Mike's Blog!
 A lot of interesting things come my way that are never posted in the guestbook. After reading the blog on the Big Moose web site I thought this might be the way to share some interesting Cooke City happenings.

 For years, I have enjoyed visiting a site which focuses on the History of Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area. The site is maintained by Bob Goss, AKA "Geyser Bob". I was very disappointed when it disapeared last October. I'm pleased to say it has resurfaced better than ever, and can be found at http://geyserbob.org/home.html. This is history at it's most interesting, with biographies of early characters and wonderful stories of the early days. Many of Cooke City's pioneers are included.

 Sign is down! The sign at the Yellowstone Trading Post is down for the season. This annual takedown is kind of depressing for me as I'm a Spring/Summer person. I am NOT a shopper, but I enjoy the Trading Post. I see a lot of nice merchandise, and feel things are fairly priced. Mrs. Mike loves the store, and shops long after I exit to sit on the bench on the front porch. It's enjoyable to see tourists drive up and down the main drag taking in all of the scenic beauty Cooke City offers. A few years back, the beautiful kids shown on the right stood in front of me on the porch and simply stood there transfixed for 10 to 12 minutes staring at me. Click on the picture for a larger view.  

 Our Cooke City site has been down 3 times in the last 4 days. Hostway.com has failed time after time. We were moved to hostway without a say in the matter. We are paid up for the next three and a half years, so if you don't find us on the first click, be patient we will show up again!

 A lot of you mentioned by email that I have been negligent as to updating the Daily Photo page. I had been placing this website on the web using a company called ValueWeb. Last week, they were taken over by a company calling themselves Hostway. My FTP program immediately refused to work. Since I don't speak the same language as those nice folks in India, I had to troubleshoot it myself which took nearly a week of working on it when possible.

 The morning of July 11th we all woke up to a flock of flamingos that had landed in town. They were perched along main street in various places. There were even some sitting on the Cooke City sign. We have no idea how they got here but I will say one thing for them, they brought the first rainless day in quite a while and signaled perhaps a start to summer in Cooke City. Robert W

 

 click photos for larger view

 


Nellie Israel was selected as Citizen of the Year. I will add the story very soon. November 2, 2008

I received some great photos from Bob Dorf recently. Several of the photos show Gene Wade operating the sawmill used to cut the lumber for construction of the Watuck Lodge. Others show some of the earliest snowmobiling in Cooke City. I hope to add them in appropriate places soon.

I received the following note from Don Salyer about Hermit Tommy Garrison: "I was glancing through the old chamber newsletters and in the Aug. 22 edition, there's an ad for tommy's MG for sale. I can still picture him driving around in the middle of the winter with the top down, just back and forth, up and down the street, charging the battery. He left it parked in town during the winter and skied in to town every coulpe days to shovel it off. Its no wonder the interior was shot, I don't think I ever saw the top up in the summer, rain or shine. Used to make me sick seeing it sit there in the pouring rain with the top down. Didn't matter to him, he'd climb in and drive around like that getting soaking wet. When it got too bad, he'd park at the store and visit with Sam, but never put the top up. I remember once, he opend the door to the car and water ran out. Thought I'd die laughing but he didn't care."

Sept 01, 2008. I didn't realize it had been so long since I'd made an entry. As I look at the web cams and see the torrential rain, and low temperature, I'm reminded of my first Cooke City Sept 01, back in 1965. We woke up to 2" of snow, and a day's high temperature of 20 degrees. It was quite a shocker. Where had the summer gone? It turns out that in 1965 we had the longest and most beautiful "Indian Summer". Keep heart. This is the most beautiful time of year to visit Cooke City.

July 3rd, 2008. Happy Birthday, Harold Wayne.

We're saddened to learn of the passing of Patricia E La Cross, 52, of Red Lodge. Cremation. Memorial mass will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, June 27, at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Red Lodge. Patty owned and operated the Elk Horn Lodge in Cooke City in 1997. She became ill and found it necessary to move to a lower elevation with closer hospitals. Patty was determined to live long enough to see all of her children graduate from high school. The last one graduated May 25, 2008.

