?"
That tourist was looking at the slide from four miles away--about as close as most visitors are permitted to the still-shaking ground of the Madison River Canyon.
Had she looked long enough to see that the slide appeared like a giant foothill to the adjacent mountain, the visitor could easily have impressed herself with its enormity.
If she could have gone through the road block and driven over a rough, steep road to the top of the slide, as we did, the lady probably would have been unable to make any remark at all.
Madison County Sheriff Lloyd Brook of historic Virginia City, who was helping man the road block a few miles downstream from the slide, joined the party on the trip to the top.
His job is to detour tourists off Montana 287 from the west and send them toward West Yellowstone or Idaho over the unpaved Raynolds Pass road.
Travelers object, sometimes loudly, to being prevented from continuing on to the scene of the Aug. 17-18 mountainslide.
Nevertheless, only the official few got a go ahead into the heart of one of the nation's worst quake-damaged areas of all time.
The sheriff himself was quick to say, "I don't mind admitting this is my first trip up this road." He referred to the road Army Engineers built to get 34 pieces of massive road equipment on top of the slide.
Shortly before their vehicle began the hard pull onto the slide, members of the governor's party had their thoughts directed forcibly to the tragic night which brought death to at least nine persons.
In the bed of the Madison River, nearly dry at the downstream edge of the mile-long slide, were two piles of twisted metal. Green paint and some pieces of chrome trim on what once had been two automobiles sparkled in the sun.
Someone said a survivor claimed money was locked inside one bent mass of steel and the sheriff said he would check the report out later.
Nearby, at the edge of the road where rescuers had apparently dragged them, were two torn mattresses and what looked like the remnants of bedding.
The queasy feeling these sights produced changed swiftly to amazement as the top of the slide was reached and crossed.
The stillness gave way to the roar of dozens of powerful diesel engines, the clank of steel tractor treads and the crunch of rock.
Some 34 pieces of equipment rushed to the scene by contractors in Montana and Idaho, each machine with its own driver, are being pushed to the limit from sunrise to sunset.
Included are 23 bulldozers and three big power shovels, two of which were crawling slowly up the road to the slide Saturday.
One had just arrived from Idaho by trailer over the Raynolds Pass road. It had to be unloaded at an old wooden bridge which would not bear the weight. The shovel forded the creek under its own power and made its slow way the four remaining miles to the slide.
The job would be enormous under any conditions.
But, racing a clock on which only five or six days remain, it defies description.
Yet, even to a layman's eyes, the progress already made is clear evidence the channel can be completed before the lake formed by the slide begins spilling over the top.
Hogrefe placed a helicopter, piloted by Fred Gerlach of Missoula, at Aronson's service and the governor inspected the work from the air. Later, the writer circled the area from the slide upstream seven miles to Hebgen Dam.
In the lake, now backed up five miles by the slide, the green and brown-roofed tops of 11 or 12 houses and other buildings can be seen. Several obviously had floated some distance. Most of the nearly submerged buildings, however, were said to have been a resort camp, one of many along the famed Madison.
The north shore road that once linked West Yellowstone with Ennis, Virginia City and Butte was completely washed out in places and cracked in others.
Bulldozers had cut bypasses around the washouts and filled in the cracks to make the route temporarily usable to a point about three miles above the slide.
There, Montana 287 disappears. It emerges again four miles downstream at the western edge of the slide.
As the 'copter set down in the midst of the construction, five bulldozers operating side by side gave a clear picture of the feverishness of the beat-the clock project. The pilot said he saw 12 machines lined up that way earlier, all pushing rock from what soon will be the river's new spillway.
Engineer Hogrefe said weak spots in the channel will be firmed with quartzite.
This hard rock originally acted as a sort of retaining wall for the collapsed mountain on the south side of the Madison. It ended up, almost unbelievably, in a huge pile at the slide's highest point on the north side of the river.
Estimates of the amount of fill in the slide range from 30 to 50 million cubic yards.
This means the material in the slide could be compared roughly to about half the fill used to build Garrison Dam at Riverdale, N.D. That structure, which took seven years to build and cost 294 million dollars, is the nation's largest roll-fill dam.
The slide probably contains enough material to equal the fill used in the Gavin's Point Dam at Yankton, S.D., the lowest damsite on the Missouri. This was built in less than two years at a cost of under 200 million dollars.
Thus, nature, in a matter of seconds, built a dam that would have cost man years of time and millions of dollars to erect.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 30, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Residents of towns near the Madison Canyon-Yellowstone earthquake region assured potential tourists that their areas are completely safe for travel.
"There's no more danger now than there ever has been," said a businessman delegation from Ennis, the first town down the Madison from the Hebgen Dam and quake slide area.
"Our town is undamaged and the tourist facilities are open as usual," the businessmen said. "The same holds true for Virginia City."
The delegation emphasized that it did not want any monetary aid or charity. "We just want people," they said.
W. T. Beaumont, Montana manager of the Small Business Administration, said he found this same attitude in West Yellowstone, where, he said, about half the businesses have been closed since the quake closed the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
The Ennis group pointed out that tourists who want to view the Rock Creek Campground slide from a safe distance may do so from the gravel and dirt road over Raynolds Pass to West Yellowstone.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 30, 1959]


HELENA, (AP)--The Fish and Game Department says it may take three to four years for the Madison River below Hebgen Dam to regain its crown as one of the nation's best fishing areas. A report by George Holton, chief fisheries biologist, added that even more time may be required to reestablish numbers of lunker trophy trout.
Holton's announcement followed a survey to determine how trout fared in the low water resulting from a quake-caused slide which filled the river channel and disrupted the natural flow.
"There has been significant, immediate damage from the loss of water and consequent reduction of living space for trout," Holton reported. "Large, dead trout were seen in the main river as well as in dried up pools away from the main channel. However, fisheries personnel using an electric fish shocker found numerous live brown and rainbow trout concentrated in remaining pools. Some of these trout reached three and four pounds in weight."
The Madison suffered an additional setback the past week. Due to damage from falling rocks, Holton said the Montana Power Co. had to make repairs to the large pipe carrying water from Ennis Dam to the generating plant. For three days both the dam and the pipe were closed, he said, allowing only a very small flow of water to go through the famed Bear Trap Canyon to the lower half of the Madison River.
"Due to higher summer water temperatures in the lower Madison, conditions for trout below Ennis Dam are even more critical than upstream," the biologist added." The extent of damage to the trout population resulting from these three days of low flow has not been determined. The Montana Power Co. has advised that following repairs and until normal flows are resumed in the upper river, as much water as comes into Ennis Lake will be allowed to pass through Ennis Dam to the lower Madison."
Most of the river channel has been covered by at least some water. In the upper river, water has been provided by springs and tributaries, and augmented by seepage from Ennis Dam.
Even a small amount of water is very important, Holton pointed out, since it not only maintains a limited number of trout but also keeps trout foods alive--that is, smaller fish and stream bottom insects. Recovery of stream life, when normal flows are resumed, will be much faster if even small numbers of fish and insects remain. "This means, barring further serious deterioration in trout living conditions or trout foods, the sport fishery may take as long as three to four years to regain its former excellence," Holton said. "More time may be required to re-establish numbers of lunker trout.
"This doesn't mean there won't be fishing in the meantime. Wild trout will grow fast in this highly productive steam and they will be augmented with hatchery fish."
The department advised that fishing regulations for the Madison will not be changed as a result of the low water conditions. The report said since there will be a reduction in the fish population as it adjusts to the lower water, it would be better to have the fish taken by anglers than to die in the stream.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 30, 1959]


