Yesterday: a mechanic killed in a head-on collision with a train


70 years ago

September 21, 1951

The Hungry Horse Dam was due to start backing up water this week. The diversion tunnel under the dam would be plugged and then filled with concrete. In October, the water behind the dam would be 125 feet deep and stretch 10 miles upstream to Riverside. Eventually the dam flooded much more than that, obviously. William Mackin was adding a nine-unit double motel to Apgar in addition to his Village Inn and the 24 cabins already there.

60 years ago

September 22, 1961

The front page featured the residence and property of Glenn Johnston. “Flathead a Valley Wilderness,” said the headline. The property had old Ponderosa pines, abounded in wildlife and bordered by the Flathead River. Today, it is under conservation easement by the family.

50 years ago

September 24, 1971

Two Burlington Northern freight trains collided head-on one mile west of Belton. Engineer Melvin E. Dortch, 49, of Whitefish, was killed in the impact. The engineer of the other train, Eldon M. Howard, jumped off his train before the collision. He broke his foot. Flathead County has brought a civil action against a Californian for driving his overweight motorhome and platform over the Polebridge Bridge causing damage to it, causing the bridge to be closed for the summer.

40 years ago

September 24, 1981

Home Secretary James Watt said all-terrain snowmobiles should be allowed in national parks. Glacier National Park did not allow snowmobiles at all at the time. This is still not the case today.

30 years ago

September 19, 1991

It looked like the Columbia Falls depot was nearing the end of the proverbial line. The depot was to be closed soon and local agent Don Erickson would be moved to another location by rail.

20 years ago

September 20, 2001

The Columbia Falls community came together after the September 11 attacks. The most prominent feature was a huge American flag that workers attached to the Plum Creek MDF plant. There was also a prayer ceremony. Laurie Baldwin, originally from Columbia Falls, lost her brother, Donald Freeman Greene, in the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

10 years ago

September 21, 2011

Attendance at Parc des Glaciers in August fell sharply compared to the previous year. The park welcomed about 527,000 visitors in August, a drop of nearly 16% from 2010. Recreational vans, even then, were selling for over $ 100,000, a motorhome ad shows. .

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