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Headin’ Back To The Heritage

I’m heading back up to the Marias Heritage Center this evening (Tuesday) to read some more Montana History. Just last week, we started our next book, “Pioneer Doctor” by Mari Grana. It’s the intriguing story of a lady doctor in the wild, wild west. She’s Dr. Mary (Mollie) Babcock Atwater, a medicine woman who found freedom and opportunity in the wide-open spaces of America’s frontier west. If her medical initials are as long as her name, I suspect that she must have been a pretty good doc. And what a story it is. Back in 1890, she left her husband and his medical practice behind in Iowa, and with only a few hundred dollars in her pocket and a great deal of pride, she set out to find a new position as a lady physician. She was offered a job as a lady doctor to the miners out here in Montana…Bannack, Montana to be exact. This is not simply the saga of a fascinating women. It is also the story of an era when daring women ventured forth and changed history for all of us. Reading Montana History at the Heritage Center not only affords an opportunity for all of us to learn what life was like so many years ago, but also a chance to appreciate the long way we have come as far as giving women equal footing, both across the nation and right here in Big Sky Country. There are still problems, inequalities and prejudice, but in reading Dr. Mollie’s story, I can tell that we truly have come a long ways and are moving in the right direction, slow and bumpy as it may seem at times. We’re going to have victory here yet. Consider the possibilities. I’m already looking forward to reporting to the Heritage Center this evening to read and learn even more. See you tonight at 6 for Montana History reading at the beautiful and comfortable Marias Heritage Center here in Shelby.

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