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This is Page 112.

See some past photo entries below.

See an index of all past photos here.

See Page 1 here with the current photos.

 

We welcome your pictures. We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We're looking for vintage photos and contemporary photos: family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo to share, email us for information about sending it to us.


 

Send your photos.

 Email us.

 

 

If you enjoy this feature, you may also be interested in our 
Western Memories Project, the personal recollections—many with photos—contributed by BAR-D visitors.  Your stories and photos are welcome.



We welcome your photos.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

Share your part of the West or the West of your past. To send photos and their descriptions, just email them to us.   


previous  photos

index of all photos

October 9, 2012

North Dakota photographer Annika G. Plummer captured this autumn scene in late September.

She describes it, "This photo was taken just as you turn on Curlew Road to Almont from Glen Ullin. You can see the train trestle in the background. Old Highway 10 runs under that bridge to connect with North Almont and New Salem."
 


photo © 2012, Annika G. Plummer, annikaplummer.smugmug.com.

Annika G. Plummer is the daughter of Rodney Nelson, poet, rancher, Senior Pro rodeo champion, and Up Sims Creek columnist. He adds, "This would be a rare look at fall colors in North Dakota as the leaves are seldom brilliant here. The two buttes are well known landmarks known to the Plains Indians as the Maiden’s Breasts."

Accounts of Custer's campaigns sometimes refer to them as "Young Maiden's Breasts," as in this account and also here.
 

Annika G. Plummer recently contributed another interesting set of photos to Picture the West:


  North Dakota hay stacking

 

Annika G. Plummer photographs rodeo, ranch work, people, and landscapes.
Find some of her images at her site, annikaplummer.smugmug.com.

 

 


   Share your photos for Picture the West.

Send your views of the West.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo and story to share, email us.


October 1, 2012

We have part two of remnants of rural eastern Montana homesteads, shared by Stan Howe, Montana singer, songwriter, musician, storyteller, writer, radio host, auctioneer, Model T authority, and fiddle expert.

He comments on the images of the Willman and the Jassaud homesteads. This photo and some commentary was also included below in last week's Picture the West.

This photo was taken by Roberta Willman, a granddaughter who still lives on the ranch with her 90+ year old mother.

As near as I can tell from this closer pictures, the frame part of the house is 18 x 18 feet. The rock section they used for the kitchen is about 8 x 18.

Roberta writes about the photo:

"It is the Jassaud place...They came out from Minneapolis in 1908 and set up a tent to start with, then built the house. The locals talked them into building a little higher up instead on the crick bed because of flooding issues. They rocked in the area between the house and the bank for coal. As it turned out, the ladies of the house moved the kitchen out there.

Mrs. Maude Willman was a widow with a year old son at about 22 or 23, her husband killed while working for the railroad. She and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jassaud, came out in 1908 when the railroad came and took up adjoining homesteads. They helped her establish a little ranch and farm, stayed until maybe the 1920s, then moved back to Minneapolis. This house sat empty for many years until the son, John Willman, grew to manhood and married Monte. They lived in this little house and raised their two daughters there.


1910

When Maude died in about the 1970s they moved over to her house and this house has sat empty since. It is (or was) quite nice inside and while small was a pleasant house. The well was next to the door, it was shaded and cool in the summer and when I was growing up, had gas and kerosene lamps for light, a kerosene stove for cooking and a coal stove for heat. As I recall it never had siding, just the boards on the outside. I think they probably never had money enough for siding. We were all pretty poor. If you look closely at the picture you can see the chicken wire nailed on the outside of the house. They were going to stucco it when they could afford it. That was 60 years or more ago.


Jassaud place today
 


The old Jassaud barn today


Another contemporary view of the old Jassaud barn


I was always fascinated by the furniture in Mrs. Willman's house. She had-marble topped tables and dressers, fancy clocks and china, all from her home in Minneapolis. (They still use it, setting right where she left it.) Her sister Em had married well, into the Teasdale Candy fortune in Minneapolis or St. Paul and her sister Mae was a spinster. I don't recall them coming out often but they did come out to visit Maude a time or two when I was in grade school.

Maude was a hell of a cowgirl, rode horses, roped calves and was—when I remember her—tougher than a blister. I believe her father was quite a cowman and she learned her horse skills from him.

