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News of Interest to Heritage Reporters and Teachers

Unusual Photographic Treasures at the Society Illuminated

Double exposures, spiritualism, and tricks of photography drawn from the Montana Historical Society Photograph Archives collection will be presented as part of Thursday Night at the Society next week (March 10).
Society Photograph Archives Supervisor Lory Morrow will present “Photographic Treasures in the Montana Historical Society’s Collection? at 6:30 p.m. at Montana’s Museum across from the Capitol.
“I will be presenting a slide show focusing on the unusual things in the collection that most people don’t know about,? Morrow said. “Everybody knows us for the Custer and Calamity Jane kinds of things. I will be showing another side of the collection.?
For instance, Morrow said one of the photos is of a spiritualist with several ghostly heads surrounding him. “Spiritualist photography was very popular at one time,? she said. “I also will be showing a photo of a levitation.?
Morrow said that many people think that manipulating photographs by such things as double exposures is a modern phenomenon. “Photos were altered in the past as well. I will be talking about some of the tricks of photographers,? she said.
The program is free and open to the public.

Posted by Marcella Sherfy on 02/28 at 08:26 AM
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2005 Montana Heritage Project

A Wide-Open Discussion on Myron Brinig’s “Wide-Open Town”

The Montana Historical Society’s “Pages In History” Readers Forum this month features Myron Brinig’s “Wide Open Town” that brings early 1900s Butte to life through the eyes of a young Irish immigrant.
The book, which was first published in 1931 was controversial at the time for its treatment of young love and the seamier sides of Butte, which is fictionalized as Silver Bow in the novel.
“In recreating life in (Butte) during the heyday of miners and prostitutes and saloons, Mr. Brinig writes with the throttle wide open,” was the review it received in 1931 from the New York Times.
The forum is free and open to everyone. The forum is held every last Thursday of the month with next month’s selection to be “Counting Coups? by Larry Colton.

Posted by Marcella Sherfy on 02/19 at 10:58 AM
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2005 Montana Heritage Project

Ulm Ranchers Leave Important Memories

For the past twoyears Jennifer Jeffries Thompson has been cataloging a new Montana Historical Society collection that has taken her into a way of life that began on the Montana plains near Ulm in the 1870s.
Thompson will present “Discovering Churchill: A Montana Family Remembered"on Thursday (March 3) at 6:30 p.m. at the Montana Historical Society that will feature slides from the remarkable collection.
“You really get caught up in what you can learn about a family from what they left behind,” Thompson said. “I have been pulling together the artifacts, photographs and archival material from the collection, and what is remarkable is that it is a story about an ordinary family that cared enough to save things that represented a life that changed for them.”
David H. Churchill and his wife Mary built a ranch near Ulm in the 1870s where they bred, trained and raced trotting horses as well as doing traditional ranching. In 1983 David died leaving behind Mary and four children.
“They had a romantic life. But after David died it was a story about a family struggling to keep a way of life going when there was a major economic panic going on around them,” Thompson said.
The collection was donated by Dan Sullivan, who was the executor of the will of his uncle Wilbur Kitterman, who was the grand nephew of David and Mary. Sullivan also provided money from the estate to catalog and care for the collection.
Mary left the ranch for Oregon in 1910 and her children went separate ways as well.
“It’s a story with an interesting ending. All six of them are buried in the Helena Benton Ave. Cemetery. In a way they did come back to Montana,” Thompson said.

Posted by Marcella Sherfy on 02/19 at 10:55 AM
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2005 Montana Heritage Project
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