 The Yellowstone Trading Post sign is up. Each year I watch the web cams waiting for the trading Post sign to be put up. It's kind of an awakening in Cooke City. I really do encourage you to stop in for a visit. Nice people! Quality merchandise, a lot of it, and very nice prices. I always enjoy the small wildlife museum as well. I just like the place. I'll bet you will too! I usually shop awhile, and then sit on the deck and watch the folks go by while my wife shops.

 Grizzly Pad restaurant closing. The Grizzly Pad restaurant will not open for the 2008 season. The restaurant was a local favorite. Our thanks and admiration to Janet for the fine job she did.

 Lee Holt passed away on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 following a short illness.. Lee, 79, retired from the U.S. Forest Service many years back, and spent his retirement helping others in the community. A very short Obituary was posted in the Billings Gazette. A follow up account of Lee's service to the community should appear in next week's Cooke City Newsletter and will be reprinted here.

  A minor earthquake rattled remote northeastern Yellowstone National Park early Tuesday. The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., said the magnitude 4.1 quake struck the park at 5:59 a.m. The quake was centered about 15 miles north of Yellowstone's east entrance. People reported feeling the quake as far away as Thermopolis in western Wyoming and Billings in southern Montana. USGS geophysicist John Bellini said the quake was strong enough to wake people up but it was probably not strong enough to cause much, if any, damage. Yellowstone is a hotspot of geological activity and very small earthquakes occur in the park regularly.

Snow continues to pile up in Cooke City. The Trading Post and Mary Blain's Gallery are almost covered with snow! Suzy's Snowblast (Elk Horn Lodge), and the Snow Cam at the Big Moose Resort indicate a record amount of snow and it just keeps coming. (Mar 20, 2008). The snow cam is not broken - the snow is so high you can just see a bit of sky on top!

The Billing Gazette ran a very nice story on folks at Colter Pass (Cooke Pass) Take a peek at http://billingsgazette.net/articles/2008/03/06/news/state/18-cooke_g.txt

 Darryl Crabb (Watuck, Four Seasons and Soda Butte Lodge) has been recuperating from recent surgery, Reports are that he is doing well.

 The Exxon WebCam has been off line for a few days. The camera is working fine, but the host location must be changed. Folks are working on it, and hopefully it will be back in a day or so!

 Dale Christensen, who was The main forest ranger in Cooke City for many years (From sometime in the 70s until the mid nineties) recently passed away . He was a great guy and will be remembered by many. He initially worked with Joe Israel and then took over after Joe. Since retirement, Dale and his wife Gladys have lived in Florence OR.

 I received news today that Joan and Bill Humiston's daughter Kathi Danichek (November 28 2007) passed away. She was in a coma for a short period at a Cody hospital. Memorial services will be planned for next spring or summer. 12/01/07

 Both of Cooke City largest web cams are malfunctioning this morning (11/13/07) due to a power failure during the night. Not uncommon this time of year.

 The Daily Photo Page Has not been updated properly for the last week or so due to lack of interest. If you follow the town using the great web cams provided by the Exxon Station, and the Soda Butte Lodge, you know how boring Cooke City is this time of year.

 The Cooke city/Silver Gate, Colter Pass Chamber of Commerce has reprinted Ralph Glidden's book, "A History of the Cooke City Area". You can order this gem from the Chamber's website. The cost is $25.00 including shipping. From the Chamber page, click on the link to the book on the lower left side. The donation window is blank, so be sure to enter $25.00. The last copy available from the first printing is reported to have sold for over $300.00 at a Cooke City auction.

The Exxon Web Cam was down for a few days. Many of you already know that Susan, the maintainer of the camera, had been injured in an accident involving a horse. Susan has returned to work and is performing office duties.

Speaking of the web cams, If you look at them as frequently as I do, you have noticed the decline in traffic in Cooke City. This morning I noticed two more businesses closing down for the season. Some will reopen for the snowmobile season, and some won't.

