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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Avery in Shoshone County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

The Big Blowup

 
 
The Big Blowup Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 22, 2011
1. The Big Blowup Marker
Inscription. The forest fires of August, 1910, burned millions of acres in Idaho, Montana and Washington. On the night of August 20, engineer Johnnie Mackedon, returning from a trip to St. Paul Pass, found the Falcon siding on fire. Over one hundred terrified men, women and children were gathered on the platform of the smoldering depot. He coupled to a flatcar on the adjoining siding and everyone scrambled on board for a harrowing ride to the safety of Tunnel 27.

“Why, all that you could see of a bridge was a wall of flame, but we crossed it. I hooked her up, threw her wide open, and the we lay down on the deck to protect ourselves from the heat.”
Train Engineer Johnnie Mackedon

A Gandy-Dancerís Grave?

Old time railroaders tell the story about one man who died when he panicked and leaped off another rescue train. The train continued on to tunnel 20 and the rest of the passengers survived.

After the fire passed over, the other passengers buried him next to the tracks. He is assumed to have been a railroad laborer known as a “gandy-dancer.” His death may be the only fatality from the 1910 fire in the Loop Creek drainage.
 
Location. 47° 20.848′ N, 115° 37.788′ W. Marker is in
A Gandy-Dancer's Grave image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 22, 2011
2. A Gandy-Dancer's Grave
Avery, Idaho, in Shoshone County. Marker can be reached from Cliff Creek Road (Federal Road 506) near Loop Creek Road (Federal Road 326). Touch for map. Located along the Route of the Hiawatha Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Avery ID 83802, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The 1910 Fires (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Olympian Hiawatha (approx. ľ mile away); Olympian Luxury (approx. ľ mile away); The Traveler (approx. 0.3 miles away); Little in Name Only (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Mighty Quills (approx. half a mile away); Bridging the Gaps (approx. half a mile away); Johnsonís Big Cut (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Avery.
 
More about this marker. On the right is a photo with the caption, “We expected that every moment would be our last on earth.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Route of the Hiawatha Rail Trail. (Submitted on August 5, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. U.S. Forest Service History - The 1910 Fires. The Forest History Society (Submitted on August 5, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesDisastersRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 5, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 645 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 5, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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