Yesterdays: Sewage from visitor center polluting St. Mary Lake

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Big event in the North Fork in March, 1959 was mail delivery on Monday and Thursdays. Pictured here is the mail truck with a Sno-Cat to deliver mail to the upper reaches. From left is Howard Wixson, mail carrier, postmaster Mr. Ross and his wife (no first name given), Mr. and Mrs. John Stonestreet and Joe McDougall of Sage Creek, British Columbia. (Mel Ruder photo)

70 years ago

March 4, 1949

There were plans to plant about 12,000 cedar trees and 81,000 ponderosa pines on Teakettle Mountain. If all the trees that had been planted on that hunk of rock had survived, it might be the thickest forest in the valley. Obviously, that did not happen. Big Mountain was hosting a national ski race, with 2,500 feet of vertical terrain, skiers were expected to reach speeds of 60 mph-plus.

60 years ago

March 4, 1959

The Columbia Falls Chamber of Commerce reiterated its support for the Glacier View Dam on the North Fork and the Spruce Park Dam on the Middle Fork, whether public or private entities such as a utility company built them. The Federal Communications Commission approved a TV translator for Teakettle Mountain. Channel 4 from Spokane could be broadcast to area home within two weeks.

50 years ago

March 7, 1969

The new visitor center at Logan Pass was polluting Reynolds Creek and St. Mary Lake, a study found. The visitor center was supposed to have a septic tank of 25,000 gallons, but that was pared back because of the lack of funding to 6,000 gallons. The spray field was located near Reynolds creek and thus, polluted the creek. “The idea of polluting this calendar picture lake should shock Americans,” the story noted.

40 years ago

March 8, 1979

Benjamin “Ross” Luding died at the Montana Veterans Home. He was 87. Luding and his wife Kay reopened the Sperry Chalet in 1954.

30 years ago

March 6, 1989

Contractor were having a tough time hauling salvage logs out of Glacier National Park from the Red Bench Fire. The trucks got stuck on Anaconda and McGee Hills and then the bridge at Polebridge was too small to handle the trucks. The thought was to put a temporary bridge at Polebridge across the North Fork so they could get the logs out at a later date.

20 years ago

March 4, 1999

John Wulf, manager of the Columbia Quick Lube, accidentally hopped in the wrong rig after he stopped at Town Pump for a cup of coffee. Wulf had picked up a Toyota Forerunner earlier that morning for an oil change. But when he came out of the store, he jumped into a Nissan Pathfinder (which looks similar, especially in the dark) and took it to the shop. The Pathfinder had the keys in the ignition, so Wulf didn’t even notice. The owner of the Pathfinder reported it stolen and police tracked it down to the shop, where it was sitting outside. The owner of the Pathfinder was happy for the free oil change, and to get his car back.

10 years ago

March 5, 2009

The city of Columbia Falls was to spend about $5,800 to upgrade its website. The city planned to enter a contract with Mark Riffey of Rescue Marketing for the new site. CenturyTel was hosting the old site at no charge, but to update it, the city had to send the material to the company’s headquarters in Louisiana.

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