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Montana’s Mining Frontier

I’ll be up at the Marias Heritage Center here in Shelby this evening (Tuesday), reading more Montana History. We just started reading “Girl from the Gulches; The Story of Mary Ronan” as told to Margaret Ronan & edited by Ellen Baumler last week. Incidentally,,Ellen Baumler is Interpretive Historian at the Montana Historical Society down in Helena. The author of “Bone Deep in Landscape”, Mary Clearman Blew, blasts that “Girl from the Gulches” is “One of the most important personal recollections of Montana’s mining frontier”. A covered wagon on a dim road, the promise of a long journey, & the wonder of what lay ahead filled the shadowy spaces of Mary Ronan’s earliest memories. By the time she was a married woman in her 20′s, Mary Sheehan Ronan was a well-seasoned pioneer, having crossed most of the country & retraced her steps back across a third of it. Born Mary Catherine Fitzgibbon Sheehan in 1852 to Irish Catholic immigrants James & Ellen Sheehan, her story is unusual for its range of experience, its feminine perspective, & the distances it spans during an era that witnessed monumental changes in the western United States. I mean, what can I say…any woman who had both a town AND a lake named after her can’t be all that bad! See you tonight at 6 at the Heritage Center for more Montana History. Who knows…anything can happen…we might even “sneak a peak” at Tom J. Scalese’s (Heritage Center resident) “As I Remember” IF time permits.It’s Tuesday & that means it’s more “Montana History” at the Marias Heritage Center tonight!

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