Dynamite Dan

Canyon Road Explosives 1920s
Canyon Road Explosives 1920s

I like to call this man, Dynamite Dan, because he’s featured in many of the pictures documenting the explosives used in the building of the Canyon Road. In reality, I have no idea what his name was, and if anyone does know who this scruffy gentleman is or his brave assistants, please let me know.

Kids and Dynamite
Dynamite seems to have been an easy commodity to get your hands through the 40s. Ask any local — a man over 69 — and he’ll tell you a tale of setting it off as a kid. My dad, Louie Mettler, has a hair raising story, where he and his friend Gary Henrickson went down to the Ohop Crick as kids to blow up a beaver dam. Gary brought over a stick on the back of hit bike that he’d gotten from his dad’s shed and off they went.

They ran into one problem. The fuse was so short and would blow before they could scramble to safety. They came upon a plan, which, of course, didn’t involve finding a longer fuse. Instead, Gary would light the fuse while dad laid up on the flat. If they timed it right, Dad would pull Gary out of the ditch before the dynamite took the dam and most of Gary with it.

Explosives team — Canyon Road building 1920s
Explosives team — Canyon Road building 1920s

Luckily, they were agile kids and my dad and Gary are still around, with all their limbs, to tell the story.

Photo courtesy of the Haynes family.

Click on images to enlarge.

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