I have a tie pin that she gave me when I was about 12:

As I recall—and this is almost 60 years ago—she told me it came from her father, who bought it when he was in Fort Worth, Texas and came north on a cattle drive for the last time.

The Jessaud place sets on the back road between Westmore and Plevna, about 2 1/2 miles east of Westmore and is on the south side of the divide that runs across from east to west about a mile north of this draw. There probably was only water in the creek a few times a year, in the spring for some runoff and later if there was a good rain. There were a few small springs along the creek as I recall but those usually dried up in the summer.

The Milwaukee Railroad ran across the valley about two miles to the south. When it came through in 1908 much of this land was opened up to homestead. Most of the homesteads were 160 acres plus a "Desert Claim" of another 160 acres. Land along Sandstone creek was homesteaded first, then the land along the draws like this one, where there was shelter and the possibility of no or very few homesteads to the north, which added a lot of free grazing land for the adjoining homesteader.

There were almost no homesteads later opened up on the Divide, so Willmans and a lot of other people ran cattle and horses on what was open range. Much of the land surrounding the town of Westmore was already owned by two or three huge ranches, so could not be homesteaded. That is part of the reason Westmore did not grow as some of the other homestead towns did. There was not enough tillable land to be homesteaded to support much of a town.

Westmore, at the most, had 100 people and was nearly totally gone by 1942, only 33 years after it was platted and settled. Many of the homesteaders didn't actually farm much. Quite a few of the people who homesteaded there planned on more of a stock operation as opposed to farming, or did both. The smaller ranchers were pretty successful; being on the railroad gave them a way to market their cattle, horses and sheep. There was a lot of government land that, in early days, was just open to whoever put stock on it.

The next towns to the north were 35-60 miles away along the Northern Pacific Railroad, over miles of rough country, the "Cedar Breaks" as they were called, so there were thousands and thousands of acres to be grazed. Many ranches had only a quarter or half section but ran stock miles from home in the breaks, there were several sets of corrals thrown up in the breaks and the cattle or horses would be run in and worked there with the market stock cut off and moved out to the railroad or to the home place, the brood stock turned back out for another year or at least the summer.

The land between Ismay and Plevna along Sandstone Creek for a mile or two to the south and a mile or two to the north was owned by the Bickle Cattle Company, which had been in the area since the early 1890s and was a well established ranch when the railroad came and the land was opened to homestead. Only a few homesteads encroached on Bickle land, a few places along Sandstone that were government land within the boundaries of the Bickle land. They probably controlled 150 sections at that time, there may have been a dozen homesteads within their boundaries, most of them along the railroad.

The Willman place butts up on the west border to the Bickle ranch and a half mile to the south, just past another homestead, is also the Bickle ranch. Unlike the historic hate of homesteaders by ranchers, Bickles were good to the homesteaders and let them throw some stock on their pastures when they needed grass. In Westmore, when the Livery barn flooded Bickle let them just move it across from Ellingson's house where it has stood for over 100 years. They also hired a lot of the local homesteaders to work for them in haying season, lambing season, feeding in the winter and building fence.

Our ranch is completely surrounded by the Bickle ranch and for the last 100+ years the border fences have been where they were easiest to build rather than on the property lines. It's the western way.
 

She was nice lady but had no patience for kids who were not well behaved and I usually wasn't. I liked her a lot and she was really good to me but she would tune up any kid who didn't meet her standards. I was friends with D'Alene, her granddaughter who was in my school. I liked all the Willmans.

They seemed to be frozen in time. They didn't get electricity until I was in High School, never had TV until later years and drove what was even then a very old car, a 1936 Chevy coupe that she had bought new. John had a Model A Ford truck and a Chevy pickup.

 


The last picture above is a picture of Mrs. Willman's homestead house in about 1930, when John was about 20 years old. They had built a new house by then and used this for storage and a summer kitchen.
 


Monte Willman looking for the water tank

Monte is quite well at 94 or 95, she and Roberta live on the ranch and care for each other. Here are Monte and Roberta, 2009:


The Jessaud place sets on the back road between Westmore and Plevna, about 2 1/2 miles east of Westmore and is on the south side of the divide that runs across from east to west about a mile north of this draw. There probably was only water in the creek a few times a year, in the spring for some runoff and later if there was a good rain. There were a few small springs along the creek as I recall but those usually dried up in the summer.

