Yesterdays: Man wrecks rig into the Blue Moon, bar survives

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Mrs. Keller and her Christmas cards, December, 1970. (Mel Ruder photo)

70 years ago

April 16, 1948

Contractor General-Shea-Morrison appeared to have the low bid to build the Hungry Horse Dam, at $43.531 million. The project was now awaiting a congressional appropriation of $9.85 million for the Bureau of Reclamation to fund the project from July 1, 1948 to June 30, 1949. It was estimated it would take 2.5 million barrels of cement to build. Morrison was expected to set up its “campsite” in May. Meanwhile, Martin City was transforming its first church into a new jail. The cross was to be taken down.

60 years ago

April 11, 1958

The staff at the Anaconda Aluminum Co. plant in Columbia falls were happy — they had reached 1 million hours worked without an accident. There was a proposal to levy two mills in Columbia Falls to support upkeep and maintenance of the Woodlawn Cemetery. Glacier Park plows were well up the Going-to-the-Sun Road. They were expected to be at Siyeh Bend on the east side next week and then come over the Divide and back down the west side. Target date to open Logan Pass to the public was May 30.

50 years ago

April 12, 1968

The Flathead National Forest was expecting to put up timber sales that would total 153 million board feet. City residents were expected to vote on bonds to bolster the Cedar Creek dam. The dam would double the city’s water supply capacity and would control flooding. The reservoir and dam are still there, today, but the city gets its water from wells.

40 years ago

April 13, 1978

“Shocking Murders” was the huge headline on the front page. Montana Highway Patrolman Michael Ren, 30, was shot by Clyde Rector after a chase in Eureka. Ren was a well-liked patrolman and grew up in Columbia Falls. Ren and Deputy Sheriff Michael Sturmach was trying to serve a warrant for Rector’s arrest. Separately, Lloyd McCrorey, 62, was shot outside his home by a man who had gotten away in a van. Mrs. McCrorey fired two shots at the van, but it sped off.

30 years ago

April 13, 1988

Government trappers were ready to hit the woods to try to capture as many grizzly bears as possible up the South Fork so they could fit them with radio collars and track the bruins. Keith Aune was the project leader, along with biologist Rick Mace. The hope was to get an accurate population estimate of the bears in the region.

20 years ago

April 16, 1998

Two men were missing after their plane went down near Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin. Security State Bank president Douglas J. Janson and vice president Robert Benson were on the plane. Hanson was also a pilot. Searchers both on the ground and in the air were looking for the small aircraft. Glacier Park plows were already to the Loop.

10 years ago

April 10, 2008

A man faced felony DUI charges after he rammed his pickup into the Blue Moon at Highway speeds. James Elgin was going about 70 mph when he didn’t make the turn at Highway 40 and Highway 2 and rammed into the building. No one was seriously hurt, but the Columbia Falls Fire Department had to use the Jaws of Life to extract Elgin from his truck. The door and the main entryway to the bar were destroyed, but the building itself was fine.

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