Stories From The Tamaracks:
I Remember When...'


This picture was taken at The Tamaracks during 1946. Back row, left to right:
Henry "Bud" Turner; Pelham "Pel" Turner, Ken Demmons. Front row, from left:
Ruth Broderson Turner (she married Bud that year), Maude Turner (Bud, Pel and
Valle's mother), Valle Turner Demmons (Ken's wife). Photo courtesy of
Tom Demmons, Ken and Valle's third oldest yougster.


March 29, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

Stories From Long Ago about The Tamaracks of Seeley Lake Compiled by Jack Demmons.

This is Part 21 of a series of articles about The Tamaracks and surrounding Blackfoot-Swan Valley areas.

In part 20 mention was made about The Tamaracks reverting back to its original usage - a beautiful quiet lake resort. The glory of the dude ranch seemed to have faded. After World War II vacation habits began to change among the general population. The last of The Tamaracks' horses was sold in 1949.

After the cast of characters left The Tamaracks, what happened to them? Some time ago we mentioned that Ken and Valle Demmons' son Sandy died in the crash of an ultra light aircraft at Polson at the age of 46 on Saturday, August 28, 1982. After his military service as a pilot, Sandy became a commercial airline pilot for Continental Airlines, flying three-engine McDonnell Douglas DC-10 jets to Australia and New Zealand from Los Angeles, and then commuting back to his home and wife Joyce at Polson while off duty. Also, that the originator of The Tamaracks as a dude ranch, Henry "Heinie" Turner, died there of a heart attack on January 23, 1941 at age 53.

His widow, Maude McCullough Turner, moved to Missoula in the autumn of 1949 after the breakup of the dude ranch. She died in a Missoula hospital on June 16, 1952 at the age of 61. Maude was the daughter of Dr. George T. McCullough, who came to Missoula from Missouri with his family in June 1890 and practiced medicine in that area for 48 years. He passed away May 18, 1938. Maude's mother was Mollie Massey McCullough who died in Missoula from a stroke September 26, 1912.

Henry "Bud" Turner, Heinie and Maude's oldest son, stayed in the U.S. Marine Air Corps after his service as a fighter pilot during World War II. While on duty in California during the war years, he met Ruth Broderson, who was from Laguna Beach. They were married in 1946. His last duty station was at Elmendorf Air Force Base on the northern fringe of Anchorage. He retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel in 1964. He then took over as head of Civil Defense for the state of Alaska under Governor Egan.

They had two sons, Hank and Brooks. Hank was due to graduate from the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado during the spring of 1969 and become an Air Force pilot. He and his fiancee were killed three days prior to graduation when Hank's car slammed into a bridge abutment. He was buried at the military cemetery at Elmendorf. Brooks died in 1970 and his interment was also at Elmendorf.

Bud retired from his Civil Defense post in 1971 and he and Ruth moved to California. Bud died there in 1975 at the age of 56. Ruth accompanied his body to Elmendorf where he was buried with his sons.

Ruth is still very active and lives in the San Clemente area next to the Marine Corps' Camp Pendleton Base, southeast of Los Angeles, ten miles from where she first met Bud. She is an avid golfer and helps manage a golf course in San Clemente each Wednesday and Sunday.

Previously, we mentioned that Pel, Bud's younger brother, married Joyce Ann Tenny - from Minneapolis - in August, 1948. (Pel served on active duty with the military service during both World War II and the Korean conflict.) After leaving The Tamaracks Pel and Joyce moved to Missoula. He was with automobile agencies for 46 years. Pel began working for H.O. Bell and his Ford agency in 1950. Later he became half owner of the Warren Harris Buick firm and then in 1970 became the owner of what was known as the Grizzly Lincoln Mercury Agency. He sold out in 1980, but was still active with auto sales. Pel and Joyce have been spending this winter at Mesa, Arizona.

They have two youngsters, a boy and girl. Terry resides in California. Monte calls Missoula home. He and his wife Loie operate the Turner Sign Arts firm. (Monte looks much like his grandfather, Heinie Turner, and has the same sense of humor.)

The final chapter - part 22 - will tell of the fate that befell Ken and Valle Demmons and the old story teller, Frank Anderson. There will also be comments made by Tom Demmons, Ken and Valle's third oldest youngster, concerning The Tamaracks. Several times it has been mentioned that most of the stories about The Tamaracks came from Tom, who looks much like his father.

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