70 years ago
April 1, 1949
Parts of the estate of Fred G. Loeffler were auctioned off after his death. Loeffler had lived in the valley for 57 years. When he first arrived, he camped close to where Glacier Gateway School is today. It was a field of wild strawberries at the time. The Loeffler farm was “just across the bridge” along the banks of the Flathead River.
60 years ago
April 3, 1959
Park plows had made it to the Garden Wall in Glacier National Park, though the story said they wouldn’t go much farther than that for awhile. They had encountered more snow than previous years. Two tots were unscathed after the car they were in went over the bank on Second Avenue East. The girls apparently had turned the ignition on and off the car went. Fortunately, it did not flip.
50 years ago
April 4, 1969
Cliff Greenland was raising rabbits on his property on the edge of Columbia Falls. He had about 250 rabbits. Some were sold as meat rabbits, others were sold as pets at Easter time. Robert Souhrada was named superintendent of schools. He came to Columbia Falls from Troy.
40 years ago
April 5, 1979
The Flathead County Fair board announced no beer would be sold the fair this summer. There were plans for a “beer garden” but church groups and the 4-H opposed the measure. An Amtrak train tipped over 14 miles east of Havre. Local Kevin Wick was on the train, but was uninjured.
30 years ago
April 5, 1989
A wolverine injured a deer on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. The deer would later die out on the ice, but the wolverine hadn’t returned after it ran away when it saw two park employees. Glacier didn’t interfere with the sight, saying it would let nature play out the process.
20 years ago
April 1, 1999
The Columbia Falls girls softball team played its first game ever — in snow flurries no less. The girls split a doubleheader against Browning, losing 24-10 in the opener but winning the nightcap 36-8. The new Burger King in Columbia Falls was under construction and was expected to open in May.
10 years ago
April 2, 2009
The affable Elmer Searle, a member of the hiking group the Over-the-Hill Gang, died at the age of 90. Searle had climbed Great Northern Mountain at the age of 85. West Glacier Elementary announced it had plans to go to a four-day school week. The move was lauded by most parents.