“Women fainted, men groaned, children cried out in horror, this afternoon when Aeronaut E. Yates fell a distance of 150 feet from his balloon to the sidewalk in the center of about 2000 people who were attending the Woodmen street fair, and watching the ascension. It is feared Yates will not recover, his injuries being principally internal. He fell from his balloon about 2 o’clock, and was unconscious for half an hour. The accident was due to Yates mistaking the wave of a man’s hand as the signal to descend. He was not sufficiently far from the ground to permit his parachute to open and he struck the sidewalk with a thud.”
Aeronauts made the news frequently in those days of balloon exhibitions. More often than one would hope the story ended something like this one.
The photo is of a much happier balloon event, and serves no purpose other than to tie a balloon picture to a balloon story. It shows Idaho’s Centennial Balloon just above the hills at Hells Gate State Park in 1990, 84 years and about 70 miles from the Grangeville incident.