Yellowstone Park--Yellowstone National Park's scenic and thermal wonders are still available and being used by park visitors, Supt. Lemuel A. (Lon) Garrison announced today. Pointing out that four major park entrances are open now and the West Entrance should open again within a few days, Garrison indicated that in most major aspects park operations were proceeding almost normally. Accommodations at all visitor points such as Old Faithful, West Thumb, Lake, Fishing Bridge, Canyon and Mammoth are open as they have been throughout the earthquake period.
Garrison states that some after shocks continue following the major earthquake on Aug. 17, but they are presently diminishing in intensity quite noticeably, and unless other heavy shocks or slides occur the park will remain in full operation through October 31 as had been planned. The West Entrance road slides are being removed, and this road will open on a limited basis just as soon as it is safe for visitor travel. The road from Canyon to Norris Geyser basin is open, but travel between Norris and Madison Junction or Mammoth is still restricted.
There were no fatalities within the park and no serious injuries during this critical period, but the National Park Service asks visitors to observe every precaution and warning sign while in the park during this adjustment period. Visitor walk and interpretive talks throughout the Old Faithful and Lower Geyser Basin are being conducted daily as a public service.
Garrison also reported that scientific data on the effects of this quake on Yellowstone's thermal features is being collected by park naturalist George G. Marler an employee who has been detailed to hydrothermal research studies for the past two years. Mr. Marler reports that the most noted effect is a pronounced increase in thermal energy.
Many springs without any previous record of geyser function became eruptive and a number of geysers began playing on greatly shortened intervals. To attempt to describe these effects in detail would involve a description of practically all springs in the geyser basins along the Firehole River.
A few geysers are playing on about the same pattern as before the earthquake, but the formerly limpid water of hundreds of springs is in a turbid state. It would seem that the earthquake served as a trigger to start discharge from hundreds of springs.
On the morning of August 18, the Giantess Geyser was active. Examination of the stage of the eruption indicated that it had started at about the time of the initial shock at 11:38 p.m., August 17. An eruption of the Giantess has a pronounced effect upon the great majority of the springs on Geyser Hill, therefore, it is hard to ascertain what effect the earthquake had on these springs. It is quite certain that near-by Cascade Geyser was induced to erupt for the first time in over forty years.
The Fountain Paint Pot shows increased activity. Mud has been splashed violently over guard rails and walkways. The paint pot has undermined one sidewalk and started to break out in the near-by parking area.
Numerous other changes have been noted in the geyser basins. Only time will tell whether these changes are permanent or merely transitory.
It is certain that the recent earthquake has afforded an unparalleled opportunity to observe geological changes manifested in Yellowstone's hot springs.
Travel to the park has been reduced by this occurrence, but still many thousands a day are entering and enjoying the unusual opportunity to inspect and enjoy the changing thermal features, the scenery, and the wildlife, Garrison emphasized.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 31, 1959]


YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP)--The west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, closed since a jolting earthquake Aug. 17, was reopened today.
Three major tourist roads in the western part of the park also were reopened to daytime traffic today.
"The roads in the western part of the park will be closed at night because there are still a few tremors and we don't want to have any campers caught," Park Ranger Jim Valder said.
Roads reopened today were between Old Faithful Inn and Madison Junction, West Yellowstone to Madison Junction and Norris Junction to Canyon. The Norris Mammoth Hot Springs road will be opened in a few days but the Madison Norris road will remain closed for the balance of the 1959 tourist season.
Valder said there are some cracks and rough spots in the newly-reopened road, "but they're patched up reasonably well."
A series of earthquakes rocked the park area and southwestern Montana during the week beginning Aug. 17, causing at least nine deaths in southern Montana. Six other persons were reported and presumed dead in the earthquake, one of the severest records in the United States.
There were five major rockslides that park service crews cleaned off the highways during the past week, in addition to several smaller slides.
Despite the earthquakes, tourist travel in the summer wonderland didn't drop extensively, Park officials said.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 31, 1959]


YELLOWSTONE PARK, Wyo. (AP)--Will the earthquake-fostered changes in Yellowstone National Park geyser activity be permanent?
Only time will tell, says Supt. Lemuel A. Garrison. But tourists, meanwhile, will have a unique opportunity to observe the differences.
The biggest changes are in the Lower Geyser Basin, where, says Garrison, a great increase in thermal energy is evident. Nearly all the geysers in this basin are playing at shorter intervals since the Aug. 17-18 quakes.
Pink Cone Geyser, for example, is playing several times a day instead of about twice a week.
In the Firehole Lake area many previously inactive springs erupted the night of Aug. 17 and about an acre of ground around the lake slumped considerably.
Castle Geyser has been erupting every four or five hours instead of about every 15 as it had for years. Daisy Geyser's interval has been shortened to about 90 minutes from 140 and long dormant Economic Geyser has been rejuvenated.
Old Faithful Geyser and a few others apparently are unaffected.
The superintendent said scientific data on effects of the quake is being collected by Park Naturalist George G. Marler.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; August 31, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE (AP)--Army Engineers began around-the-clock work Tuesday in a desperate effort to complete a spillway before water tops nature's dam on the Madison River.
The water could top the slide about Friday.
Two diesel power generators will be set up by dark Tuesday to furnish lights for all-night operation of bulldozers, power shovels and dump trucks.
Water in the lake formed behind the earthquake-caused mountain slide was 30 to 35 feet below the crest of the mile-long slide Monday. The new reservoir, known as Quake Lake and Slide Lake, is about 150 feet deep and five miles long. It has risen as much as nine feet daily since the earthquakes on Aug. 17-18.
The doubled tempo will have men working two 10-hour shifts. This was not possible before because of the lack of floodlight equipment. Thus far, some 150 men have worked from sunrise to sunset daily.
The equipment operators spend their nights at Ennis, about 45 minutes drive from the slide. Corps of Engineers men stay at West Yellowstone, about 1 hours away by car over the Raynolds Pass road.
Engineers have set up a flood warning station about half a mile from the slide. A 24-hour daily watch on a gauge at the station was ordered by Lt. Col. Walter Hogrefe, Garrison District engineer from Riverdale, N.D.
At the first sign of any ominous change in water depth, a warning would be flashed by radio tied in with the Forest Service emergency network.
Two geologists attached to the emergency team are making tests of rock formations on the ridge above the slide and in the slide strain gauges to locate any rock movements or cracks back of the ridge. The geologists are Donald K. Knight and Robert E. Curtiss of the Omaha District.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 1, 1959]


SAN FRANCISCO (AP)--Seismologists still haven't located exactly the epicenter of the great earthquake which shook the West Yellowstone region Aug. 17, an investigator said today.
Latest calculations put the center just inside Yellowstone Park and on the south side of the Firehole River, said B. J. Morrill, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey technician who was one of the first official observers to reach the area from the outside.
This puts the center several miles east and a little south of the original epicenter calculation.
Morrill, who lives in nearby San Mateo, and Richard P. Maley, of San Francisco, a government geophysicist, did a quick job of getting two portable seismographs to the scene from here.
They learned of the quake immediately from a newly installed high sensitivity seismograph installed in the Coast and Geodetic Survey's seismology office here and headed for the scene by automobile with the two recording instruments.
The portable machines were installed at the site while the ground still was shaking violently.
These and other machines previously installed at Bozeman and Butte, Mont., and at Logan, Utah, will contribute data which will yield the final information as to the epicenter. The Coast and Geodetic Survey eventually will have a complete picture of what happened to the area geologically.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 1, 1959]


