Montana: Emerging Scholar Article Contest

from Montana The Magazine of Western History

Montana The Magazine of Western History, a publication of the Montana Historical Society, is pleased to announce a contest for the best article on the history of the American West by an emerging scholar. We welcome submissions from graduate students, early-career faculty, and independent scholars. The deadline for submissions is January 5, 2020. 

Prize: The winning manuscript, chosen by members of Montana The Magazine of Western History’s board of editors, will be published in an issue of the magazine, and the author will receive free registration, travel, and accommodations to the 2020 Montana History Conference in Butte, Montana, where they will give a talk on their project.

Published since 1951, Montana The Magazine of Western History showcases the people, places, and events that shaped the state and the West. In addition to scholarly feature articles, the magazine includes book reviews, commentaries on historical events and people, and advertising relevant to the West. For more information about the magazine, visit: https://mhs.mt.gov/pubs/magazine

Submission Guidelines:

Topic: The manuscript must show evidence of original research on significant facets of history or provide a new interpretation of historical events that changes the way we view a particular historical topic. Submissions needn’t deal with Montana history specifically, but must address a topic of historical relevance to the American West.

Length and Formatting:

  • Manuscript should be submitted as a WORD document, 3,500—7,500 words (excluding notes).
  • Please format the entire document in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.
  • Place title and author at top of first page, no special formatting. No title page is needed.
  • Do not include any headers or footers, other than page numbers (bottom of page, right).

Citations: Please consult Chicago Manual of Style for formatting. Notes can be footnotes or endnotes, and should be done in WORD using the “Insert Endnote” feature under the “References” tab. Please do not number notes manually or as a separate document, and please change all ibids in notes to full citations. This ensures that no “ibid” gets parted from its parent during editing. After editing, we can change to ibid or an abbreviated citation where needed.

In addition to your manuscript, upload a curriculum vitae or résumé with up-to-date contact information (phone number, email, and mailing address).

I have been a member of the Montana Historical Society for over twenty years and depend on Montana The Magazine of Western History for accurate, well-written, and fully documented articles about Montana’s development. This award-winning magazine is a joy to read. If you enter the competition, best of luck. If you love history and don’t wish to enter the competition, you can subscribe here.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell as written three novels set in Montana, The Sun Singer, Sarabande, and Mountain Song.

 

 

‘Mountain Song’ Excerpt – and this one happens to be true

The Great Northern Empire Builder carried them east of the mountains across the hi-line plains where space invites and old memories die hard between the dry and the cold.

His destination: Chicago, Illinois, for the upcoming term at the University of Chicago. Anne’s destination: Carrabelle, Florida, for the upcoming term at Florida State University in nearby Tallahassee. Anne changed trains in Chicago, taking the Seminole to Albany, Georgia, where her aunt met her in the Willys for the slow drive down to the coast and the fading double-wide with the flamingo-colored screen porch. After dropping Anne off at the IC Station, David took their cab down to 95th Street for dinner at Mickelberry’s before going back to the campus.

The 440 miles from the Rocky Mountain Front to the North Dakota border were Jayee’s realm, the whole of earth, a corridor of tracks, power lines and the pale parallel pavement of U.S. Highway 2 through the once unfettered domain of bison and sovereign nations until T-shaped railroad towns and cattle and wheat and oil and gas proved up the stolen land into the modern day, until the monuments to the new progress, grain elevators and water towers, rose up to touch the sky.

The towns, so many names—Browning, Havre, Glasgow, Wolf Point, Culbertson, Williston, Minot, Fargo, Wilmar, Minneapolis—carried lives past the wide windows of the Great Dome Coach #1326 where they were wrapped in a five-point Hudson’s Bay blanket and suspended animation, interrupted only by hurried snacks in the Ranch Car Crossley Lake with the B-Bar-N brand above the entrance and dinners in the diner where the “Mountains and Flowers” pattern on the china reminded them with each bite what they were leaving behind; and then, Chicago, Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; Stormy, husky, brawling City of the Big Shoulders; “They tell me you are wicked and I believe them,” but the poet’s words were inconsequential to them as they arrived at Union Station at 2 p.m.

