Tuesday, February 26, 2008

An Amazing Connection

A couple of years ago I scanned in an album of my grandfather's photographs, taken in Montana mostly in the 1910s and 20s. The majority of these are from Jordan, a remote town in Garfield County -- the most remote town in the contiguous United States, in fact. I occasionally get comments from Jordan residents or other Jordan genealogical researchers, which is always nice.

But some of the photos are more obscure, like this one. After college, my grandfather taught school in a series of small towns across the northwest, in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. One of these was tiny Camas Prairie, a hamlet on the Flathead Indian Reservation southwest of Glacier National Park.

At Camas Prairie School, in 1924, my grandfather shot the girls high school basketball team, the younger kids playing in the school yard, some young boys displaying their freshly caught fish, the lake they caught them in, and some local Indian children. About all I know of this place is the name and where it is.

Today, out of nowhere, a fellow named Michael Lee Ross found me. It turns out the picture of the girls basketball team features his grandmother, Rose Ross (nee Muster), and her sister!

This is an amazing coincidence, and an amazing find, all the more so if you have ever spent much time looking for your obscure Montana relatives online. I hope Mr. Ross doesn't mind me blogging here my excitement at being found by him.


ally. said...

jeez for an awful minute there i thought your grandfather was a mass murderer. must pay attention.

OneDayWhenTheWeatherIsWarm said...

Cool pictures. My family is from eastern Montana (Billings, Colstrip, Forsyth, Miles City, Ekalaka). Not sure if you've spent time nearby towns, but I've spent a dozen or so afternoons eating navy bean soup at the Jersey Lilly in Ingomar, Montana. My dad knew the long-time owner Bill Seward back then.

Fnarf said...

I haven't stopped in Ingomar, but I've spent a little time in Billings and Miles City, and we ate lunch in Circle one afternoon. Billings is a nice city (where my great-grandmother and great-uncle lived after they left Jordan), and Miles City has some charm. Some of those smaller towns are hanging on by a thread, but they've got some left to offer.