Object Record

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Catalog Number 1985.38.02
Object Name Chalk
Dimensions L-2.5 Dia-1 inches
Date c. 1943
Notes This piece of chalk was in the pocket of Emil Anderson when he died in the Smith Mine disaster on Feb. 27, 1943.

The worst coal mine disaster in Montana history happened on February 27, 1943. An open flame touched off an explosion at the Number 3 Smith Mine in Bearcreek, near Red Lodge. The explosion erupted deep underground and was powerful enough to knock a 20-ton locomotive off its tracks a quarter mile from the mine. Of the 77 miners who went to work that day, only 3 survived. Miner Emil Anderson scrawled this farewell message in chalk on a piece of powder box. It reads, "Its 5 mins pass 11 o'clock . . .dear Agnes and children I'm sorry we had to go . . . God bless you all Emil with lots . . . kisses."
Search Terms MT Territorial Legacy