The sunlight exploded from the center of their world outward when the Checker Marathon taxi careened up the ramp out of the depths of the station onto Clinton Street, turned east on Jackson, and raced toward the lake. They sat close in the cavernous back seat. They did not talk. Anne held David’s hand and looked past him into the glare where buildings flew. Her shoulder was pressed against his; her left hip and left leg were pressed against his right hip and right leg. But she would not let him have her eyes, not yet. The place was foreign, the town, the taxi, the moment. David didn’t know how to behave. Everything was already said and done.

South down Michigan Avenue past the green of the park, he saw the station before she did. Almost liquid in the afternoon light, the clock tower flowed westward away from the green and black Illinois Central logo toward 12th Street. The cab turned into the U-shaped drive. He ran his outstretched fingers up the back of her neck into her hair. She leaned against the flat of his hand. Before she looked up, the driver was already out of the car hauling suitcases toward an elderly Redcap with yesterday’s beard.

“We have until four forty-five,” he told her.

“I can’t draw this out,” she whispered. She pressed her hands against the front of his shirt and smiled. “Yes, you still have my ring on a silver chain around your neck. I like it there.”

“If it weren’t so small, I’d wear it on my little finger.”

Finally, he found himself within the focus of her eyes for mere instants; that was all she had.

He retrieved the silver bracelet he’d purchased for her on a day trip to Lethbridge, and she allowed him to wrap it around her right ankle. Then she slid across the seat, and exhaust fumes from a passing shuttle bus filled the cab when she opened the door and got out. She stuck her head back inside and kissed him.

“I’ll be stone cold dead before anyone removes this bracelet,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

“I have an answer to the question you asked me while we were eating hamburgers in the Ranch Car.” He saw a sparkle in her eyes and smiled.

“Speak.”

“My answer is a no-holds-barred, unconditional, leap-of-faith ‘yes,’” she said.

“Hot damn,” shouted the cab driver.

“Okay,” she said, “it’s also a big hot damn of a ‘yes.’”

“Kiss her, stupid,” their driver suggested.

Copyright © 2010, 2013, 2017 by Malcolm R. Campbell

Calendars with historic black and white photographs

In our kitchen, we keep a colorful scenic calendar, sometimes featuring wildlife and sometimes featuring scenes from national parks and other inspiring landscapes. In my den, I always have a calendar of historic black and white photographs. It comes with my membership in the Montana Historical Society (MHS). These old photographs tell many stories and I never tire of looking at them throughout the year. As more and more archives are digitized, pictures such as those in the calendar are often available for research online. Here’s the cover of my MHS calendar for 2019:

Hmm, we seem to have a problem here. When I worked as a volunteer at a railway museum, our library included a lot of photographs of wrecked locomotives. One of our members had once worked on steam locomotives for the railroads. When I asked him what happened to the locomotives in the pictures, he said they hauled them into the shop, fixed them, and put them back on the line. Today, I suppose the insurance company would come out and mark the equipment as totaled.

These old pictures are better than rare treasure for history enthusiasts; fans of (for example) trains, old cars, historic buildings; teachers who are working on lesson plans for K-12 classes that focus on state history, authors, and others. The national park services has an archive of old photographs.

You can find other photographs online at the Library of Congress and in the archives of many states under such names as Florida Memory and Georgia Encyclopedia. (Some of these sites include teacher lesson plans.) This access has improved from the old days when one had to travel to a museum on the far side of the country to see roughly classified boxes of papers and photographs in a storage area. Likewise, the historical societies in many states also support the digitization of old newspapers, many of which are appearing in databases sophisticated enough to allow for searches on words in the news stories and photograph cutlines.

