by Laura Amman
It was 1934, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president, Adolph Hitler was dictator of Germany. The first ski tow in the United States began operations in Vermont. Donald Duck made his debut in 'The Wise Little Hen' and American outlaws Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed by police. One of the most popular songs at the time: Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”.
During the sleepy summer of 1934 in Beulah, three young boys, Tom Broome (age 6) and the Holloran boys Fred (age 8) and Joe (age 10) were determined to climb “Mt. Nebo” on the western edge of the valley. To prove their accomplishments, they took a stick and white piece of bedsheet to make into a flag. They agreed to wave to their families watching from the cabin porches below and then they would jam the handmade flag into a crevice on top of the mountain for all to see. Today, the mountain is affectionately called Flag Mountain. Several trips had to be made up the mountain every year as the winds would blow the flag down or other children would attempt to “capture the flag”. About 1938, the boys began to use the genuine Stars and Stripes that was furnished by their parents. The game of “capture the flag” automatically stopped as the other children in the valley showed their respect for the American flag.
As each boy was called to the military service, the remaining two, then one, took care of the flag. While they were we gone, local folks picked up the mission of replacing the flag including Beulah School kids and the Boy Scouts.
In 1946, after returning from World War II, the men along with Lila Ruth and Pauline Bland carried cement up the mountain in 10 pound lard pails to secure an iron flag pole they obtained from the Village Blacksmith, Tom Clarke. The pole survived until 1960, when the grandchildren replaced it with a new pole and more cement.
In 1996, some 60 plus years later, members of the Beulah Historical Society and local residents (including the Hollorans) placed a flag donated by Beulah resident Ret. Captain Kay Keating. Prior to the hike, a reading of certification stated that the flag was flown over the United States Capitol, Washington D.C on Nov. 22, 1991 at the request of Honorable Matthew G. Martinez, Member of Congress. This flag was flown in memory of Keating.
For 85 years, numerous families and individuals have taken on the responsibility of hiking up the mountain, and then flying the flag on the summit overlooking the valley.
Hundreds from near and far have made the trek accompanied by dogs and goats and horses. Marriage proposals have been made overlooking the breathtaking panoramic view of the valley, descendants have spread the ashes of their loved ones from this lofty and serene but easily accessible point, a place to train for a marathon or sit and read a poem and listen to the quiet.
As long as we have those who believe in tradition and honor, Beulah folks will continue to replace the flag as needed.
Details attained from records by Dorothy and Joe Holloran (1976) Beulah Historical Society
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