Kelly Wyoming is in Grand Teton National Park and borders
on the National Elk Refuge witch in winter is home to thousands
of elk and a heard of bison. The views of the east side of
the Tetons are unsurpased from any other town in the region.
In summer bison roam all over the area.
Kelly Wyoming was originally called Gros Ventre.
It was later changed to Kelly to honor Bill Kelly, a local sawmill owner
and rancher. In 1925 fifty million tons of rock, soil, and
other debris, including some ancient trees, slid off Sheep
Mountain and dammed the Gros Ventre River and formed Slide
In 1927, the upper part of the dam gave way and the result was catastrophic. Kelly
residents had only a few minutes to get to higher ground
and watch the fifteen foot wall of water sweep their town
away, leaving only the church and the schoolhouse behind.
Six people lost their lives in the flood.
The slide is
still a pretty amazing site as is the river bottom that
to this day is strewn with giant boulders
that first slid out of the mountain only to be washed
by the flood of the broken dam.
E. Paul Conine later interivewed the survivors and it is a facinating read, I'd like to thank Dave Conine for permission to publsh his father's copyrighted history of the event. The Gros Ventre Slide by E. Paul Conine