The Gallatin Red Cross chapter today received an $8,000 check from the National Red Cross, Pacific area, as a "disaster grant" for expenditures incurred during the Montana earthquake.
This was the second disaster grant to be received by the chapter here. The first one of $2,000 came from the National Red Cross Aug. 21.
Chapter officials said the money spent for this disaster operation in Gallatin county, an estimated total of $11,700 from the national organization, approximates the amount of the annual Red Cross goal in the county.
The balance of about $1,700 will be received as it is needed, according to Richard F. Gordon, director of disaster services.
A special disaster advisory committee met with local officials yesterday at West Yellowstone to review the work done by the Red Cross in Montana during the earthquake.
The committee also offered guidance in planning with families for Red Cross assistance in applications received for rehabilitation.
Dr. Paul Visscher, Gallatin county chapter chairman, said that more than 2,800 welfare inquiries had been received and processed by the chapter.
He said: "This part of the job, requiring many hours of work, was carried on by the volunteers of the chapter and the community. Mrs. Herman Lehrkind, chairman of the staff aides, was in charge of the work." Dr. Visscher said the cost of this part of the disaster operation would be about $2,500.
He added that assistance to families, who had need for shelter, food, clothing, transportation to place of residence and medical care have been committed in the amount of $9,200.
Dr. Visscher pointed out that more than 200 persons were given mass care, and help with food, clothes and shelter. The assistance was given on individual need basis, not on the basis of loss, he said.
The doctor emphasized that assistance received by families is an outright gift made possible by the generosity of the American people. "No loans are made to victims of disaster and repayment is not requested or expected," he said.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 3, 1959]


Members of the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce Highway and Tourist and Convention Committees have been attending meetings and studying possible economic changes that might occur in the Gallatin Empire as direct and indirect result of the recent earthquakes in the Yellowstone and Madison areas.
Attending Governor Aronson's evaluation meeting in Helena last Friday were, George Niebel and Howard Nelson of the chambers highway committee, Lyman Haynes, tourist and convention committee and Harold Fryslie, chamber manager.
Representatives of all County, State and Federal Agencies involved with the quake area and property damages, submitted detailed reports to the Governor at Fridays sessions in the State Capitol along with their recommendations as to courses of action they feel should be followed in making necessary repairs to roads and other government and private property.
Regardless of action taken by the State and Federal Governments, this area will feel a change in travel and other economic activity the chamber representatives said. "With the loss for some time of a portion of Montana Highway 1, it is certain that motorists will create an increased load on U.S. Highway 191. This projected condition causes an even greater need for an accelerated completion of the construction now in progress and planned for portions of U.S. Highway 191," according to the Bozeman Chamber.
Routing of that portion of Montana Highway 1 which must be reconstructed is another matter of vital concern to the Gallatin and Madison areas. Representatives of the Bozeman Chamber have scheduled meetings with Highway officials to gain the thinking of that department and to apprise the Highway Department of the opinions held by business and professional people of the area.
"All facets of the demands of the motoring public should be given serious consideration before final decisions are reached regarding road reconstruction and routing," Bozeman's Chamber representatives said.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 3, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Civil Defense Director Hugh K. Potter Thursday assailed what he called the "baseless rumors and persistent sightseers causing most of the difficulties in the Madison River earthquake area."
Potter, returning from an inspection of the earthquake zone, reiterated his stand that declaration of a national disaster area is not necessary.
He said there is no danger to downstream areas and appealed to Montanans to stay away from the damaged canyon.
Potter said, "Schools and business places in West Yellowstone are operating as usual. Those wishing to use the West Yellowstone entrance to the park may go by way of Raynolds Pass, a route about two miles longer than the former highway by Hebgen Lake.
"Army engineers are making good progress in cutting a channel across the top of the slide created by the earthquake. When the water starts through this new channel, it will go very slowly because of seepage. The flow can be controlled quite well by Hebgen Dam.
"Rumors that Hebgen dam may collapse are absolutely false. The dam is not leaking and is functioning normally. In fact, some engineers think the quake may have strengthened it in places because the shocks hit it on one end and forced it a little bit into tighter contact with abutments.
"Schools in the area that have been damaged can have surplus federal goods for the asking. There is no need to declare a disaster area for that. There are some metal army surplus buildings out west that can be had. But schools should first look into the cost of dismantling them and transporting them, along with re-assembly. That cost might be more than making repairs to damaged schools.
"I appeal to Montanans not to try to insect the earthquake area. They will not be allowed within five miles of the damaged section. Army Engineers are using available roads near the slide. Visitors cannot be allowed in that area."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 3, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE (AP)--Army hydrologists predicted Wednesday that the Madison River would not overflow the earthquake-caused dam before late Saturday or Sunday.
They said the water was about 24 feet from the top of the slide Wednesday, rising at the rate of six feet per day. The water had been rising at the rate of eight to 10 feet per day.
Army engineers have rigged up diesel generators so work could continue at night to cut a spillway in the new dam. Workmen are cutting the spillway on two 10-hour shifts per day. They use the other four hours in the day to service the equipment.
Lt. Col. Walter Hogrefe, head of the spillway operation for the Army Engineers, predicted the spillway would be completed by Friday. The spillway will provide a chute to send water from the lake behind the landslide downstream into the Madison River.
Officials had estimated the water would spill over the slide Friday night.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 3, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Gov. J. Hugo Aronson told Virginia City school trustees Thursday he could see no way that presidential declaration of a national disaster area would help their situation.
Instead, he said, quake-caused damage to the tourist income of the area would be further magnified.
Aronson said repeated requests by Montana congressmen that he ask for such designation in the earthquake area "seem to be a smokescreen of some kind, although I's not sure just why it is being done."
The state's all-Democrat delegation told the school district Wednesday that substantial federal aid for the damaged school could come only with declaration of a disaster area under Public Law 875. They also advised that four steel Army buildings would be available at Hanford, Wash., if the school district paid the cost of transportation and erection.
The Republican governor, answering Thursday in a letter to Warren Richmond, a member of the Virginia City board, said the any disaster request, but pointed out that they are bare steel buildings that would have to be moved, set up, wired, floored, insulated and otherwise made ready for use.
The governor said he has asked Public Instruction Supt. Harriet Miller to see what temporary provisions might be made to help the damaged schools.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 4, 1959]


WASHINGTON (AP)--The earthquake near West Yellowstone, Mont. caused momentary changes in water levels in wells throughout the country.
The Geological Survey reported today that changes were registered by its automatic water-stage recorders in states as far away as Hawaii and Florida.
First reports from those two states as well as from Idaho and New Jersey show that water levels jumped at least 17 inches at some places while at others the effect was only about a quarter of an inch.
In some instances the effect was so strong that recorders jumped the track so the full amount of change could not be determined.
Among distant points of observation, a well in Union County, N.J., had the largest fluctuation--17 inches in all. In four other New Jersey wells the fluctuation was only about an inch. These wells are about 1,900 miles from the epicenter of the quake.
The earthquake was registered in Hawaiian wells, about 3,200 miles from the epicenter, at about 9 p.m. local time on Aug. 17. The levels in three wells rose and fell about a quarter to three-quarters of an inch.
In Florida, the water levels in wells around Miami changed within a range of 1.7 to 6.8 inches. These wells are about 2,100 miles from the quakes's epicenter.
The survey for many years has collected and compiled records of abrupt water-level changes caused by earthquakes and shown on its recording gauges in observation wells.
It noted that not only earthquake waves but even passing trains affect water levels. In fact, it said the effect is so marked that one can determine train schedules by observing the groundwater charts at given wells.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 4, 1959]


WASHINGTON (AP)--Work is already under way or soon will be on $864,000 worth of emergency repairs and restorations in Yellowstone National Park because of damage caused by the recent severe earthquake.
Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton so informed the Montana congressional delegation today. He also told the legislators that additional work which may be undertaken next spring is tentatively estimated to cost another $1,700,000.
Seaton said funds for the work being undertaken immediately will be obtained by adjusting current programs of the National Park Service.
He added he expects to inspect the damaged area himself soon.
Work already under way or to be undertaken immediately includes:
Emergency repairs to roads to remove slides, restore surfaces, etc., estimated to cost about $388,880;
Major reconstruction of the Gibbon Falls section of road, $350,000;
Repair and restoration of buildings and utilities, $95,000;
Additional operating costs incident to special emergency measures, $31,000.
Work which may be undertaken next spring would involve replacement of stone buildings at Mammoth Hot Springs. Some of these buildings are 50 years old.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 6, 1959]


YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP)--Labor Day week end vacationers in the center of Yellowstone National Park were awakened Saturday by an earth tremor--described as the earthquake near here three week ago.
But no injuries, rockslides, or major damage was reported.
The dawn tremor, described as the strongest of three since midnight, was not reported felt in any location beyond the resort at Canyon, where cafeteria dishes were broken.
Canyon's general manager, Col. Joseph E. Primeau, a retired Air Force officer, said the quake was the strongest since the big earthquakes which tore western Montana Aug. 17.
Those tremors caused slides which left 28 persons dead or missing in an area just west of the park boundary. The quakes also caused extensive road damage in the park.
But Frank Sylvester, chief park ranger, said Saturday's tremors caused no road damage. He said no evidence of loose rock above or on highways was found after a thorough inspection by rangers Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, repair work on the Aug. 17 quake damage continued.
Army engineers were working on the mile long spillway being constructed over the top of the 55 million ton quake-caused slide about seven miles below Hebgen Dam and 20 air miles northwest of the scene of Saturday's tremors.
Five power shovels, 20 bulldozers and 15 dump trucks are being manned on the job by 106 workers.
Water is rising in Quake Lake and is expected to spill over the huge slide Friday. The lake claimed many summer homes and cabin camps that dotted the valley below Hebgen Dam before the earlier quakes.
Sylvester said bids will be called for soon for rebuilding on a 1,000 foot section of the Yellowstone Park Highway damaged by the quake.
The highway is in a deep canyon near Gibbon Falls. Sylvester said considerable rock in the canyon wall must be cut away to prevent future rockslides.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 6, 1959]


SOLEDAD, Calif. (AP)--Roger Provost did not report today for duty and it was assumed that he and his wife and their two sons were killed in the Montana earthquake Aug. 17.
Provost, 43, was supposed to go on duty at 8 a.m. as deputy superintendent of Soledad Correctional Training Facility.
A postcard dated Aug. 16 was the last word heard from Provost. The card informed his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Provost of Ontario, Calif., that he and his family were camped on the Madison River. The big earthquake occurred the next day.
With Provost were his wife, Elizabeth, and their sons, David, 2, and Richard, 16.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 8, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--Gov. J. Hugo Aronson will be at Quake Lake Dam in the Madison Canyon Thursday afternoon for a brief ceremony marking the first flow of water over the quake-caused slide dam.
The dammed up Madison River is expected to top the slide and begin flowing through a mile long spillway sometime Wednesday night.
Aronson said Tuesday he will fly to the area in time for 2:30 p.m. ceremony with Army Engineers and other officials.
The ceremony will be held on top of the slide, the site of a quake on the Madison the night of Aug. 17.
The quake left 28 persons dead or presumed dead, many of whom apparently are buried forever beneath this slide.
Work on the spillway was near completion Tuesday, but engineers said two shovels and a skeleton crew will remain at the site for about 30 days for emergency repairs and maintenance.
The engineers, under Lt. Col. Walter Hogrefe, Garrison District engineer from Riverdale, N.D., have been working almost around the clock since a few days after the quake. Their goal has been to cut the spillway, providing an orderly flow of water and eliminating threat of a flood in the populated Madison Valley below.
Crews have been working on the spillway even as tremors continued to shake the area and send up little clouds of dust from resulting smaller slides.
The latest southwestern Montana tremor, which rattled beds in Butte, 80 miles from the dam, was reported early Monday.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 8, 1959]


YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (AP)--Travel through Yellowstone National Park, which reached record levels this summer, dropped by one half after the Aug. 17 earthquake.
Figures released today showed travel for August prior to the quake was 15.2 per cent ahead of August, 1958. By August 30 it was down 9 per cent from last year.
Park officials said, however, that travel is still exceeding 5,000 persons per day in the park. The total for the year on Aug. 30 was 1,290,752, compared with 1,257,040 at the same time a year ago--a 2.7 per cent increase.
The northeast (Cooke City, Mont.) entrance showed the largest percentage of increase so far this year--8.2 per cent. The south entrance at Jackson is up 8 per cent, the east entrance at Cody is up 2.6 per cent and the north gate at Gardiner, Mont., is up 2.3 per cent. The West Yellowstone gate is down 4.2 per cent. The loss resulted from closure of the entrance from Aug. 17-31 following the quake-caused rock slides.
Park roads are to be kept open this year until Nov. 1. Park officials said tourist accommodations would be available to late visitors on both east and west sides of the park until Nov. 1.
Canyon Village remains open until Oct. 1 and Old Faithful Lodge until Nov. 1. Old Faithful Inn and cafeteria, West Thumb cafeteria, Roosevelt Lodge, Lake Lodge, Lake Hotel, Mammoth Terrace grill, bus service, stagecoach trips and saddle horse facilities are already closed.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 9, 1959]


GREAT FALLS (AP)--"There must have been a terrific blast--a blast so big it is almost impossible to believe."
This was a Great Falls excavating contractor's impression of the Aug. 17 earthquake that sent the side of a mountain across the Madison Canyon in southwestern Montana.
The contractor, James Robertson, has two tractors and crews working on construction of a spillway through the giant slide and just returned from the area himself.
He based his blast theory on several facts:
All bodies recovered from edges of the slide were nude, indicating to Robertson that their clothing was blown off. Trees from the river valley are lying with their roots pointing up the mountain. And, much of the rock at the top of the slide is quartzite, which geologists claim was below the bed of the Madison River before the quake.
Robertson said he believes the action that touched off the slide came in three stages, each taking but a matter of minutes.
First, he theorized, a terrific explosion occurred below the river, blowing the quartzite and trees several hundred feet up the mountainside and taking the "toe" out of the mountain. This, he said, caused the slide that rolled over Rock Creek Campground and dammed the river. Finally, the theory goes, the quake itself followed and pushed many of the rocks up the mountains.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 9, 1959]


Clarence D. Scott, 59-year-old retired Fresno, Calif., man was released from the hospital here at noon today, the last of the injured in the Aug. 17 earthquake and Madison slide to leave.
Scott, on the critical list for several days, left with his wife for Fresno where they will stay at the home of a daughter.
The California man and his wife were camped at Rock Creek, scene of the Madison Canyon slide the night of the earthquake. Scott received a severe chest injury. His wife was treated at the hospital for shock following their evacuation the day following the slide and quake.
The Scotts had been camped at the Rock Creek grounds from June 7 until the quake and were making their fifth stop there in as many years.
Fifteen of the most seriously injured persons evacuated by helicopter from the slide area were flown to the hospital here for treatment. Two of the injured, both women, later died here.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 9, 1959]


QUAKE LAKE, Mont. (AP)--Water bubbled down a rough spillway today on the face of a huge natural dam formed by the terrible earthquake of Aug. 17.
The water reached the crest of the seven mile-long lake late Wednesday. Gov. J. Hugo Aronson was expected to visit the scene today.
The 250-foot wide, mile-long spillway was fashioned by Army engineers on the face of the vast rockslide which is presumed to be the tomb for 19 persons.
They were among scores of persons at the Rock Creek campground when the side of a mountain, sheared off by the first tremor, thundered down into the Madison River Valley. Nine persons are known dead, and 19 others are listed as missing and presumed dead.
The slide blocked the river seven miles downstream from Hebgen Dam. Between the two dams rose Quake Lake at the rate of three feet a day.
The spillway will provide a safety valve for the waters, averting the threat of floods to downstream communities.
"It is one of the most remarkable engineering feats that has ever been done in so short a time," said one Army engineer of the spillway.
Thursday morning, the leading edge of the flow had crossed the spillway crest. But 500 feet beyond that high point it was disappearing into the rocks.
This left about 2,000 feet of spillway still to be wet down before the water flow would remain in evidence on top of the entire new river channel.
Between Quake Lake and the spillway crest, however, the early morning flow was estimated at 90 cubic feet a second.
Engineers hoped for a good flow by 2:30 p.m. when Aronson was to visit the spillway location for a second time.
Federal and state officials will mark the water's passage over the spillway with a brief ceremony at that time.
The general public, however, was still prevented from visiting the slide area by a roadblock at the junction of Montana 287 and the turnoff to the Raynolds Pass road leading to West Yellowstone.
A skeleton crew will keep a vigil on the spillway's performance for several days.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 10, 1959]