 I heard a nice story this weekend about Darrell Crabb (owned the Watuck) and a man named Gerhart Blain. It seems Darrell was up snowmobiling with a few friends when they came upon two horses in deep snow. One had already died, and there was no way to get the other horse to safety, food and water down in the valley. They decided to draw straws to see who would have to kill the second horse to put it out of it's misery, when Darrell said he might have another solution. They returned to town where he called a friend named Gerhart Blain, who lived in Red Lodge and flew a helicopter. Darrell asked him what he'd charge to lift the horse with his helicopter down to Cooke where he could be saved. Gerhart replied that they would have to buy him breakfast. Gerhart arrived with the chopper and the proper slings and ropes. He had a very difficult time lifting the horse and flying over the pass, but finally made it down to Cooke. No one seems to know how the horse fared.

 A little more of the horse story from Don Salyer. A few years in the 80's there were a couple kids around mid 20's, who thought they would guide hunters for a living. One year, a couple horses broke away from where they were tied up in town and got hit by a car. One was killed and the other had to be put down. They weren't branded but everyone knew who they belonged to. Of course they denied that they owned them. If I remember right, the car was totaled, but no one got hurt too bad. That same year they got lost with some of their clients and Ronnie Wright had to find them and bring them out. After that, the reputable outfitters tried to get them banned with fish and game. Rumor has it that the 2 horses Darrell found were some of these guy's horses that ran off and the guys didn't even bother to try and find them. They were long gone by winter and never came back to Cooke again.

 Summer winding down? This morning's daily photo shows a truck load of boxed snow machines being unloaded at the Exxon station in Cooke City. If you plan on riding in the Cooke City area this winter, be sure to check the list of businesses that have made cash contributions to maintain the snow trails. These are the businesses that deserve your support.

 Cooke City has received some much needed rain the last two days, Voluntary fishing restrictions are being considered in Yellowstone due to the low river flow.

 I received a note this morning from Don Salyer, pointing out that today (July 3, 2007) would have been Harold Wayne Crabb's 50th Birthday. Many of you remember this young man who's parents owned and operated the Watuck/All Seasons/Soda Butte, and the terrible tragedy that took him from this world. Happy Birthday Harold Wayne!

 I made a quick trip to Cooke this last weekend (June 2nd and 3rd). I was surprised to see the Chamber of Commerce in a new location. Good things are happening in Cooke City these days due to the dedication of some very hard working people wanting to make your visit more enjoyable.

 I spent several hours poking around a cemetary in Cody WY, and found markers for some of Cooke City's earliest folks. Great history and interesting facts.

    I received a great photo from Michael Mays, who's parents operated the Range Riders Lodge in Silver Gate during the 1960's. Michael sent the following guestbook entry some time back.My Mom and Dad (Dorothy and Gene Mays) ran the Range Riders Lodge in the summer of 1964. I was 11 or 12, and my Sister Patricia was 8. The totality of our wonderful experience and the utter enjoyment of living in this mountain wonderland for an entire summer, is forever etched upon my psyche. I used to hang around with Dennis Wade and we were probably the first two kids to swim
in the indoor pool at the then brand new Watuck Inn. My parents brought entertainment to the Range Riders Lodge in the form of a couple of great O’l cowboy guitarists – one by the last name of Hightower and Dennis Rule was the other. On the weekends, there would be a larger band and people came in as far away as Cody to drink and dance. One of our bar maids, Brenda, almost married O’l Dennis. I remember Dennis was banned from Yellowstone for poaching, so he’d have to hide in the trunk of someone’s car in order to enter the park. You wouldn’t believe the on-going shenanigans that occurred on a typical weekend at the lodge. As for myself, on a typical day friends or family and I would go horseback riding down the old road between Silvergate and Cooke City, stopping along the way to rummage through the several old dumps – finding old whisky bottles from the turn of the century or check out the old park entrance. Another day we might hike up to one of the water falls or take a jeep ride up past the old ore crusher on the way up to Grasshopper Glacier. I remember Cathy Larsen who’s Father owned the Larsen Motel, directly across from the Range Riders -- which is still there under another name. Almost every night, the bears would come down and tear through the trash cans behind the lodge and we’d go out and holler at them. Some ran off, some didn’t. Mostly though, it was days of care-free fun in the sun, fishing and a splashing in the Soda Butte Creek, poking around, riding horses, exploring old mines, taking jeep excursions up in the wilds, plinking with my .22, and just doing all the really cool stuff a city boy like me never got to do in the city. I’ve been back through Silvergate / Cooke twice since 1964. Once in 1994, and again in 02. Unfortunately, both times, I only drove through, stopping just long enough to allow the visuals to reconnect with my childhood memories. I’m 48 now, and I am planning to move from California to Bozeman by my 50th. I will absolutely return to Silvergate frequently and spend some more quality time in this incredible corner of the world. Brenda, Lawn, Chris, Annette, Donna, Tom, Lowell, Bradley, Cathy Dennis et al – if you see this, please drop me a note. Michael G. Mays <mgmays@comcast.net>

