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Locals Honor Pitt The Elephant

An odd yet fascinating story in Dillon, MT history is that of the grave site of Pitt the Elephant. The grave is in the west parking area of the fairgrounds.

Pitt was part of the Cole Brothers Circus and in August of 1943 they pulled into Dillon to host a couple shows. The elephants were lined up outside the big top when lightning struck. All the elephants and some of the trainers fell to the ground. They all got up but Pitt died on that spot. The next day they would come in with a bulldozer to dig her grave next to where she fell and push her into the hole. A funeral ceremony was held for her by the circus performers and some time later a marker was installed next to the grave.

On Sunday, August 6th locals gathered in observance of the 80th anniversary of Pitts death. Sponsored by the Beaverhead County Museum, the observance included a talk by Jack Kirkley on the history of Pitt the Elephant. Debbie Sporich followed it up with a eulogy for Pitt. A wreath was placed on her grave and a few locals shared their story of what happened that fateful day.

Jack Kirkley talks about the history of Pitt the Elephant.

Bill Tash talks to the crowd about the day he saw Pitt lying next to the circus tent.

Debbie Sporich gives a eulogy in honor of Pitt

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