Here’s a sample from Florida Memory of the kind of resources available for teachers.

It bothers me when I hear that many state school systems no longer teach state history lessons. I know it’s often hard to squeeze in local history when courses must include all of world history or all of U.S. history into an hour a day for one or two semesters. Historic old pictures, when available in a print format, give school systems the opportunity of placing a few of them in frames (with captions) in hallways and classrooms. They might just attract student attention. My wife once curated and mounted an exhibit of old photographs in a high school where we used to live. Opening day attracted a lot of attention, including a news story in several papers.

I’ve been happy to see many of these old pictures showing up on Facebook, sometimes from sources such as “Smithsonian Magazine” that remind people of lesser-known events and people. Many of them get a lot of LIKES and comments, including “Why wasn’t this information in my school history books?” (I often wonder why as well.)

If you know about your state’s history, I think you have a better shot at understanding why things there are as they are. You can also help combat misinformation in hastily researched news stories and online essays in which the writer clearly doesn’t know what happened in his or her state prior to last week. Growing up in Florida, I constantly saw (and still see) mistaken pronouncements about the reasons for the Seminole Wars or about the conflicts between Spain and France to control the region. You can probably cite similar examples from the state where you live.

Old photographs won’t fix the gaps in our educational systems, but they might attract some attention to the many things we don’t know about the places where we live.

Malcolm

Sometimes I think historical research for my novels set in Montana (“The Sun Singer” and “Sarabande”) and Florida (“Conjure Woman’s Cat,” “Eulalie and Washerwoman,” and “Lena”) took more hours than writing the novels. I didn’t mind because the old photographs and newspapers were very addictive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit: Joe Scheuerle and His Remarkable Indian Gallery

Joseph G. Scheuerle (1873-1948) visited reservations in Montana and painted over 200 prortraits “all finished and done honestly and carefully and on the spot.”

If you live in or near Helena, Montana, you’ll have a chance to see many of these paintings on exhibit at the Montana historical Society Museum at 225 North Roberts Street on September 6th.

 

As a long-time member of the society, I wish I lived closer and could attend exhibits such as this one.

–Malcolm

Glacier loses century-old Sperry Chalet in Sprague Fire – Updated 09/03/17

According to the Incident Information System, “Thursday afternoon at approximately 6:00 pm, the main building at the Sperry Chalet was lost to the Sprague Fire. A highly skilled group of firefighters were staged at the Sperry Chalet over the last week. Those firefighters had an extensive hose lay, sprinkler, and pump system installed to protect all of the structures associated with the Chalet. The high winds experienced this afternoon pushed the fire to the east. The firefighters, supported by 3 helicopters, made a valiant stand to save the structure but were unsuccessful in saving the main Sperry Chalet. The firefighters remain on site, ARE SAFE, and are currently actively engaged in protecting the remaining structures.”

The other structures are a dining room/kitchen, maintenance, and restroom building. 

Nearby Lake McDonald Lodge was closed for the remainder of the season August 29 due to air quality concerns.

One of two back-country chalets built by the Great Northern Railway (now BNSF), Sperry opened in 1914. It featured 17 private rooms. Unlike Granite Park Chalet, Sperry provided linens and meals. The rooms had no heat, water, or electricity. Guests were advised to bring flashlights since candles were not permitted.

Sperry photo

The chalet was listed on the National Register in 1977.

Aftermath:

InciWeb Update: September 3: “Based on recommendations from the Sprague Fire Incident Management Team, Glacier National Park has issued an Evacuation Order effective September 3, 2017 at 10 am for all residents and visitors from the south end of Lake McDonald to Logan Pass. This includes the Lake McDonald Lodge, concession housing, Kelly Camp Area, and the Avalanche and Sprague Creek Campgrounds. Logan Pass is still accessible from the east side of the park. The duration of the evacuation is unknown at this time.”