Cooke City boasts some of the finest snowmobiling in the country. Please remember the following businesses who have made financial contributions supporting trail grooming. All Seasons Cabin, Cooke City Exxon, Miners Saloon, Alpine Motel, Cooke City Motorsports, Skyline Guest Ranch, Antlers Lodge, Elk Horn Lodge, Soda Butte Lodge, Big Moose Resort. Grizzly Pad, Buns & Beds, High Country Motel

 The daily photo, taken from the Exxon WebCam shows the snow season is beginning, Cooke City has become one of the premier snowmobiling destinations in the U.S. for good reason. Click onto the Snow Cam at the Big Moose Resort and watch the white stuff pile up!

 A year ago today, Oct 3rd, Residents woke to several inches of snow. Cooke City's first for the fall season. The snow photo is still on the daily photo page. This year the day is overcast, but only rain fell through the night.

  Oct 1st, 2006, in the evening, I visited the Exxon Web Cam to see a relatively slow Cooke City when I noticed a Buffalo walking up Main St to the East. Click on the photo to the left for a larger view.

 The Exxon Web Cam has been down for a few days. One of Cooke City's infamous power outages jostled the equipment. It came back up this afternoon and made a lot of folks happy. I received a lot of email showing concern about it being down.

 Today, September 19th, became known as Black Friday in 1873. It was the day Jay cooke and Co failed, setting off a securities panic. It confirmed that a rail line into Cooke City would not be built. Affordable transportation of Cooke City ore to the outside world was not to be.

 I received an interesting note from Bob Dorf. It reads: "My father was the one who introduced me to the Beartooths and Cooke City. He was a professor of Geology at Princeton, and had spent one year as a ranger at Mammoth in 1926 and had gone on to help establish the Geology camp in Red Lodge, known as the YBRA, Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association. Before the road was built from Red Lodge, my father and some students spent the summer at Beartooth Lake doing the geology of the Butte. I know you’ve noticed the red at the top. That was actually a canal bed and had some fossil fish that were eventually named after my father.”Something-something Dorfi .“ They found lots of fossil fish and the rumor spread to Red Lodge. A game warden was sent from Red Lodge, probably a two day ride, to apprehend the culprits who were fishing there and taking more than their limit. When he arrived, my father, always enjoying a good joke, took the game warden and showed him the fish which were laying out on the ground waiting to be catalogued and sent back to Princeton. They all enjoyed a good laugh. My father often told stories of parties at the lake where people came from all over and the band would play all night to the extent that the fiddle player had to lie down on a bench and play on his back. Beartooth butte played such an important role in my father’s life, that we had his ashes scattered over the Butte by plane in the mid 80’s".

 Rain has been scarce around Cooke City for at least 5 weeks. Smoke from the severe fires in Montana, Idaho and Utah lingers in the valley. Note: Several hours after I posted this blog, the rain began to pour. The next day it snowed.

Cooke City mourns it's loss. On Friday September 8th, the residents of Cooke City celebrated the lives of the two men killed performing service for the community. Nearly every business in town shut down so that everyone could attend. The service was held at the head of the Kersey Lake trail. Many heart warming and humerous tales were told of the two men. A fine meal was served to over 300 people, compliments of town folks.

