Stories From The Tamaracks:

'I Remember When..."


Members of The Tamaracks on the way to a rodeo at Helmville in 1934. They are taking a break in Ovando. Pel Turner is the one with a leg over the tailgate. His older brother Bud, the driverage 16, is standing on the running board. Pel said all of them, except Bud, were carsick, as can be seen from the expressions on their faces. The other youngsters are not identified. It was a tough ride from Seeley Lake to Ovando and on to Helmville in those days. Photo courtesy of Monte Turner.



During the trip to the Helmville Rodeo from Seeley Lake in 1938, the youngsters riding in the pickup truck, driven by Bud Turner of The Tamaracks, were trying to get their "sea legs" back during a stop in Ovando after a bout of carsickness. Bud Turner is simulating driving the buggy. Pel Turner, watching his brother, is hidden behind the girl in the center of the photo. Photo courtesy of Monte Turner.


November 23, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana


Stories From Long Ago About The Tamaracks of Seeley Lake
And Surrounding Area Compiled by Jack Demmons

This is part 12 of a series of articles about The Tamaracks and surrounding Blackfoot-Swan Valley areas.

The Tobacco-Chewing Deer

The Missoula Sentinel, December 15, 1938, had an article with the title: "Deer Saved From Drowning In Lake. Spectacular Rescue of Animal After It Goes Through Ice."

Around dusk on Tuesday, December 13, 1938, members from The Tamaracks were skating on Seeley Lake and came across a seven-point whitetail buck that had broken through the ice about 250 yards from shore. It was treading water and could not get back up on top of the ice.

Pel Turner, 13 year old son of Henry and Maude Turner, owners of The Tamaracks, managed to lasso the animal by the horns. The crowd that assembled had a very difficult time getting the buck up on the ice without injuring it.

Once on the ice the deer was so cold and stiff that it couldn't stand, so it was skidded across the ice to shore. The deer was then loaded into a truck and hauled a quarter of a mile to The Tamaracks.

It was taken into the living room of the Lodge where it finally warmed up after apparently being in the water several hours. It refused food, milk and water. Members of The Tamaracks staff remembered seeing deer that wandered around the area eat cigarette stubs. The exhausted deer was offered a handful of smoking tobacco and did eat it.

Four hours after being brought into the warm Lodge the deer became drowsy and fell asleep.

A deputy game warden at Ovando was contacted. He arrived to take the deer home and feed it in a corral for several days before setting it free. However, while being loaded into the warden's covered truck the deer proved to be stubborn and gave several of its benefactors forceful kicks. Apparently the deer did not wish to leave the warmth of The Tamaracks, its hospitality and tobacco handouts from the staff.

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