My Forty Years Scribblin's
Epilogue
Mildred’s Clipping

From "The Trail" Eureka, MT (Formerly The Historic Tobacco Plains Journal) Vol. IX, Number 2 Summer, 2000 #57


This clipping comes from the July 9, 1964 Missoulian, having been squirreled away by Mildred Chaffin since that time. Accompanied by a photo taken by Dick Shirley, originator of the Tobacco Valley News, it shows Ray Frost, leaning on a pair of crutches, standing next to a large rock that is reported to be a meteor. A search of the Eureka Journal for that period has revealed nothing. Perhaps the time is off. Perhaps it didn't make the paper. Perhaps we missed it. In any case the rock is still there, although it has been defaced. Assuming this monolith is everything it is said to be, then it deserves recognition as an historic artifact before it is too late. I discussed this incident with Lynn Frost, nephew of Ray, and he is familiar with the story. He added an interesting note to Ray Frost; he was sheriff of Lincoln County for two terms during the 1950s, never carrying a gun.

Eureka—In the late summer of 1915 Ray Frost was working with a team of horses in his hay field. Suddenly, the horses seemed to sense something peculiar happening and they began acting up. Soon Frost heard a loud whistling sound. He looked up just in time to see a large ball of fire streaking to a landing a short distance away.

Frost said it felt like an earthquake when it landed. It also jarred the Frost home and at supper time his wife commented on the crash.

After supper, Frost rode on horseback to locate the spot where the ball of fire landed. He soon found a large hole in the ground. He said a considerable amount of heat was still coming from the hole. It was later determined that the "ball o' fire" was actually a meteorite which entered the earth's atmosphere and landed without completely disintegrating.

About 1928, when Frost was serving as county commissioner, the meteorite was dug out to make room for an improved road bed. He said the Caterpillar strained to move the heavy meteorite.

The large meteorite now sits at the junction of a turnoff road to the George Shea ranch, in an area called Skunk Hollow, near the place where it landed 49 years ago (now 85).

The meteorite is the largest rock in the area. Frost said it is smooth and black and extremely hard. A chisel will not chip the meteorite, only blunt the tool.

Frost said the only other person he knows who saw the flaming approach of the meteorite was a man named Botker, now dead, who also was working in a nearby field.

The meteorite will probably stay in its present location for quite some time.