Representatives from Ennis, Virginia City and Bozeman met with Lee Swanson, a member of the Montana State Highway Commission, to discuss reconstruction and routing of Montana Highway 1 in the area damaged or destroyed by the recent earthquake. The meeting was presided over by W. C. Henshaw, president of the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce.
Swanson, speaking on behalf of the Highway Commission said that final decisions in connection with the road construction have not yet been made and that only the commission may do so. Routing will be determined at the earliest practical date, Swanson said, after the Highway Department has had opportunity to consider all factors involved.
"We are going to weigh every aspect in this matter," Swanson said, "and give consideration to the economy of the Madison area, desires of other state and federal agencies as well as the recommendations of engineers."
At the present time, Swanson said that the Raynolds Pass route appears most practical and the Highway Commission is in hopes of being able to complete necessary preliminary work so contracts for the reconstruction may be let this fall.
Following a discussion and presentation of each county's interests, the group representing the three communities handed Swanson their unanimous opinion that a new or rebuilt road of all weather standard should be completed at the earliest date, and that the demands and desires of tourists be considered by the Highway Commission.
The meeting was held at the Sportsman Lodge in Ennis with 29 persons in attendance from the three communities. Representing the Bozeman Chamber was Edward Chauner, A. P. Dasinger, Harold Fryslie, Bert Griffin, W. C. Henshaw, Lyman Haynes, George Neibel, Howard Nelson and Arnold Swanson, all of whom favor reconstruction of Highway 1 through the Madison Canyon, if practical and feasible from an engineering standpoint.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 10, 1959]


ENNIS (AP)--Signs throughout this community indicate the residents are taking no chances of being surprised by a flood.
The posters proclaim that continuous wailing of a siren will mean one thing--evacuation. Short siren blasts will mean "all clear."
Ennis is about 45 miles downstream from Quake Lake, the reservoir formed behind the mountain slide caused by an earthquake Aug. 17.
Newsman W. Preston (Luke) Wright, Helena correspondent for the Great Falls Tribune, saw the signs and reported:
"After standing on top of the natural dam and seeing how big and wide it is, I don't think the people of Ennis have a thing to worry about."
Most Ennis residents left their homes for higher ground the day after the earthquake when it was feared that Hebgen Dam, seven miles upstream from the slide, might give way. Though slightly cracked by the quake, the dam has been pronounced safe by engineers.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 10, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Some increases in spring and stream flows in the upper Madison and Gallatin River Canyons were credited Wednesday by the U.S. Geological Survey to the severe earthquakes of August 17-18.
"The immense slide dam on the Madison River closed off the waters released from Hebgen Reservoir which, at month's end, amounted to about 60,000 acre-feet," the agency said.
"Some sewage water began appearing at the foot of the slide dam on August 26 and reached a fairly constant level of about 12 cubic feet per second near month-end. This flow of less than one per cent of the inflow is believed to be from independent springs beneath the slide dam.
"Overflow of the dam through a broad prepared spillway channel is expected when the inflow has reached about 85,000 acre-feet.
"The waves set up by the earthquake caused an overtopping of Hebgen Dam in a series of brief surges that may have reached a peak volume of about 11,000 cubic feet per second.
"A minor increase in the capacity in Hebgen Reservoir is indicated by preliminary comparison of inflow and outflow."
The Geological Survey also said:
August runoff was above or near median in the mountain areas. Reservoir storage was generally above average with some local exceptions.
West of the Continental Divide streams showed the usual seasonal decrease during August with runoff for the month continuing much above average.
East of the Continental Divide mountain stream flow was somewhat lower but generally near the median values for 1921-45.
As the close of the irrigation season drew near, storage for remaining irrigation appeared ample with reservoir contents generally above average. A few local shortages or low carryover were indicated by month-end contents. Hydroelectric reservoirs were approaching the period of seasonal drawdown with about average volumes in storage.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 10, 1959]


WASHINGTON (AP)--Army engineers will keep a close watch on the Montana earthquake area until they're satisfied no hazard exists, an officer said today.
Maj. Gen. Keith R. Barney, chief of the Omaha, Neb., Army Engineer Division, made the statement in a report to the Montana congressional delegation regarding the recent earthquake in the Yellowstone National Park area.
Barney said engineers are keeping close watch on the Montana Power Co.'s Hebgen Dam, which was damaged by the quake, and on a huge earthslide which dammed the Madison River below Hebgen.
The Montanans were told that water from the new "quake lake," formed by the slides, Thursday night began pouring over a spillway built by the engineers.
The spillway flow equals the Madison's volume running into Hebgen Reservoir, and will be increased to permit lowering of the surface in Hebgen to make possible an inspection of the dam.
Barney has asked about the existing warning system in the event residents of Ennis, downstream from quake lake, are endangered in any way.
He said the system is a civil defense responsibility, but the Army will move in on request if the system is found to be inadequate.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 11, 1959]


QUAKE LAKE (AP)--The Madison River, world-famed fishing stream in southwestern Montana, is whole again.
Water streamed across the top of a fallen mountainside Thursday afternoon, reuniting the river with its headwaters for the first time since Aug. 17.
That was when an earthquake turned the mountain into a huge natural dam and a grim monument to 28 dead or missing and presumed dead.
Twenty-four days after the slide water from Quake Lake, formed behind the fallen mountain, crossed the mile-long spillway and flowed into the old river bed. The first trickle of water reached the end of the spillway at 1:03 p.m. Thursday.
Army Engineers and private contractors worked almost around the clock since a few days after the quake to bulldoze the spillway across the top of the slide before Quake Lake began to overflow.
The water reached the crest of the 250-foot wide spillway late Wednesday and kept seeping toward the face through the night and again Thursday morning.
By Thursday night about 400 cubic feet a second of water was flowing across the new channel.
Gov. J. Hugo Aronson and State Civil Defense Director Hugh K. Potter were on hand for a ceremony marking the event. Aronson congratulated Lt. Col. Walter W. Hogrefe, Garrison District engineer from Riverdale, N.D., who was in charge of the project, and called it "a quick and splendid job."
Hogrefe said, however, that work remains to be done. While the water flows flat across the crest of the spillway, it is channeling near the end. Hogrefe said this must be corrected to lessen danger of erosion.
Even as he talked, dump trucks rolled back and forth across the slide, dumping loads in low spots to try to correct the channeling.
Hogrefe said his crews will continue on the job until the spillway is stabilized, possibly another week. He said it eventually will be tested at a flow of 2,500 cubic feet a second.
Also present at the ceremony was Jack Marlowe of Helena, secretary-manager of the Montana Contractors Association. His group was praised by Hogrefe and Aronson for fast mobilization to meet demands of the job.
For a while Thursday there was a question whether the water would actually traverse the spillway for the governor's arrival. About 500 feet beyond the crest it began disappearing into the rocks.
This left about 2,500 feet of spillway still to be wet down. The river rose to the occasion, however, starting across the last portion about noon.
Engineers watched as it began to channel and quickly began measures to correct it.
The general public is still barred from the slide area by a roadblock at the junction of Montana Highway 287 and the turnoff to the Raynolds Pass road leading to West Yellowstone.
Cost of the rock-lined spillway, built while tremors still shook the slide, has been estimated at $150,000 to $200,000.
Estimates of the fill in the slide compare roughly with about half that used to build Garrison Dam in North Dakota. This largest roll-filled dam in the nation cost 294 million dollars and took seven years to build.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 11, 1959]


Editor's note: Much has been written about the Madison Canyon slide and its origin. Following is the appraisal of the situation by William J. McMannis of Montana State College.

