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Historical Note - Week of August 23rd

It looks like the Beartooth Highway had the dedication of a different name, but the present one stuck:

Choteau Acantha, August 23, 1934



As a tribute to the man who worked most of eight years in procuring an appropriation from congress for the construction of the new Red Lodge-Cooke City approach highway to Yellowstone park, Cooke City’s old-timers and the people I attendance at the annual fish fry day celebration held in the mining town conferred an honor on O.H.P. Shelley of Red Lodge, when they adopted a resolution requesting that the new park route be known hereafter as the Shelley Skyway highway to Yellowstone park.

This feature of the annual celebration in the Beartooth mining camp, which was held this year in honor of Mr. Shelley was presented at a special program arranged especially for the Red Lodge publisher.

On an improvised platform there were gathered the honor guest, Mr. Shelley; J.H. Stinson, acting chairman of this year’s celebration; Ben Greenough, Beartooth mountain guide, and his son Bill, who managed this year’s rodeo at the event; George Beller of Gardiner, member of the game department in the Cooke district and a former old-time resident of the town, and L. M. Prill, chairman of the committee on arrangements of the fish fry day.

Mr. Stinson opened the program with an address in which he reviewed history of the camp, telling of some of his own experiences during the early days and striking comparisons as to the Cooke City of yesterday and of today. He closed with a tribute to Mr. Shelley, who he declared could never be repaid for his efforts in making the new highway a reality and bringing Cooke City its greatest boom in history. This statement was accepted with prolonged applause by the audience.

Mr. Greenough and his son responded with brief talks, Mr. Greenough telling experiences.

The next speaker was Mr. Beller, who, although not an old-timer of Cooke city, lived in the mining camp 51 years ago and consequently was able to give his audience a vivid picture of life in the camp as it was in its earliest days.

Mr. Shelley outlined briefly the years of work required before construction of the new highway was made possible. Many difficulties and disappointments marked the obtaining of the $2,500,000 federal appropriation now being expended in constructing the road, he said, and obstacles that at times seemed insurmountable and caused many to declare that the project never would become a reality had to be overcome before his efforts met with success. He declared emphatically the new route would fast become the most sensational entrance to the national playground and would draw world-wide recognition and acclaim.

Chairman Prill of the arrangement committee read the resolution presented by the old-timers and the people assembled. The resolution asks specifically that, in recognition of Mr. Shelley’s efforts in securing construction of the new road, it be named in his honor and be known as the Shelley Skyway highway to Yellowstone park. It was requested in the resolution that an appropriate memorial be erected and dedicated in his honor, the location to be preferably in the immediate vicinity of Cooke City. The resolution received the indorsement of the audience, its acceptance being by applause.

Mae West Curve, Beartooth Highway

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