See FIREFIGHTERS PREPARING FOR THE WORST AT GLACIER PARK’S LAKE MCDONALD LODGE

Fire Map as of September 3:

 

–Malcolm

 

Glacier Park and Flathead Forest to Expand Visitor Use Research

from NPS Glacier National Park

WEST GLACIER, MT. – This summer, Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest are expanding visitor use monitoring efforts to better understand use along the Middle Fork and North Fork of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River.

Flathead River – Wikipedia photo

For the past five years, Glacier National Park has been collecting data on trail, and road use along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and surrounding trails. This year, with a donation from the Glacier National Park Conservancy, monitoring will expand to the river and several other places within the park. The Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park both manage segments of the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead Wild and Scenic River. The other locations to be monitored include the North Fork, Two Medicine, Many Glacier, Goat Haunt, and Belly River.

The data, collected by the University of Montana, has been valuable to Glacier National Park as visitation has increased dramatically. With several years of data in hand, the park can now better inform visitors about how to plan their trips with crowding in mind, and also make educated decisions about where to station staff to best meet park needs.

“For the last few years, we have heard at our annual meetings with North Fork residents that river use seems to be increasing,” said Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber. “This information will allow us to better understand how much, where and when use is occurring. It will help us to better plan for proper facilities and management.”

“This is the sort of thing we could not do alone,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “With the expertise from the University of Montana and the financial support of the Glacier National Park Conservancy, we are conducting cutting edge research about the way our public lands are used here in northwest Montana.”

Monitoring technology used in the park and now expanded to the Flathead National Forest along the Flathead Wild and Scenic River include: tube counters placed along roads and trails, and camera counters that enable the calibration of mechanical counters and estimation of river use levels.

The data collected will better help the park and forest understand visitor use outside the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor, including the Flathead Wild and Scenic River. This information will establish baseline visitor use numbers which in turn will inform future planning efforts such as a Backcountry/Wilderness Stewardship plan for the park, and a joint Flathead Comprehensive River Management Plan for the park and forest.

Montana Historical Society Calendars for 2017

Click on the graphic for the online store.
Click on the graphic for the online store.

My den has had a wall calendar next to the desk from the Montana Historical Society for 25 years in a row. The Society’s four calendars for 2017 are a great example of their yearly selections.

I like the black and white archival photographs calendar since it comes every year as a membership benefit. There’s almost always a selection of paintings from Montana artist Charlie Russell and a scenic photographs calendar and, as you see in the photograph here, Indian art.

Since I often write about Montana, all of these are inspirational. I find myself looking at them as I work almost as though their mandalas.

For non-members, these calendars, from top to bottom in the graphic, retail for $12.99 (an engagement calendar), $10.95, $9.95, and $14.99

Cowgirls and Cowboys

Growing up with westerns on TV and in the theaters, cowboys were an icon of the American west, larger than life and nearly mythic. However, photographs in “Cowgirls & Cowboys” show people at work. As the calendar’s introduction points out, these women and men worked in a beautiful place and came to know the land, weather and their animals very well. Nonetheless, they “endured long hours and difficult conditions for relatively little pay.”

The Lakota Way

This beautiful calendar features the work of Lakota and Iroquois artist Jim Yellowhawk, “whose work evokes Lakota star knowledge and the unique Lakota way of life.” He grew up on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Reservation. You can see samples of his work on his website here.

Each month includes a Lakota wisdom story from teacher and historian Joseph M. Marshall III who grew up on Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. His books include The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage and The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn. On his website, he writes, “Cante wasteya nape ciyuzapelo.  I take your hand in friendship.  This is a common Lakota greeting.  The literal meaning is with a good heart I take your hand.” 

I’m drawn to Montana’s land, history and people. Even if you’ve never been there, a calendar from the Big Sky Country can brighten up a room. Chances are good, though, that your state or favorite place has a historical society as well. Their calendars remind us of why we like a place and–especially if there are kids in the house–have a wonderful educational value as well.

–Malcolm