Throughout western Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation and beyond this weekend, people will be sharing stories of “Col.” Doug Allard, the well-known St. Ignatius businessman who died late Wednesday in a Missoula hospital at the age of 78.
Many of Allard’s businesses stretch down the roadside where U.S. Highway 93 skirts St. Ignatius: Col. Doug Allard’s Flathead Indian Museum, Trading Post, Huckleberry Jam Factory and Fruit Stand, General Store, Lodgepole Motel and the Buffalo Ranch Café and Bar.
“He was a dreamer, believer and entrepreneur,” one of Allard’s nine children, Jeanine Allard, tells Missoulian reporter Vince Devlin in this tribute. “He grew up as a poor farm kid, half-Indian, in the Great Depression and he had an amazing work ethic.”
A former secretary for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Allard most recently has been one of the driving forces behind the success of Salish Kootenai College.
The list of Allard’s accomplishments goes well beyond that, but one of his hallmarks was his humor. Please read the story for the New York Times account of the “Cookin With the Colonel” show that ran on KSKC-TV, Salish Kootenai College’s public television station some years back.
The show featured Allard and his longtime friend, former CSKT chairman Thomas “Bearhead” Swaney, with Allard under the chef’s hat cooking wild game, and Swaney critiquing the results.
The two had quite the routine. Suffice it to say that Swaney was not a fan of sour cream.
Swaney died earlier this year. Tough to think they’re both gone – but lovely to see them remembered in this way.