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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.


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

Community Reviews

1960 1962 Yellowstone Publications 88 pg
Edward Christopherson
color cover art Elwood Averill illust & maps DeLynn Colvert
Beverly Lynley b/w and b/w & green
Back map by Colvert back cover photos color US Forest Service Montana Power
Really interesting book about the August 1959 earthquake. Vary dramat


Who knew a small book like this could be so thrilling and yet educational! I am making a trip to Yellowstone this summer and now plan to follow the roads mentioned and to get a good look at the aftermath of the quake that occurred just two days after my birth! Who knew?

I listened to a Libravox recording of this book. This is an overview of the 1959 earthquake at Yellowstone that resulted in a massive landslide. It gives first hand accounts from survivors during the disaster and interviews with rescue personnel. Some of the stories are quite harrowing. there is als

This was a short story but it's about a campground near Yellowstone National Park that is wiped out by an earthquake in 1959. The book is informative with what happened as well as how it affected the workings of the geysers and underground workings of the park itself. My mom's side of the family are

While the subject matter is certainly interesting (I never even knew this had happened), the way it was written reads like a Wikipedia entry. There's very little emotion, just facts.

There are a lot of people mentioned, and any one of their stories probably would have made for an interesting book on

The Night the Mountain Fell: The Story of the Montana-Yellowstone Earthquake by Edmund Christopherson
Never realized this had happeend. Also didn't know that there were so many areas effected by this. Stories of those who were there and what they were doing along with watching what others around the

The Night The Mountain Fell — Edmund Christopherson (14 titled chapters) January 23-27, 2018

Very interesting, gripping read of the history of this tragic natural disaster. Short, concise, to the point and worth-while read. (Took me longer due to many interruptions.)

I found the telling of this non-fi

Good collection of information on the quake

I've known about this quake for a long time and wanted to know more. This makes me even more interested in going to the site.

Montana's 1959 Earthqake

The first hand accounts bring the event into focus. People facing unexpected natural disaster are tested beyond belief. The author pieces together a fascinating tale.

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