The Milwaukee Railroad ran across the valley about two miles to the south. When it came through in 1908 much of this land was opened up to homestead. Most of the homesteads were 160 acres plus a "Desert Claim" of another 160 acres. Land along Sandstone creek was homesteaded first, then the land along the draws like this one, where there was shelter and the possibility of no homesteads to the north, which added a lot of free grazing land for the adjoining homesteader.

There were no homesteads opened up on the Divide, so Willmans and a lot of other people ran cattle and horses on what was open range. Much of the land surrounding the town of Westmore was already owned by two or three huge ranches, so could not be homesteaded. That is part of the reason Westmore did not grow as some of the other homestead towns did. There was not enough tillable land to be homesteaded to support much of a town.

Westmore, at the most, had 100 people and was totally gone by 1942, only 33 years after it was platted and settled. Many of the homesteaders didn't actually farm much. Quite a few of the people who homesteaded there planned on more of a stock operation as opposed to farming, or did both. The smaller ranchers were pretty successful; being on the railroad gave them a way to market their cattle, horses and sheep. There was a lot of government land that, in early days, was just open to whoever put stock on it.

The next towns to the north were 35-60 miles away along the Northern Pacific Railroad, over miles of rough country, the "Cedar Breaks" as they were called, so there were thousands and thousands of acres to be grazed. Many ranches had only a quarter or half section but ran stock miles from home in the breaks, there were several sets of corrals thrown up in the breaks and the cattle or horses would be run in and worked there with the market stock cut off and moved out to the railroad or to the home place, the brood stock turned back out for another year or at least the summer.

The land between Ismay and Plevna along Sandstone Creek for a mile or two to the south and a mile or two to the north was owned by the Bickle Cattle Company, which had been in the area since the early 1890s and was a well established ranch when the railroad came the the land was opened to homestead. Only a few homesteads encroached on Bickle land, a few places along Sandstone that were government land within the boundaries of the Bickle land. They probably controlled 150 sections at that time, there may have been a dozen homesteads within their boundaries, most of them along the railroad.

The Willman place butts up on the west border to the Bickle ranch and a half miles to the south, just past another homestead, is also the Bickle ranch. Unlike the historic hate of homesteaders by ranchers, Bickles were good to the homesteaders and let them throw some stock on their pastures when they needed grass. In Westmore, when the Livery barn flooded Bickle let them just move it across from Ellingson's house where it has stood for over 100 years. They also hired a lot of the local homesteaders to work for them in haying season, lambing season, feeding in the winter and building fence.

Our ranch is completely surrounded by the Bickle ranch and for the last 100+ years the border fences have been where they were easiest to build rather than on the property lines. It's the western way.


Stan Howe maintains a web site about Westermore at www.westmoremontana.info.

Stan Howe has contributed other interesting photos to Picture the West:

  Remnants of Montana homesteads, part 1

Dodson, Montana's cowboy bar

  The home place, Westmore, Montana


  Spring fiddlers' show in Pony, Montana

StanBetsy1949.jpg (27787 bytes)   Photos and stories from the family ranch in Westmore, Montana

 Early eastern Montana homestead photos

 

 

 


2007 photo, Elko,  by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others at her site here.

You can contact Stan Howe: 4433 Red Fox Drive, Helena, Montana 59602, 406-443-5658, email.

 

 

 


   Share your photos for Picture the West.

Send your views of the West.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo and story to share, email us.


September 24, 2012

Montana singer, songwriter, musician, storyteller, writer, radio host, auctioneer, Model T authority, and fiddle expert Stan Howe shares homestead photos from rural eastern Montana (and a photo of a Western Montana gate). This is part one of two.

He comments on the images:

I took these at an auction earlier this spring across the section line from where my grandfather Bohle homesteaded with two little boys and my 4-year-old mother in 1912, one hundred years ago this spring. He was a cabinet maker in Russia who came to America at middle age in 1910. My grandmother died in South Dakota and he came to eastern Montana and bought a relinquishment on a homestead near this place.

 

This was the first homestead house at the Geving place, two rooms, about 12 x 24 feet total. The man and his wife lived in this house all their lives, they had no children and had just a kitchen and a living room/bed room. The stairway goes up to the attic. (I remember them living there in the 1950s when I was in high school.)

