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Vincent Ranch, Hamilton, Montana, 1914

Fire On The Ranch

The County Fair & Burning Down the Pump House


Attending the Ravalli County Fair in Montana was one of the events that the Vincent’s looked forward to each summer. Flossie entered her craftwork, and flower decorating with flowers she had grown in her garden. Often, she won blue ribbons! She kept those precious ribbons for the rest of her life.


One year, Herbie won a cigarette lighter in a carnival game at the fair. When he got back to the ranch, rather than filling the lighter with lighter fluid that was designed for cigarette lighters, Herb filled it with gasoline. Because he did not want to get in trouble playing with the lighter, he went out back to the pump house, a small outbuilding that housed the family’s water well.


When he sparked the lighter, the pump house caught fire and burned to the ground. Luckily, Herbie was not injured in the fire, but family lore has it that he was very shaken up. His siblings delighted in teasing him by telling this story for the rest of their lives.

Some of Flossie's Ribbons

from the Ravalli County Fair

For The Next Story

"Frank's Homemade Raft"

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