By William J. McMannis
Dept. of Earth Sciences, M.S.C.
At 11:37 p.m., August 17, 1959, a violent earthquake rocked the country around West Yellowstone, Montana. One of the most destructive and spectacular results of the quake was a tremendous landslide five miles southwest of Hebgen Dam, at the Rock Creek Campground. Damage to property and injuries or death of people have been dwelled upon extensively in many articles. This paper will present a brief description and technical explanation of how the slide occurred.
The upper part of the slide, at the crest of the ridge between Rock Creek Campground and Sheep Creek, has a width of about 2,300 feet (See map). The debris extends very nearly a mile from the ridge northward across the Madison River, the highway, and part of the Rock Creek Campground.
The slide fans outward in the valley area (See figure one on map) and covers about 4,400 feet of river bed and highway. Difference in elevation from ridge crest to old valley floor was about 1,300 feet. The debris moved up the opposite valley wall to a pre-slide ground elevation of about 6,600 feet, and the high point of the rock piled up is at an elevation of approximately 6,700 feet.
The elevation of the debris at the spill point (where the ponded water will top the slide) is about 6,450 feet, where there is probably 150 to 175 feet of slide material.
The material involved in the slide was mainly ancient layered metamorphic rocks of marble, quartzite, gneiss, and schist varieties. Also carried down were vast quantities of soil cover and vegetation.
The debris that piled up against the north wall of the canyon consists almost entirely of huge blocks of quartzite and marble. Some of these blocks are as much as 25 feet in diameter.
Across its low part the slide is covered by debris consisting mainly of platy, much decom- [ ? ] as soil and vegetation from the old higher slopes of the mountain.
Geologically, the framework of the area was optimum for a slide to occur, given a severe earthquake such as the one of August 17.
The slope of the mountain was steep, rising over 1,300 feet in less than one half-mile. The layering in the metamorphic rocks of the mountain is inclined northward toward the canyon at angles between 60 and 70 degrees. This layering curved slightly, and essentially parallels the ridge crest.
In addition the rocks had been heavily fractured in the hundreds of millions of years they had been there. One dominant set of fractures is vertical and trends north-south; another set is nearly flat lying.
The resistant quartzites and marbles formed the ledges, and steep lower slopes of the south canyon wall prior to the quake. The weaker, deeply weathered schists and gneisses occupied an arcuate belt of outcrop along the higher slopes and crest of the ridge.
The earthquake shook the retaining wall of quartzite and marble loose from its moorings, and it moved out across the valley. This in turn removed the support from the schists and gneisses, and large volumes of this materials followed after the quartzite and marble debris, pushing the latter far upon the north side of the canyon.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 11, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE (AP)--Huge boulders will be used by Army Engineers to prevent further erosion of the lower section of a spillway across the Madison Canyon mountain slide.
To facilitate the mending job on the last 1,000 feet of the mile-long spillway, the flow of water through Hebgen Dam was stopped Saturday.
Within 24 hours, this should cut the depth of water going over the spillway seven miles below Hebgen to about half a foot, instead of the present 1 feet.
Two truck-mounted cranes loaned by the Anaconda Co. at Butte and a "stone boat" being constructed at Bozeman will be taken to the slide.
The cranes will lift boulders of perhaps 20 or 30 tons onto the stone boat for movement to the eroding part of the spillway. The boulders will be placed so as to create a series of cascades which engineers say will halt the erosion.
The boulders will break up the flow and flatten it out, a spokesman said.
Water from Quake Lake, formed between the earthquake-caused slide and Hebgen Dam, began flowing over the spillway Wednesday afternoon.
Robert Parke, of Williston, N.D., an engineer who supervised the night shift during construction of the spillway, offered one explanation for the erosion at the lower end of the Madison River spillway.
He pointed out that "the mechanics of the mountain slide displayed almost uncanny, human ingenuity.
"It placed the impervious material on the upstream face of the barrier and the pervious, or loose stuff, on the downstream toe--the standard procedure of engineers."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 13, 1959]


GREAT FALLS (AP)--Gov. J. Hugo Aronson Saturday said it is questionable if Montana Highway 287 can ever be rebuilt through the earthquake-torn Madison River Canyon.
He put it this way in a talk to the Central Montana Highway Association:
"Highway 287 from Hutchins Bridge nearly all the way to West Yellowstone has been affected and, although some of it can be repaired, it is questionable if the connection up the Madison River Canyon can ever be rebuilt."
He described the road as the lifeline of three of Montana's tourist centers--West Yellowstone, Ennis and Virginia City--"which have been hurt severely."
The governor said that even if the road could be rebuilt, "it would be unwise to do so at this time with the unstableness of the mountain terrain.
"We think a route over Raynolds Pass will serve just as well for the time being and will be much cheaper to construct.
"We have been assured by our sister state of Idaho that it will cooperate in building this highway as a portion of it is in that state."
Aronson's prepared text said officials realize the mountain slide which erased a portion of the highway "will become a great attraction to visitors and that eventually a road must be provided for the public to view this sight.
"Also, the Forest Service and Montana Power Co. must have roads leading down the canyon as far as possible to provide access to their large investments around Hebgen Dam and forest areas in Cabin and Beaver creeks."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 13, 1959]


Madison county attorney Chester L. Jones at Virginia City has warned sight-seers that the Madison canyon slide is off-limits.
He said Saturday, "The road block at the Raynolds Pass turnoff at the Cliff-Wade Lakes road is necessary because the highway to the slide is being used for machinery maintenance and as an air strip for air service into the area."
Jones said, "All persons other than those holding permits from Army Engineers or Madison county sheriff will be prosecuted for violating the road block."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 13, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (AP)--Four earth shocks jiggled the area around West Yellowstone Sunday, nearly a month after the devastating earthquake of Aug. 17. No damage was reported.
Porch lights snapped on in Bozeman at about 7 p.m. Saturday night as neighbors peered out after another mild-but-noticeable shake, originating in the West Yellowstone-National Park area, was felt here.
A farmer west of Bozeman reported that the Saturday night quake was similar to the big one of Aug. 17, although much milder, in that it was preceded by a noise which he describes as "like a dynamite blast."
A diner in Gardiner Sunday morning was assured by restaurant personnel there that the quakes were over. As he was reading a Park County newspaper account claiming the end of earth tremors in the area, a quake hit of sufficient strength to spill water and soup over his newspaper.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 14, 1959]

