Mona Leeson Vanek Behind these Mountains Volume I © 1986
Page 148 :
leaping, scorching tongue of the fire flashed through the forests of the Bull
valley burning much of lower Bull River, Dry Creek and Copper Gulch, but not Napoleon
It took only seventeen minutes for the fire to burn from Smead's Bench, jumping the
Clark's Fork River, and over Copper Gulch, Andy Crist didn't have a chance.7
"The fire came up over the hill by Dodge's. Andy Crist and John Erickson were at
their cabin in Copper Gulch when the fire came dropping down the canyon.
"They run pretty near a half-a-mile from the house trying to get down to Bull
River," Frank Berray said. "That's a narrow canyon to get down out of so John
wanted to hurry up. Crist wanted to go back and get his suitcase. John kept going and
Andy went back.
"They found Andy about 300 feet from the cabin. He'd got the suitcase because you
could see the iron frame and the ashes shaped from it. He was on his hands and knees.
He'd tried to crawl, I guess. The fire just drawed his legs right up."
U.S. Census 1910
The 1910 U.S Census at Smead, Sanders County, Montana found Andrew Christ at the mouth of the Bull River working for a lumber company. At 40 years old, he'd immigrated to the United States from Sweden in 1892.
The following excerpt from the oral history interview of Don Maynard (OH - 394) on file at the Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane indicates John Erickson and Andy Christ were up Copper Creek making cedar products:
". . . the only [cabin] that I ever [knew of up Copper Creek] was old John Erickson['s] and a fellow that burned up there in the 1910 Fire. Their little cabin was up the creek there. They made cedars and that was the only cabin up in there that I ever saw in my days up there."