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Historical Note - Week of July 26th

Red Lodge Picket, July 27, 1900


Reported That Cooke City Smith Was Blown Up by Dynamite—Probably an Earthquake

A rumor, which could not be traced to any reliable source, was in circulation in this city the first of the week to the effect that Jim Smith, one of the pioneers of Cooke, recently met with a fatal accident in the Crandall Creek basin while enroute from Red Lodge to the New World district with a load of supplies, consisting, in part, of several boxes of dynamite. The report was that the dynamite had exploded and blown Mr. Smith and his outfit sky high. No one seems to know just how the rumor started and but little credence is placed therein, although it is authoritively stated that the noise of a terrific explosion was heard and the effects felt by the people of the Crandall Creek district. Mark Boughton, who came in from Sunlight the first of the week, said that he hadn’t heard anything about the dynamite explosion rumor until he reached the city, and it was his opinion that the report was the outgrowth of a seismic disturbance or earthquake which occurred in or near the National Park on July 5.

On August 10th it was reported:

Red Lodge Picket, August 10, 1900

The Picket is glad to announce that in spite of the distressing rumor current a few days ago to the effect that “Cooke City” Smith had been blown to atoms by a dynamite explosion, that gentleman is still very much alive and ready to participate in the coming development of the little town in which he is so much interested. W.A. Lewis and Messrs. Sydney and Frank Fox returned last Saturday from the Sunlight mining district, coming by way of Crandall Creek basin, where they learned that “Cooke” Smith had not been killed, and that the report of his death probably originated from the hearing of numerous explosions in Clarke Fork canyon, where certain people are illegally dynamiting fish.

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