This little house was moved in the 1970s to preserve it. The original location, west of where it sets now, was in the lee side of a hill and had a barn dug partly into the side hill to the east of the house. Like a lot of those places, it was built to take advantage of what natural shelter there was in the rolling hills, usually close to a draw or creek if there was one. Some of the first houses were dugouts dug into the bank of a draw but not so many of the later houses, since the homesteads were pretty close to the railroad and lumber was cheap.

It's fallen into disrepair now but as I remember it was a nice little house and painted in the same colors it is now. She was a nice lady and always was glad to have company and had cookies or pie and coffee for anyone who came by. I don't remember her husband as well as I remember her.

The other house was also moved in from Ismay to this farm and used as a storage building. I remember this house when it sat in Ismay, they moved it to the Geving place when I was in high school. It had an upstairs but other than that was just one room.

 

This house with the rock porch is John & Addie Ludwig's homestead. He was a jeweler in Wisconsin. He came to Montana to homestead after he contracted Tuberculosis and the doctor recommended they go west to give him another year or two. He made it to about 90.

This was a very nice house and had a good spring with wonderful pure water, which was a wonder in eastern Montana where a lot of the water was in a deep well and pretty alkali and hard. People came from all over to get water there. She had an absolute rule about the spring box. You used HER bucket to fill your bucket or barrel, you did not dip your bucket in her spring box to take water. Other than that you were welcome to water.

They built this fine house when they came, they obviously had a little money, they bartered a lot of clock sales and repair for farming and as his health improved built it up to quite a nice place. He had a ditch dug from the spring box down over the bank to the house basement, lined it with wood to make a 12 x 12 tunnel, the cool air from the spring box came up to the house and up into a built-in ice box in the kitchen. The ice box had a vent through the roof and there would be a cool breeze in the summer in that ice box to keep things cool. When I was little she would open the door and let us stand in the breeze from the ice box air. I was fascinated by it.

In their living room, the entire wall would be full of clocks, many of them chiming every quarter, half or hour. My mother always said it would drive her crazy but Gramma Ludwig said she didn't even hear them after all those years of listening to them. He would let me stand on a stool and watch him work on a clock but I couldn't touch the bench or tools or wiggle around.

They were my Aunt Grace's parents and my cousins Larry and Patty's Grampa and Gramma but everybody in the country called them Grampa and Gramma Ludwig. I only had one gramma, my mother's parents and my dad's father were long gone so they were MY grampa and gramma too.

The picture of the rock building is their garage. He fixed a lot of clocks to get those rocks hauled and then built at roof on it.

 


The picture of the house in the distance at the left side of the draw is the John Willman ranch. It is about 2 1/2 miles east of the east border of my ranch. I always loved the location and wish I could buy this little house and a few acres.

This photo was taken one June when it was green and pretty in Montana. It's one of my favorite pictures. This little house had a root cellar built into the bank at the left, then a small rock kitchen and the main house. The kitchen was probably only 8 x 12 feet and was built up of flat rocks and plastered on the inside. It was cool in the summer and probably warm in the winter. They did have a little trouble with snakes and mice in the root cellar so there was a screen door they kept closed but could open the main door to let a little cool air in during the summer. It is a tiny house, maybe 16 x 16 feet divided into two bedrooms & a living room on the main floor and an attic above.
 

 

The gate is not from the same place the old houses are, but was taken the same time the above photos were taken. The gate is from western Montana where there is lots of lodgepole pine, which is what the gate is made of.  Not much to the gate but a few spikes, some lodgepole pine and a horseshoe to keep it closed. A sharp ax with a head big enough to drive the spikes, a little work and you have a gate that will last for years. This one has.

The gate is on an old ranch at Twin Bridges, a beautiful little town on the Jefferson River about 100 miles south of Helena.

The old houses are near Plevna, 500 miles to the east of Helena.

 

More to come....

Stan Howe has contributed other interesting photos to Picture the West:

Dodson, Montana's cowboy bar

  The home place, Westmore, Montana


  Spring fiddlers' show in Pony, Montana

StanBetsy1949.jpg (27787 bytes)   Photos and stories from the family ranch in Westmore, Montana

 Early eastern Montana homestead photos

 

 

 


2007 photo, Elko,  by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others at her site here.

You can contact Stan Howe: 4433 Red Fox Drive, Helena, Montana 59602, 406-443-5658, email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See an index of all past photos here.

Find the current photos here.

 

 

 

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