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The Night the Mountain Fell

Edmund Christopherson

Book Overview: 

A severe earthquake, centered in the vacation area of West Yellowstone, Montana, shook the ground and its inhabitants and visitors. A mountainside fell, a lake formed, roads and houses disappeared, people were trapped, people died. The author of this narrative went to the area the day after the quake, took first-hand stories of the catastrophe, researched in the following months, and wrote this account within a year of the shaking. The printed source has many informative photographs.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .West Yellowstone, 10 miles south, by phone, he rushed his wife, Margaret, and their six children into the car, started out, and immediately crashed over a 13-foot drop-off scarp that the quake had jutted up between his home and the highway.

8

On the night of the quake Mrs. Grace Miller, a widow who, in her seventies, is still sprightly enough to run, single-handed, the Hillgard Fishing Lodge cabin and boat rentals on the north shore of Hebgen Lake, found herself suddenly wakened about midnight. She didn’t know what was happening, but she felt she had to get out of the house. She threw a blanket around herself. The door was jammed, and she had to kick to get it open.

Outside the door she saw a big, 5-foot crevice. As she leaped across it, the house dropped from under her into the lake. More crevices kept opening in the moonlit ground as she walked away from the lake. “Rabbits were skedaddling in every which direction,” she said, but . . . Read More