File1211 Barnes - rotary train - Feb. 1949.jpg

This February 1949 photos shows the amount of snow along the railroad tracks in Teton Valley as a result of the fabled 1948-49 hard winter. If you have any family photos of this time, the Teton Valley Museum would like to see them. 

Here’s something to contemplate as we leave behind the sweltering heat of summer: The blizzards of 1948-49 in Teton Valley.

Many tales have been told about one of the worse winters experienced in the valley. Here’s one from a compiled history of Victor by Michael Holmes.

On Feb. 14 of 1949, Holmes said, Margaret Beesley and Rita Daniels drove to Rexburg. A horrendous blizzard stopped their car in its tracks just west of Canyon Creek on their return trip. By 11:30 p.m. state police and road crews believed they had rescued everyone who was trapped by the storm, but the women’s husbands Dean Beesley and Junior Daniels informed the Teton County Sheriff’s Office their wives were missing.

A rescue was mounted with the road crews taking the men and a friend nearly to Canyon Creek, where they set out on skis to find the women.

They found the car, but the women were not in it. About a half-mile farther they found two cars, one empty and the other filled with 11 people, their wives included, as well as Mrs. Lynn Wade of Tetonia and here three children and five others, including a 7-month-old baby and a toddler.

The Beesleys, Daniels and their friend skied and walked back to the road crew location, but it was immobilized. So the whole bunch, including the road crew, spent the night in the cabs of the road equipment trying to stay warm.

Next day, an effort was made to rescue the nine people still in the one car. A telephone repair crew in a snow plane was diverted from the job to help rescue the people in the car, and the other group also was rescued. “What could have been a terrible tragedy became a tale of endurance and heroism,” Holmes said.

Find out more interesting history about Teton Valley at the Teton Valley Museum.