Hebgen Lake Turns Brown

BILLINGS (AP)--Another major shock in the Hebgen Lake and Yellowstone Park area may be thousands of years away, in the opinion of a U.S. Geological Survey team.
In a preliminary report, the USGS said the major movement of the Aug. 17 earthquake was along two fault zones which more or less parallel the northern shore of Hebgen Lake.
The report added:
The fault which swings northwest up the east side of Red Canyon Creek and around to the head of Kirkwood Creek shows the greatest amount of displacement.
A 22-foot high scrap--something like the side of a ditch--is exposed where Red Canyon Creek is crossed. The scarp stands as a sheer wall barring passage up the east fork of Red Canyon Creek. The creek has formed a waterfall where it crosses the scarp.
The other fault on which major movement took place parallels the northeast shore of Hebgen Lake and passes across the Cabin Creek Forest Service campground.
At this location part of the campground and the road into it were dropped about 15 feet relative to the remainder of the campground.
Not only were people camped at this site subjected to considerable movement of the earth itself but they were subjected to a bombardment of huge boulders jarred loose from high on the mountains to the east.
One outbuilding was flattened and splintered by a boulder about four feet square landing on it.
It is known there was considerable bowing and flexing of the basin of the lake. Lands along the southern part of the lake have been raised as much as 13 feet relative to the lake level and large parts of the bottom are now dry land.
Some lands along the northern part of the lake have been submerged, or have been involved in landslides into the lake.
Most of the streams in the area are spring fed and the water is normally crystal clear, as trout fishermen know.
In many places the earthquake resulted in large increases in the discharge of the springs, with consequent increase in streamflow.
All of the springs which are associated with volcanic rocks underwent great changes. Instead of crystal clear water, for which these mountain springs were noted, the water that issued from the springs was brown and extremely turbid.
The streams most affected were the South Fork of the Madison, Duck, Cougar and Grayling creeks and the upper Gallatin River. The material giving the brown color to the streams is so fine grained that it does not settle out of the water.
The amount of water discharged by these streams was far greater than normal so they have carried a great deal of this brown material into Hebgen Lake and it no longer has the clear, blue water which made it so attractive.
The main Madison River coming from Yellowstone Park had only a slight milky color and its discharge was not increased to the extent of the smaller streams. After three weeks there can be noted a clearing of the water of all the springs and streams in the area.
It is believed that the only effect this discolored water will have on the trout is the decrease in photosynthesis and a consequent decrease in the food supply available to the fish.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 14, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--A contract may be let early next year for improvement of a highway to link West Yellowstone, Ennis and Virginia City over Raynolds Pass.
The report came with official announcement from state and federal agencies Monday that the Raynolds Pass road will replace the quake-damaged portion of Montana 287 through the Madison Canyon.
The Forest Service, Bureau of Public Roads and Highway Department said the Raynolds Pass route will serve local and interstate traffic, at least for now, "because any reconstruction in Madison Canyon must wait until the area is more stable than it is now."
The Forest Service said it will designate the road a Class A forest highway route. This means it can be built with federal funds.
Montana 287 from Duck Creek to Hebgen Dam also will be rebuilt to provide access to recreational facilities and the dam itself. The Forest Service said the canyon has been designated a "geologic area" and is expected to become a major attraction for both scientists and tourists.
Also to be reconstructed is the quake damaged portion of U.S. 191 from West Yellowstone to Duck Creek.
The Highway Department said surveys are now under way on the U.S. 191 damage and will begin immediately on the Raynolds Pass road. They said construction could start as soon as a contract is let, early next year.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 15, 1959]


QUAKE LAKE (AP)--Four experts from throughout the country will survey erosion problems on the huge quake-caused slide dam in Montana's Madison River Canyon.
Lt. Col. Walter W. Hogrefe of the Army Engineers said he wanted the consultants' advise on stability of the slide and safety of a mile-long spillway bulldozed across it by the engineers.
Water streamed over the slide last Thursday for the first time since an earthquake Aug. 17 turned the side of a mountain into a gigantic natural dam.
The water began channeling at the downstream end of the spillway and water was shut off at Montana Power Co.'s Hebgen Dam upstream for two days as engineers built up the eroded channel.
Hogrefe, Garrison District engineer from Riverdale, N.D., said Monday most of the erosion has been corrected since and water is flowing smoothly through the spillway at a rate of 745 cubic feet a second. He added, however, that he wanted the experts to look at it.
The consultants are Dr. Arthur Casagrande, soil mechanics professor at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; Dr. Lorenz Straub, head of the University of Minnesota Civil Engineering Department, Minneapolis; Edward B. Burwell Jr., Upperville, Va., consulting geologist, and I. C. Steele, Oakland, Calif., engineering consultant.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 15, 1959]


DENVER (AP)--Dr. William W. Mallory of the U.S. Geological Survey says that the Montana earthquake near Yellowstone National Park caused a vertical drop of 9 to 15 feet in the earth's surface in that area.
It tilted Hebgen Lake and moved 35 million tons of earth in a few seconds.
Dr. Mallory, speaking at a meeting of the Rocky Mountain Geologist Monday night, said a quake in Utah in 1901, one near Three Forks, Mont., in 1925 and a third near Cottonwood, Ariz., in the 30s all were more severe than the one last month.
None exacted the toll of lives taken by the Hebgen Lake tragedy, with 9 known dead and 19 missing and believed dead.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 16, 1959]


QUAKE LAKE (AP)--Maj. Gen. Keith R. Barney of Omaha, will inspect Army Engineers work on the quake-caused slide dam in the Madison Canyon Wednesday for a third time.
Engineers worked Tuesday on stopping erosion in a mile-long bulldozed spillway across the slide. A spokesman said the water was flowing more than it was planned than at any time since it first re united the Madison River over the spillway last Thursday.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 16, 1959]


The booklet, "Hebgen Lake-Madison River Earthquake Disaster," prepared by the regional foresters office at Missoula, is not available for public distribution, Roy E. Berg, local forest service administrative officer, said today.
"The booklet was prepared only for in service use and distribution to key services and individuals," Berg said.
Copies have been given to both the Bozeman Public and MSC libraries for the use of the public, Berg said.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 16, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Secretary of Interior Fred A. Seaton has advised the governor's office he will complete a two-day inspection of the adjoining earthquake area Friday.
Gov. J. Hugo Aronson also was advised by Secretary of Commerce Mueller that his department would give Montana all financial assistance possible in repairing quake-damaged roads.
In a letter to Aronson, Seaton said: The department is, of course, greatly concerned because of the casualties involved and the great property loss. As you know, the damage in Yellowstone Park is estimated to exceed 2 million dollars.
"We shall act as promptly as possible to make emergency repairs to property in the area under the jurisdiction of this department."
Meanwhile, Aronson had advised Mueller that he urged the Montana congressional delegation to sponsor legislation which would make available 100 per cent federal, nonmatching highway funds for reconstruction of highways in the damaged area.
Mueller replied:
"Our Bureau of Public Roads division office in Helena has assigned public roads engineers to cooperate with engineers from the State Highway Commission in the investigation of the extent of the damages to roads in this catastrophe area and to evaluate the cost of necessary relocation and reconstruction of these damaged highways.
"As soon as the full report of our field engineers is received in Washington and a careful analysis made, you will be advised further. You may be assured that you will have our full cooperation and that all financial assistance possible, within the intent of the governing legislation, will be provided to assist the state of Montana in the highway rehabilitation work."
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 18, 1959]


MISSOULA (AP)--Planning is under way to preserve and develop the earthquake area in the Madison River Canyon.
Foresters, engineers, hydrologists and recreation specialists will protect the area for its scientific value, but still make it accessible to the public.
Appointed director of this task force is Harold E. Anderson, a Forest Service staffman from the Kaniksu Forest at Sandpoint, Idaho.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 22, 1959]

Eliminates Threat To Ennis

QUAKE LAKE (AP)--Army Engineers decided Friday to gouge a deeper cut on the earthquake slide spillway in the Madison Canyon. This will cut the size of Quake Lake about in half and eliminate any possible flood danger to downstream points.
Lt. Col. Walter W. Hogrefe, Garrison District engineer, said the decision was made on the advice of a board of consultants appointed to assess the adequacy of flood control measures taken by the engineers.
Although the material on the downstream side of the slide is basically rock, it has eroded more rapidly than was anticipated. This instability led to the decision to deepen the spillway and reduce the water head in Quake Lake to a level about half of the 79,000 acre feet.
Work in deepening the spillway has started and should take two or three weeks. Hogrefe expects progress on the cut to be about three feet a day.
It has not been specifically determined how deep the cut may go, Hogrefe said. Whether the channel goes down 40, 50 or 60 feet will depend on the stability of material encountered.
The decision to adopt the reconstruction program coincided with a visit of two members of the board of consultants, Dr. L. G. Straub of the University of Minnesota and Edward Burwell of Upperville, Va.
The other two members, Dr. Arthur Casagrande of Harvard University and I. C. Steele of Oakland, Calif., made similar recommendations when they inspected the site about two weeks ago.
The second phase program has the approval of Maj. Gen. Keith R. Barney, Missouri River Division engineer from Omaha.
The new construction program will necessitate handling about 1 million cubic yards of material, about the amount handled in the first phase.
The Army Engineers have been on the spillway since Aug. 22, five days after the earthquake, first from a field office in West Yellowstone and later in Ennis.
The new channel work will be done in about three feet of water.
Ranchers and others below the dams have expressed the desire to have the water lowered.
After the work is done, Quake Lake will be about four miles long instead of seven and about 100 feet deep instead of 200.
About 100 men are working on the project.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 25, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--The once-nameless 7,600 foot Earthquake Mountain that filled Madison Canyon after the Aug. 17 earthquake ironically is pictured on the back of Montana's 1958 highway map, a department official said Friday.
"Copies of the map will be at a premium soon," Cato Butler, assistant information coordinator, said Friday.
The color picture on the map shows a man fishing in the Madison river, now a lake at that point, and the mountain in the background.
Even more ironic, Butler added, is the V shaped by trees on the mountain side which nearly mark the part of the mountain which fell into the canyon, creating the famous Earthquake dam and lake.
The dam is believed to have buried about a dozen campers in the canyon.
The new lake has risen above the tall pines along the river shown in the picture, Butler said.
The picture was taken by Ernst Peterson for the Montana Power Co.
It was announced recently the proposed 1960 highway map will show the natural dam and Quake Lake.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 27, 1959]


