November 25, 2013

Bicycles and Beer

by Ashley Fejeran, Project Assistant, Montana Digital Newspaper Project
Anaconda Standard,
August 9, 1897, p6
It appears that Montanans have long understood the harmonious connection between bicycle riding and a delicious local brew. This article on a lively bicycle race from the Centennial Brewery in Butte to Gregson Hot Springs in Anaconda appeared in the Anaconda Standard in 1897. Now known as Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Gregson was a little over 12 miles southwest of the Centennial brewery.

Pedaling furiously, at a pace only a fierce rivalry between local brewers can produce, the cyclists raced alongside a portion of the Montana Union Railway tracks that ran between Butte and Garrison.

The racers’ efforts were so great they prompted the author to comment that the perspiration they generated "threatened to wash out the Montana Union tracks." A descriptive, if slightly disgusting, way to put it! In the end, only one brewer could triumph, but I’m sure any hurt feelings were soon mended over a nice cold one.

Advertising poster for the
Centennial Brewing Company, Butte, Montana

November 10, 2013

Honoring Those Who Served

By Maegen Cook, Digital Collections Assistant

On November 10, 1918, Paul F. Craig of Hilger, Montana, died in France. A private in the U.S. Army, the 25-year-old was killed in action that day—one day before the armistice on November 11. A record of his service to the country is available on his military enlistment card, part of the Montana Adjutant General's Office Records 1889-1959 (RS 223). The Historical Society is pleased to announce that all Montana military enlistment cards are being digitized and added to the Montana Memory Project website. Cards for the Spanish-American War and World War I are online now. Cards for World War II are currently being added. Along with Montana men, women who served as nurses in WWI and in any capacity in WWII are included.
World War I enlistment card for Paul Craig of Hilger. All Montana enlistment cards
are being digitized and added to the Montana Memory Project.

The great advantage of digitizing the cards is that they are now keyword-searchable. Enter a person's name or hometown and retrieve every card on which that term appears.

On Veterans Day, people around the country will pause to remember those who have served, both past and present. Some may be persuaded to revisit their family history, curious to see if they have a veteran in the family. In that way, from these seemingly dry, fact-filled records, whole stories unfold.

* A note about the "detention camp" to which Pvt. Craig was temporarily assigned. Craig was not in any trouble. The camp's location simply made it a convenient embarkation point for American troops headed to Europe. Thousands of soldiers passed through it.

November 5, 2013

A Rare Find

by Molly Kruckenberg, Research Center Director

Our library recently acquired a rare 1891 volume of images of Yellowstone. This valuable work contains 25 images by the firm of renowned photographer Frank Jay Haynes and features popular views like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Mammoth Paint Pots, and Old Faithful. What makes the work so unique? The extraordinary detail and continuous tones produced by the photogravure process.

"Hotel Valley, From the Hot Springs" in Yellowstone National Park in Photo-Gravure
"Hotel Valley, From the Hot Springs" in Yellowstone National Park in Photo-Gravure
"Because of its high quality and richness, photogravure was used for both original fine art prints and for photo-reproduction of works from other media such as paintings,” states Wikipedia. The engraving process, by Chicago Photo-Gravure Co., was expensive, so not many volumes of Yellowstone National Park in Photo-Gravure were produced. 
Detail from "Hotel Valley, From the Hot Springs"
Detail from "Hotel Valley, From the Hot Springs"
This item is available for public viewing in the Montana Historical Society Research Center, along with 100% of our historical photographs, books, periodicals, maps, newspapers, vital records on microfilm, oral histories on audiotape, livestock brand records, city directories, topical vertical files, state documents, published laws, and the Montana Code Annotated. The Research Center is open Tuesday through Friday, 9:00-5:00, and Saturday, 9:00-1:00.

Meanwhile, our installation of more and better shelving in our archives is well underway. Archival collections will re-open to the public in Spring 2014.

Yellowstone National Park in Photo-Gravure (St. Paul, Minn.: F. Jay Haynes & Bros.), 1891.