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Two Nights in a Mountain Blizzard: Martin Farrell Lost in the Hills from Sunday Afternoon until Tuesday Night

Written by Dick Perue

Above are the headlines in the Dec. 30, 1904 issue of “The Grand Encampment Herald.” Following is the newspaper article.

Martin Farrell, agent for the Dixie Clothing Co., was “up against the real thing” from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday night. He left Encampment Sunday noon on horseback, headed for the Carbon Timber Co.’s headquarters east of Hog Park carrying six suits of clothes to be delivered at the tie camp.

Frank White, the stage driver, who makes regular trips three times a week to and from the tie camp, told Farrell that he could not get over the trail alone and advised him to wait until Monday, when he could follow the stage, Farrell declared that he would be in camp before night and so started out. He reached the half-way house on Green Mountain without difficult but after he had gone about two miles farther he became lost in the storm.

Monday night he camped all by his lonesome in one of those monster snow banks up yonder on the Continental Divide, with no one near to disturb his meditations or annoy him in his solitude. The wind was blowing some – if you have ever been up there you will know – and the atmosphere was the limit of the extension, “chillfully” speaking, and Farrell was handed the icy mitt in earnest. Next morning he managed to wander around some, but darkness came on again and he was forced to spend another night in the snow and cold. About five o’clock Tuesday night he made his way to the tie camp headquarters and has since been in a critical condition. During the trip, Farrell had nothing to eat and had only two matches in his clothes to encourage a fire, and he lost the six suits of clothes.

Frank White goes to the half-way house in the afternoon and starts from there early the next morning, making the tie camp about noon. He has never failed to get his outfit through, even in the worst weather, but he declares that the trail in mid-winter is no place for a tenderfoot. The snow is drifted as deep as 20 feet in places, and in a storm it is difficult even for the old timer to keep the trail.

An advertisement in the same newspaper the following week reads:

“To avoid cold feet take Nuzum’s stage, heated by Clark’s heaters. Tickets for sale at Snider and Park’s at the following popular prices: Grand Encampment to Saratoga, $1.50, round trip, $2.50; Grand Encampment to Walcott, $3.00, round trip, $5.00.”