Gallery

Floyd "Greasy" Takes Gun near his home along Cut Bank Creek. Photo by David Grewe.

Floyd “Greasy” Takes Gun near his home along Cut Bank Creek. Photo by David Grewe.

Art DeRouche explains his attempt to rescue flood victims to Brooke Swaney and Lailani Upham. Photo by Torsten Kjellstrand.

Art DeRouche explains his attempt to rescue flood victims to Brooke Swaney and Lailani Upham. Photo by Torsten Kjellstrand.

Betty Cooper, near Birch Creek, Blackfeet Reservation. Photo by Lailani Upham.

Betty Cooper, near Birch Creek, Blackfeet Reservation. Photo by Lailani Upham.

Floyd Takes Gun on his ranch near the Cut Brank Creek. Photo by David Grewe.

Floyd Takes Gun on his ranch near the Cut Bank Creek. Photo by David Grewe.

Butch New Breast on his ranch just west of Browning, Montana, on the Blackfeet Reservation. New Breast still rides Birch Creek looking for the bodies of his mother and sister, swept away by the wall of water during the 1964 flood.

Butch New Breast on his ranch just west of Browning, Montana, on the Blackfeet Reservation. New Breast still rides Birch Creek looking for the bodies of his mother and sister, swept away by the wall of water during the 1964 flood.1t8_4949aKenny Olson at the site of his family homestead near the Two Medicine River, Montana.

OMI PROFILENaomi “Omi” Crawford in the round hall in Heart Butte, Montana.

MT lake

Sunset near Heart Butte, Montana.

MT RAINBOWWhat Nature Gave UsA Temporary HomeBorn Here

Butch New Breast calls for his horses on his ranch just west of Browning, Montana, on the Blackfeet Reservation. New Breast still rides Birch Creek looking for the bodies of his mother and sister, swept away by the wall of water during the 1964 flood.

Butch New Breast calls for his horses on his ranch just west of Browning, Montana, on the Blackfeet Reservation. New Breast still rides Birch Creek looking for the bodies of his mother and sister, swept away by the wall of water during the 1964 flood.

2t8_4897aChief Earl Old Person, May 2014.

FLOYD & SON MT copy

Winslow Evans stands in front of his grandfather's cabin near the Two Medicine River. Photo by Torsten Kjellstrand.

Winslow Evans stands in front of his grandfather’s cabin near the Two Medicine River. Photo by Torsten Kjellstrand.

Torsten films Kenny and Winslow near the Two Medicine River. Photo by Benjamin Shors.

Torsten films Kenny and Winslow near the Two Medicine River. Photo by Benjamin Shors.


Historic Photos

Credit: Montana Historical Society Research Center Photograph Archives, Helena, MT

6 thoughts on “Gallery

  1. Rod Steckler says:

    Beautiful people in & from a beautiful place…what a terrifying, exciting, and tragic story…Lived in Gt. Falls, as a 13 yr. old kid, at the time

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was going to spend the summer with my Aunt Violet Cobell that summer,

    i would have been with my sweet cousin Galela Cobell who died with her nieces and nephews..

  3. Dave Schildt says:

    Most of the New Breast interviews were shot near my grandparents home. I have written a flood song today June 7 a day before the memorial. It can be viewed on my website. The page title is: “The Flood of ’64.”

  4. Dave Schildt says:

    Dave Red Boy Schildt
    Bull rider & Musician
    The Flood of ’64

    I once heard a clinical therapist say to deal with psychologic trauma you must look into it to understand what and why you feel the way you do. Ok..then you have to step carefully through processing the pain to slowly separate yourself from it. I was ten yrs old. I still have nightmares. I survived a disastrous flash flood on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana in 1964. The breaking of the Birch Creek Dam known as the failure of Swift Dam Reservoir took 19 lives of the Birch Creek community members in a few hrs. Nothing was ever normal again for those of us who survived that day. I lived on upper Birch Creek with my grandparents Abe and Peggy Rutherford. The little square white spot (lower left center) in the ground of this picture below is where our home used to be. Our up river neighbors (1/4 mile away) log home wiped ours out as it came floating with the flood water. Their log home was quite large but on the morning of June 8, 1964 it looked like a cork in a freshly released irrigation ditch flow. Our neighbors and many more friends and relatives down river perished in the flood. We escaped by the guiding hand of God by a matter of seconds. The Blackfeet Indian reservation land was flooded and saturated with a cold rain. Two Medicine dam broke as well only 40 miles away and the total lives lost on the Blackfeet reservation rose to 30 on that day. The link to the article is here: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/money/2014/06/01/swift-two-medicine-dams-quickly-replaced/9777069/

    Haunted by the Water 1964

    I’m haunted by the water 1964

    1964 in the Rocky Mountain peaks

    A winter storm began to blow piled snow for weeks

    Rivers and the lakes began to thaw in early spring

    A Blackfeet native elder had a vision in a dream

    He said water poured in buckets from a coal black cloud

    Wind driven rain would leave death upon the ground

    A spirit came to cleanse the land of all that was done

    We would learn to pray for all of our loved ones

    I went to the river that morning I was ten

    Grandmother told us check the rivers edge again

    Where as children we would swim muddy logs rolled by

    Rain was pouring down from an angry sky

    Br: Grandmother save us I’m too scared to cry

    The muddy river swollen began rushing by

    I heard voices whispering from an evil wind

    Run for your life or you will never run again

    Grandmother told me many years ago

    She ran for the hill from the water down below

    We bundled up in clothing left a wood stove burning fire

    Walking for the hill to the ground that was higher

    Uncle Lee yelled from the trees “run for the hill,the dam broke”

    Swift Dam had broken the valley soon would fill

    I could hear the water pushing death along the way

    Cottonwoods were snapping like match sticks that day

    We made it up the hill in time to see a wave go by

    Watched the water boil throwing trees into the sky

    30 lives lost that day along the river shore

    If the dam had broken in the night there’d be so many more

    I still dream about the flood I will forever more

    I’m haunted by the water: 1964.

    BirchCreek

    The little white spot above (lower left center) is where our house used to sit.

Tell us what you're thinking

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s