Montana's rich, tragic past is focus of new book

PHIL DRAKE

There are moments from James “Butch” Larcombe’s childhood that planted the seed for a book that would blossom decades later.

He remembers as a child traveling from Phillips County to visit his grandparents in the Flathead and riding through a portion of Montana where something dramatic had happened to the landscape.

He asked his mother what had happened. She told him there had been a flood.

And then there was the picture that hung in his dad’s office at the Phillips County News in Malta. It was of a man at a podium giving a speech. Larcombe asked his father, the newspaper publisher, about the photo, and was told it was Donald Nutter, a governor who had been killed in a plane crash in 1962.

Years later, Larcombe used some of those childhood memories as he wrote his book “Montana Disasters: True stories of the Treasure State tragedies and triumphs,” which is out now, published by Farcountry Press and sells for $18.95 at bookstores throughout Montana, at the Montana Historical Society and online.

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