Try 1 month for $5
Hebgen Earthquacke
The main residence of Hilgard Lodge is almost wholly submerged in Hebgen Lake after the Aug. 17, 1959, Yellowstone National Park earthquake. A portion of State Highway 287 also was swallowed by the lake. This view is toward the northwest.

The largest earthquake recorded in the Rocky Mountains shook southwest Montana 50 years ago and sent the side of a mountain crashing down over a campground. At least 28 people died and many were injured.

At 11:37 p.m. Aug. 17, 1959, the Earth's crust slipped north of West Yellowstone, tilting Hebgen Lake and sending waves of water over Hebgen Dam. Down the Madison Canyon, the side of a mountain fell into the river, creating a new lake that remains today.

In Billings, the quake rattled houses and rolled stones off the Rimrocks. Frightened guests at the Custer Hotel downtown ran into the street.

A few Billings residents were much closer to the quake. Mildred "Tootie" Greene was camped with her family so close to the Madison Canyon slide that a quake-tossed tree ripped through her tent. Escaping harm, she helped care for the injured and calm those traumatized by the disaster.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

For more on Greene's experience and the quake, click the links to the left.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
1
1
7
9
2