In 1954 Bonner met Hollywood as a film set for the movie “Timberjack.” Movie stars like Sterling Hayden, Vera Ralston, Adolphe Menjou, Chill Wills and Hoagy Carmichael walked the streets of Bonner that fall, and on Feb. 4, 1955, the world premiere of “Timberjack” was held at the Fox and Roxy theaters in Missoula after a huge parade downtown.
The Hooligan, Glenn Max Smith, was 12 years old when the magic of Hollywood came to Bonner. He recalls the events as “Bonner’s Greatest Hollywood Adventure, Timberjack.” Not to be forgotten is the story of the Willamette shay, brought out of retirement for its movie debut. But what happened after its moment of fame? The Hooligan recounts the happy ending in “Old #7 Survives.” And, of course, it took real engineer and fireman to run #7. For this job, “Dan Ryan & Highholt” came out of retirement for one last run.
Stan Cohen collected many movie posters and memorabilia from Timberjack. He made these available to BMHC and a movie night featuring Timberjack was held at Bonner School to raise funds to purchase these unique items of our history. Kim Briggeman introduced the program with a remembrance, “Welcome to 1955."
The lyrics to the theme song "Hurry Back, Timberjack" bring back fond memories to those who remember seeing Timberjack performed on the big screen. Listen and, maybe, sing along!
When you're all done choppin' down the poplar and pine, hurry back, hurry back, Timberjack.
There's a black-haired gal whose lips are sweeter than wine, hurry back, hurry back, Timberjack.
She's got the ring, she's got the gown, she owns an acre.
It will break her little heart should you forsake her …
Drop that crosscut saw and put your axe in the rack.
Hurry back, hurry back, Timberjack."