 Labor Day tragedy claims the life of two Cooke City residents. Pat Myers,a Billings attorney and part owner of the Beartooth Cafe, and Steve Liebl, Realtor and editor of the Cooke City newsletter, were killed Monday morning, September 4th just north of Cooke City while attempting to restore television signal to the residents of Cooke. Those of you who follow the newsletter know that Steve has been working on restoring power to the translator station for some time. On Monday morning, Steve was joined by Pat Myers as they attempted to take new batteries up the narrow and steep path up the mountain to the station. Initial reports indicate that on a particularily steep portion of the trail, the enclosed Jeep they were using tipped over backwards and rolled end over end down an 1100 foot drop.

 Steve liebl's latest entry on the newsletter is shown here. Shoo Fly TV Translator Association Update… "Still waiting for those batteries to arrive. Word to the wise NEVER ship anything FEDEX Ground!!!!The new batteries and controller will cost about $1650.00. Our humble little translators have been funded by donations and volunteer labor. Any donations toward the repairs would be appreciated and checks can be made out to Shoofly TV Translator Station Association and dropped off with Steve at the Compactor or mailed to PO Box 1023 Cooke City, MT 59020. Any donations of labor would be appreciated also because when the batteries arrive we will need to get them to the site and carried up to the structure. They weigh about 140lbs each."

 Almost forgot! The road construction east of Cooke City along 212 is now finished. New blacktop, straightened and striped! Next year construction begins between Cooke City and Yellowstone.

I recently purchased a 1946 menu from the Home Comfort Cafe. It should arrive here within the next week. I will scan it and share it with all when it arrives. You should know that the cafe is still in operation in Cooke City and is now known as the Beartooth Cafe. Compare this photo with the actual Beartooth Cafe and you'll see it's a match. The Home Comfort Cafe was built by Lawrence Nordquist most likely in the late 30's.

 Easy Riders. With the Sturgis Rally in full swing, it's nice to see so many riders spending extra time in Cooke City. So far, most have been on the way to South Dakota, but the rest of the week the majority will be on the way home. A week or so back a lot of the Hell's Angels left the rally in Cody and headed for Cooke City. I rode a Harley for many years and still enjoy the following: What's the difference between a Harley and a Hoover? The position of the dirtbag.

 More great rain in Cooke City today. Hardly seems fair when the midwest is sweltering in triple digit temperatures. (07-31-06) Hey, don't forget the Cooke City Fish Fry on Aug 4th!

Email! I do get email! Several emails were about dog turd peak. Yes, it is historically correct! Sort of sheds new light on how you view Index peak, doesn't it?The old boys did have a sense of humor! Others have questioned why I frequently fail to add a daily photo on Saturdays. Well, some time ago I bought a tree farm in Wyoming's Sybille Canyon. On Friday afternoon I have to go up and pay the boys and see how things are going. I generally stay until Saturday evening, and often till Sunday afternoon. It's about a 10 hour round trip, so it's too hard to do in one day. I enjoy the tree farm. After a good rain falls on the pine trees it smells like Cooke City!

Uncle Eddie. Ed Weydt owned a gas distribution business in Red Lodge, MT, and in 1934 made the first gasoline delivery to Cooke City over the "soon to be open" Beartooth highway. Ed loved Cooke City and visited whenever possible. An avid fisherman, he knew all of the lakes and streams in the area. Ed was a talented woodworker and built a cabin in Cooke City. I spoke with Ed a year or so before his death. His memory was absolutely amazing and I recorded many pages of information from this remarkable man. Mr. Weydt estimated he made 3000 trips over the Beartooth delivering supplies to Cooke City. I first met Ed in 1965. His niece, Connie (Hyem) Hupka was working for John and Neva Green at the Shaw's Lodge. Connie's parents lived in Red Lodge and would often send gifts and supplies to Connie through Ed as he delivered gas. Connie would spot him rolling into town and exclaim "It's Uncle Eddie!" I would often see Ed and Nick Babiluk (Cooke City's Union 76) visiting as the close friends they were when Ed delivered gas. Ed Weydt passed away on February 13, 2005. When you pull into the Cooke City Exxon, and the gas is a little more expensive than flat land cities, think of Uncle Eddie driving a loaded gas truck over Beartooth Pass.. Not too expensive after all!