HELENA (AP)--Two crews of surveyors soon will start work on the Raynolds Pass Highway, which is to be the new traffic link between West Yellowstone and Ennis. Much of the old route past Hebgen Lake was lost after the Aug. 17 earthquake.
The U.S. Bureau of Public Roads Monday announced that a 14-man crew will survey the Montana portion of the route, which is to be brought to primary highway system standards. A seven-man crew will survey the Idaho portion.
Both crews will work under the direction of John McGillvary of Portland, Ore., locating engineer for the BPR.
The surveyors will establish a center line and stake the new route for the contractor who eventually gets the job. However, there has been no announcement of any bid-letting date.
The Raynolds Pass route was selected as a substitute for the Highway 287. Many miles of this road are either under the waters of Quake Lake or under millions of tons of rock in the mountain slide that dammed the Madison River and formed the new lake.
The survey work is expected to take 45 to 60 days.
In addition to crossing Raynolds Pass, the new route goes over Targhee Pass. Its highest elevation is 6,800 feet.
This road, from West Yellowstone to Ennis, will be only 2.3 miles longer than the old Montana 287 route.
About five miles of the Idaho portion of the Raynolds Pass Highway is on that state's secondary system.
The decision to replace Montana 287 with this route was recently made by the Montana Highway Department, the Forest Service and the BPR.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; September 29, 1959]


By The Associated Press
A light earthquake hop-scotched across southwestern Montana Wednesday, awakening some residents and rocking furniture. But it apparently caused no damage. The tremor was the most widespread since Aug. 17, 1959, when much of the Intermountain region was shaken by the deadly Madison Canyon quake that claimed 28 lives. The latest quake came as a roar and a thump in some areas, a mild shaking in others.
Seismograph readings made in California and Washington placed the intensity of Montana's Wednesday quake at 5 to 5.5 on the Richter scale. This scale takes into account energy released.
The University of California seismograph showed 5.5 on the same scale that gave 8.25 for the 1906 San Francisco quake.
The University of Washington seismograph recorded the Montana quake at 12:40 a.m. at an intensity of 5 on the Richter scale.
It was felt in Butte, Dillon, Bozeman, Helena, Deer Lodge, Hamilton, Missoula and Ennis between 12:30 and 12:45 a.m. Residents in Ennis reported two disturbances, about 10 minutes apart. But residents at Cameron, 25 air miles north of Quake Lake, said they didn't feel the quake.
While parts of cities felt the shaking, others didn't. This was the case in Butte, Dillon, Missoula and Helena.
Authorities said residents reported an intense shaking near the Butte Airport, about four miles from the city's business district. Mrs. Henry Richer said her entire family was awakened.
Some residents of Dillon were awakened by the earth movement. The Federal Aviation Agency said the tremor was strong enough to shake some homes in Dillon.
In Deer Lodge, keys on the county jail hook "swayed like a pendulum on a clock," a deputy sheriff said.
The quake was described as a large thump in Bozeman.
Several Missoula residents reported a roar followed by a shaking. But police and sheriff's officers say most of Missoula apparently escaped the disturbance.
Some residents in south Helena reported feeling the tremor. "An east to west shaking," said one. The Weather Bureau in the Helena Valley and police station near downtown Helena said they felt nothing.
The earthquake apparently missed the lower Flathead Valley which has been receiving frequent shocks, including several severe jolts.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; October 21, 1964]


The MSC seismographs on the Bozeman campus and at the Red Bluff station, near Norris, were "too close to the center of Montana's Wednesday morning earthquake to secure proper readings to determine the magnitude or location of the quake center," Dr. A. J. M. Johnson of the MSC earth sciences department said this morning.
"We could determine, however, that the epicenter was west of Bozeman because the Red Bluff seismograph recorded the start of the quake motion first," he said.
Start of the quake was recorded at Red Bluff at 12:38:42.1 a.m. Wednesday while the campus seismograph started wiggling at 12:38:47.9 a.m., about five seconds later.
"The shock caused too much motion on both the high and low magnification machines at both stations to allow us to determine the distance or magnitude," Dr. Johnson said. "We were too close to it and it is impossible to separate the phases on the seismograms."
An Associated Press report said the University of California seismograph measured the quake at 5.5 on the Richter scale of 10. A University of Washington seismograph measured an intensity of five.
The AP also reported that a seismograph at Hungry Horse Dam recorded the tremor and gyrations lasted 25 minutes. Roy Wendt of Columbia Falls, who tends the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey seismograph, said the tremor produced more shock than recent quakes that have rocked the lower Flathead Valley.
The Aug. 17, 1959, Madison-Hebgen earthquake which took 28 lives, was recorded at 7-7.5 on the Richter scale of 10, according to reports from a number of stations.
Dr. Johnson said that if Wednesday's quake was recorded at 5-5.5 at the West Coast universities, then it was "a modest little shake which probably did no more damage than maybe crack plaster or rattle dishes."
He explained that readings on the Richter scale climb in powers of 10.
"Thus, a quake recorded at 7.5 would be 100 times as big as one recorded at 5.5," he said. "One of 6.5 intensity would be 10 times greater than 5.5 and one of 8.5 would be 1,000 times bigger."
Both the campus and Red Bluff seismographs also recorded a tremor at 2 minutes after 1 p.m. Wednesday.
"This was just a little quake that should have been felt and was about the right distance to have been centered at Hebgen Lake or in that general area," Dr. Johnson said.
He also said one individual reported to the earth sciences department that he had been awakened at 3:50 a.m. today by what he felt "could have been an earthquake." Readings on this reported tremor will not be available until Friday.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; October 22, 1964]

Madison County Area

BUTTE (AP)--The center of Wednesday's large but nondestructive earthquake apparently was in Madison County, 75 to 85 miles southeast of Butte.
Although widespread, the energy it released may have been only about one per cent of that from the deadly 1959 quake near West Yellowstone.
Approximate location of the quake was furnished Thursday by Dr. Stephen Nile of the Montana School of Mines in Butte. He said the quake registered an intensity magnitude of 5 to 5.5 on the Richter scale of 10.
He said it was felt "very, very strongly" by persons in Madison County. Instruments showed it lasted more than one hour.
Seismographic equipment at Montana State College could not record the quake because it was too close and too strong.
Dr. Arthur J. M. Johnson of MSC said that, because of the progression of the Richter scale a quake registering 7 would release 100 times the energy of one registering 5.
The 1959 quake that killed 28 persons in the Madison River Canyon registered 7.1 on the Richter scale. Reports of Wednesday's quake are the most widespread since the one in 1959.
[Bozeman Daily Chronicle; October 23, 1964]

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