The Darkest Hour

The Darkest Hour front coverBy Fay Kulhman & Gary D. Robson

On February 27, 1943, an explosion at Smith Mine #3 in Washoe, MT killed 74 men in the worst mining disaster in Montana’s history. This is the story of the miners, the heroes in the rescue operation, and the communities that were brought close to extinction by the disaster.

Many reports have been made of the Smith Mine Disaster. It was an event that shocked the state of Montana with the worst tragedy in its long history of coal mining. The calamity had far-reaching effects on thousands, and repercussions on communities and towns which came close to bringing them to extinction. Because it was a vital portion of history, this work has been compiled from many sources to provide as comprehensive a record of that time as possible.

Originally written by Fay Kuhlman, former Mayor of Bearcreek, The Darkest Hour was edited and expanded by Gary Robson for the 60th anniversary of the disaster.

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Paperback (ISBN 9780965960946) $5.99
6″x9″ (0.17 lbs) 42 pages
Pub Date November 03, 2015

Kindle (ASIN B004R9QWKC) $2.99
Pub Date March 8, 2011

Apple iBook (ID 427440783) $2.99
Pub Date March 19, 2011

All prices are in US dollars and will vary in other countries.


Introduction to the 3rd Edition
The Disaster Site
Mining in the 1940’s
The People of Bearcreek Valley
The Morning Was Serene
Even “Brownie” Was There
Number Three
First Came the Wind
The Power of the Explosion
The Influx of Help
Side by Side
Help For the Living
The Grim Night Caravans
The Remarkable Families
“Soldiers on the Home Front”
The Aftermath
Placing the Blame
The 74 Who Died
The Children Speak
Three Alive
Into Hell and Back
The Worst Coal Mining Disasters

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