 I just returned from a few days in Cooke City. I was saddened to learn that Birdie Williams lost her Daughter Mary in March of this year. Birdie still looks very good. There is no doubt she would love to hear from old friends. I asked if there was a good time to call and she said "Anytime" ! I'll bet calls before 8:00 pm would be appreciated. I had great visits with Mary and Rodney Blain and Nellie Israel all at the Blain Gallery, Susan at the Exxon, Dee Smith at the Chamber, and Teri at the Bakery. Road construction delays are at a minimum and asphalt is already being applied. I learned that some of the wet roads I had been seeing on the web cam were from a water truck, however I have been assured by Rodney Blain that until this week, rain has fallen nearly every single day. Rain resumed yesterday afternoon. Dee Smith directed me to the electrical plant near Cooke that Mary Margaret Curl refers to in her story. Mary called it Hayden Falls. Today it is known as Woody Creek Falls. Carter Gowl has promised to send me some photos of the plant's water wheel

 Those of you that follow the Exxon Web Cam are aware of the wonderful summer rains blessing Cooke City on a near daily basis. For you folks who may not think much of the rain, I want to assure you the soft mountain showers falling on cooke City are sure to cleanse your spirit. In cooke City the air is already pure and sweet, but somehow it is sweeter and more fragrant following a shower. Pack an umbrella and enjoy!

 This week's Cooke city Newsletter shows the Beef Lips will be performing on July 22nd in Silvergate. Click on the link for more information.

 I continue to be amazed at the quality of the Web Cams on the Cooke City Exxon and the Big Moose sites

 I receive some great email from Don Salyer. Don spent a lot of time in Cooke working at the Watuck Lodge when Darrell and Pat Crabb owned it. Anyway, Don liked the page I added about Bill Sommers. He suggested I look into the Holt Family too. I had already been collecting information on Mary Ann Holt who ran the Quick Lunch Cafe in Cooke, and purchased the coffe mug shown to the left on the internet. I told Don about the passing of Mary Ann Holt.  

 Don Salyer also mentioned the following: "You might post that Bill Keller died around June 3, 2006. He was the official park photographer for 23 years. I also got a call last week that Gin McRacken (sp) died about a week ago. She and her husband Wayne(died several years ago) owned "Gin's Kitchen" and later changed it to Crazy Mama's. Gin's was a real popular restaruant in the 70's and 80's. Don't know where her obit is but Bill's is in the Polson, mt. newspaper if you want to look it up"

 
  I had the pleasure of visiting with Donna (Nordquist) Kruger, Daughter of Olive Nordquist who built and ran the Nordquist Motor Lodge In Cooke City. Donna related a great story concerning Mary's Quick Lunch Cafe. When Donna was about 9 years old, she and a young lady about 6 years old, whose mother owned the Ma Perkins Cafe found a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes. It was late summer, so they hid the cigarettes under a log pile and made plans to smoke them next summer when they returned to Cooke City. The following summer they found the stale cigarettes and began to puff away. Within a half hour, Donna was so sick she could hardly walk. She stumbled home and Olive became very concerned about what could be causing such an illness in her child. Thinking quickly, Donna replied that she stopped by the Quick Lunch Cafe and had a hamburger. It must be food poisoning. Unfortunately for Donna, a friend told Olive the truth! Olive set Donna down with a pack of cigarettes and had her smoke the entire pack.

