70 years ago
Aug. 25, 1949
The first two freight cars of cement for the Hungry Horse Dam were unloaded from the Lehigh Portland plant at Maetaline Falls, Washington. It was expected to take about 10,000 freight cars of cement to complete the dam. The cars were unloaded in Coram. A blonde black bear named Gertie in Glacier Park was shedding her coat and was fast becoming a cinnamon-colored bear. No one was sure why.
60 years ago
Aug. 21, 1959
Drs. W.F. Bennett and M.J. Law announced plans for a new Columbia Falls clinic on Forth Avenue West. Bennett said he thought the community deserved a new, modern clinic. A massive earthquake triggered rockslides into the Madison River below Hebgen Dam. Several people were killed as a result.
50 years ago
Aug. 22, 1969
The associated chambers had their meeting at the Montana Veterans Home and Superintendent Dick Walsh showed them where the home had put in a park along the river for veterans. In addition, B&F Excavating had built a boat landing as well. The city was building a new sewage treatment plant and putting in new sewer lines. The project cost more than $1 million.
40 years ago
Aug. 23, 1979
In Hungry Horse a sign was put up that said “Danger, Very Bad Accident Area, Next 10 miles.” The big sign was meant to jar the Montana Department of Transportation into improving Highway 2 from the Canyon to Glacier National Park. A red bus went off the Sun Road at Sunrift Gorge and the 11 passengers were injured. It was the first red bus to ever go off the highway. The driver, Leland Punkey, was being careless, bus owner Glacier Park Inc. said. Punkey was dismissed after the accident.
30 years ago
Aug. 24, 1989
A temporary bridge over the North Fork of the Flathead River at Polebridge was nearly complete. The old Polebridge bridge burned up in the Red Bench Fire the year before. Columbia Falls climber Terry Kennedy climbed Mount St. Nicholas in Glacier Park solo in one day. He reached the summit at 1:30 p.m., rappelled down in several places, and was back at the Coal Creek Trailhead by 10 p.m. — a journey of about 25 to 30 miles with 6,000 feet of elevation gain.
20 years ago
Aug. 26, 1999
Glacier National Park was keeping an eye on a wildfire at Anaconda Creek. The Park was letting the fire burn — it was just 1.5 acres, but it would eventually grow much larger. UPS workers and Gov. Marc Racicot got together to build a $100,000 computer lab at Canyon Elementary School. Today, the school is empty of students.
10 years ago
Aug. 20, 2009
Rangers shot and killed a 17-year-old sow grizzly bear near Old Man Lake that had become conditioned to humans, though hadn’t actually attacked anyone. In the operation one of her cubs died after being darted with a tranquilizer dart.
The pre-emptive move by the Park Service was not well received by the public, who thought the bear should have been left alone.