Yellowstone National Park
Burton C. (Bob) Lacombe was one of Yellowstone's original rangers hired to replace the army in 1916. He is described as a hard, practical man "whose toughness had considerable depth." He became Chief Buffalo Keeper in the 1920s at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch where he and Joe Douglas kept bachelor hall. Both men liked to "celebrate" so when invited to the Tower ranger station for Christmas they were happy to accept despite the bitterly cold weather. In the early hours of the morning following the celebration Bob decided he needed to get back to the ranch so he fired up his old Buick and headed out alone. As he rounded Junction Butte he missed the turn and drove out onto the ice of the lake located just to the east of the Butte. About fifty feet from shore his luck gave out and the Buick broke through. The lake is shallow and Bob was able to wade to shore. Thoroughly soaked he staggered back towards Tower. The fact that he was "well oiled" did not help his situation. When he arrived at the ranger station "nearer to death than a man has the right to be and live," his friends "gave him a couple more and he survived."
In the August 7, 1975 issue of "Yellowstone News" Ranger Rep, Wayne Replogle tells the rest of the story: In 1932, I rode the motorcycle patrol, such as it was, out of Tower... Anyway, I noticed a rude sign out in the middle of the little lake which had on it 'Lake Lacombe'. It seems that the boys had thought enough of the incident to give it the name, since their illustrious pal had such a struggle there. The sign remained another year or two.
Bob Lacombe was one of two park rangers who purchased the original Silver Tip ranch on Slough Creek just north of the park. This was later purchased by "Men from the House of Morgan" and combined with Frenchy Duret's place to create the current Silver Tip.
All of the above information is from Aubrey Haines' book, "Yellowstone Place Names, Mirrors of History."
In "Wonderland Nomenclature" Whittlesey refers to this as Ruddy Duck Lake. The Lacombe story is prescriptive by decades. The lake has no official name recognized by the United States Board on Geographic Names (USBGN).
Information and map provided by Kent Morby
|Lacombe Lake ~ Yellowstone National Park|
|Lake||Location||Elevation in Feet||Fishable|
|Lacombe Lake||44°54'46.95" N / 110°23'04.18" W||6232||No|
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