I recently came across the Obituary for Mary Ann Holt and will share it here for all who remember the Quick Lunch Cafe. - Mary Ann Holt, 98, of Billings, who had operated the Quick Lunch Café in Cooke City, died Saturday, April 24, 2004, at Eagle Cliff Manor. She was born Jan. 23, 1906, in Munister, Saskatchewan. She grew up and was educated in North Dakota. On June 16, 1927, she married Lloyd P. Holt in Moorehead, Minn. They lived in Red Lodge until moving to Roundup in 1927. In 1947, Mr. Holt opened a garage in Cooke City, and they lived there during the summers until 1962, when they began living in Cooke City full-time. Mrs. Holt operated the Quick Lunch Café until 1972. Mr. Holt died in 1972, and in 1981 she moved to Billings.Mrs. Holt was skilled at needlework and made many afghans for the church bazaar at Mt. Republic Chapel in Cooke City.Survivors include sons, LeRoy of Cooke City and Orville of Billings; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson. Graveside services were held April 27 at Sunset Memorial Gardens. A memorial service will be held later this summer at Mt. Republic Chapel in Cooke City.

 Following the receipt of an interesting Guestbook entry from Marcy Porter in Texas, I began research on the Jimmy Beaver's Lodge. I finally realized it had been the Green Gables Court that was built by Lawrence Nordquist in competition with his ex-wife Olive. At some point it became the Rockhound Court. It was eventually to become Joan and Bills Cafe, and today is the Bistro. Some of the original cabins still exist behind the restaurant, but are used to house employees. I tracked down Jimmy Beavers' elderly sister in Texas for some first hand information. Jimmy did some work for the State of Texas as a predator hunter. During his military career he ended up in Oregon where he met his first wife, Martha. Somehow, they wandered down to Cooke City where they purchased the Green Gables store and Lodge. They renamed it the Beaver's Lodge. Following their divorce. Martha stayed in Cooke working at various businesses. Sadly she committed suicide in the building (then a home) that now houses the Blain Gallery. Jimmy was a heavy smoker and died fairly young of lung related diseases.

   Don Salyer sent in this information on Hermit Tommy Garrison: "Most people don't realize you used to be able to drive the Daisy-Lulu loop in a car. You could almost drive to Goose lake in a car. We used to drive to Round lake in a 68 chevy caprice! The only thing that stopped us from going further was you had to drive through about a foot of water to get past round lake. From there to goose lake, the road was pretty good. That's how old Tommy got by driving that little car of his . He really didn't live too far off the hiway. The road back to his cabin was only about 100 yards off the highway. Where the road split to go to his cabin, he just laid a couple of logs across it to keep people from driving back there". The photo to the left, by the way, is of Tommy at the site of his burned out cabin. Birdie Williams is there too, sifting through the ashes looking for anything that may have survived the fire.

 WHITEHALL — Ralph Huckaba died peacefully Monday from age-related complications. Ralph was born April 5, 1913, in Sunset, Mont., on a homestead, to James Newton Huckaba and Ruby M. Jeffries. The family moved to Whitehall when he was 16. After graduation, he worked as a ranch hand until he began placer mining near Basin Creek. He often said with a chuckle, "That's where the gold bug got me." Until the last few years of his life, mining for the elusive mother lode captured his spirit. As a hard rock miner he worked in various mines including the Sunlight and Mayflower mines near Whitehall and many mines of his own. Looking for a new venture, Ralph and Violet then purchased the Watuck Lodge in Cooke City and ran it for four years. After retirement they returned to Cooke City, spending their summers at their cabin on the old Erma mill site where Ralph continued his pursuits as a "gentleman miner."

 


 Here is a Hoosier's Cafe menu from the 1950's. I bought it on the internet a few years back. Click on the images for a larger view.

 

 

 More on Hoosiers Cafe. Richard A. Porter, 73, a longtime resident of Cooke City, died Saturday, March 2, 2002, at Horizon Hospice Home after liver failure. He was born on March 11, 1928, to Cora and Alfred E. Porter in Billings. He attended Cooke City and Billings grade schools, Billings Senior High, Eastern Montana College and Billings Business College.He served in the Army during the Korean War, then married Marian Shammel in Billings on March 7,1954. In1966 He returned to Cooke City, where he built Hoosier’s Motel in conjunction with Hoosier’s Bar & Cafe, which his grandparents had started in the 1930s. He managed the business until the time of his death. Survivors include his wife and a son, Rick Wayne of Cooke City. A second son, Randall James, died in 1982.

 Copyright 2005 Michael J. Kay
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