Harry R. Truman
Harry R. Truman was an American businessman, bootlegger, and prospector. He was the owner and caretaker of Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake near the foot of the mountain. He died of a heart attack in 1978; his lodge closed and afterward only a handful of boats and cabins were rented out during the summer months.
About Harry R. Truman in brief
Harry R. Truman was an American businessman, bootlegger, and prospector. He was the owner and caretaker of Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake near the foot of the mountain. Truman came to fame as a folk hero in the months leading up to the volcano’s 1980 eruption after refusing to leave his home despite evacuation orders. He is presumed to have been killed by a pyroclastic flow that overtook his lodge and buried the site under 150 ft of volcanic debris. In 1981, Art Carney portrayed Truman in the docudrama film St. St. Helens. His life is commemorated in a book by his niece and also in various pieces of music, including songs by Headgear, Billy Jonas and Shawn Wright & The Brothers Band. He died of a heart attack in 1978; his lodge closed and afterward only a handful of boats and cabins were rented out during the summer months. His last words were: “I don’t have any idea whether it will blow, but I don’t believe it will” He was a fan of the cocktail drink Schenley whiskey and Coca-Cola. He loved discussing politics and reportedly hated Republicans, young children and hippies. He once refused to allow Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas to stay at his lodge, dismissing him as an “old coot” when he learned Douglas’s identity.
He also swore frequently and swore that he would kill anyone who tried to get him to change his mind about the volcano. He had a daughter with his first wife, Edna, whom he called Eddie; they remained married until Edna’s death in 1978. He later married the daughter of a sawmill owner; they had one daughter. Truman grew tired of civilization after a few years and leased 50 acres from the Northern Pacific Railroad Company overlooking Spirit Lake in the wilderness near Mount St St Helens, a stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington. He became notorious for his antics, once getting a forest ranger drunk so that he could burn a pile of brush. He poached, stole gravel from the US Forest Service, and fished on American Indian land with a fake game warden badge. During the 1930s, Truman divorced his wife; he remarried in 1935. The second marriage was short, as he reportedly attempted to win arguments by throwing his wife into Spirit Lake, despite her inability to swim. Truman stated that he did not know his middle name, just the initial R. Some non-contemporaneous sources have given him middle name as Randall.