A little gold necklace

During a recent visit to Montana, my aunt, my sister and I, continued the search through boxes for photos and memorabilia collected by my great grandmother Mary. Among the items we found was this incredible tintype photograph of Mary with her parents and two of her siblings, John and Will.

Mary (center) with her parents (John and Eva Rumping) and brothers John (right) and Will (left), circa 1883.

I actually became a little lightheaded when we pulled it out of the box. And it took me a few minutes to wrap my head around what we were seeing.

As was her custom, Mary wrote the following note on the back:

Mary Rumping Schenck’s parents – herself (Mary), John and Will.

Will was born in February of 1883, so I estimate the picture was taken in the spring of 1883. And it was most likely taken at a photo studio in either Marysville or Helena, Montana.

There are so many wonderful things about this photo:

  1. I think it’s the youngest photo we have of Mary;
  2. It’s the only photo of Mary with her parents;
  3. It’s the only photo of Mary’s parents together; and
  4. It’s the most complete photo I’ve seen of the entire family. I say most complete because the couple’s youngest child, Maude, is missing – due to the fact that she wasn’t born until the following December of 1884.

After scanning the photo, I noticed the white arm band tied around her father John’s right arm. Any thoughts on what the arm band might represent?

Also, note the hand-painted gold necklace around Mary’s neck. So charming!

A Montana history lesson: Part 2 – Or – Who Found Mary’s Shoe in 1878?

This post is a continuation of a post I wrote early last month. Click here to see that post dated July 9, 2017.

As stated in the earlier post, Mary did not state the source for her historical information.

Quick note: Be sure to read to the end (or at least the 2nd to the last paragraph) to see who found Mary’s lost shoe!

“Dr. Geo. King born in N.H. 1852. Came here in 1883 as Dr. for the Mont. [Mining?] Co., he invented a device to take injured men out while raising them out of the mines.
Thos. Lightbody, a pioneer hotel on Cruse hill, man of Mary’le [Marysville, Montana], born in N.Y. 1842. Came here in 1879. Thos. Cruse had at that time the only cabin in this place. He (Lightbody) built the first log hotel on Whippoorwill house, the first hotel in town. He operated the Black Diamond mine with McIntosh, Wilson and Mr. Major.
J.A. Benschlein came to Mary’le in 1891 and run the Benton hotel. John A. Stemple came to Trinity and placer mined about 1872, mined at Silver Creek, Gloster & Empire, found Stemple mine about 1877. He discovered the Whippoorwill mine & built a 10 stamp [mill] in 1877.
Lawrence Walsh also came thro the Yellowstone Park at this time, came here in 1878 and discovered many good mines here. He found my baby shoe the day we came to Belmont. William Brown came to Silver City on May 1, 1864. He owned the old town of Silver City, also had a butcher shop in Mary’le.
I don’t know if these are Mary’s baby shoes but they were among a collection of items found in a box that included her wedding dress. I suspect they may have belonged to her daughter Valentine Dora who died in 1915.
John Duffy came up the Missouri River on the Minnehaha [steamboat] to Fort Benton, then to Helena June 20, 1866. He owned a part of the Drumlummon Mine with Cruse and sold it for $10,000. He was wed 3 times.”

A Montana history lesson: Part 1

At this point in Mary’s journal – right around the time of the July 4, 1932, entry – she began jotting down some historical information regarding Montana and Marysville. She does not state the source of her information.

The entries are undated but I will post them over the next few days.

Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye (1685-1749), sculpture devant l’hôtel du Parlement de Québec, aile droite, série des découvreurs. By sculpteur:Jean Bailleul / photo: Jean Gagnon (J’ai pris moi-même ce cliché) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Nelson Gulch has the best gold found in Montana. Snowshoe Gulch had the largest gold nugget found in Montana. The Indian name of Montana is “Tozabe-Shock-up” [Tay-a-be-shock-up] meaning the Country of the Mountains. The French were the first white people to settle on its soil. Sieur De La Verendoye [Sieur de La Verendrye] & his sons were the discoverers of the Rocky Mountains by way of Lake Superior & Winnipeg & rivers Assiniboine & Missouri in 1743.
Alex Burrell came to Mary’le [Marysville, Montana] in 1888 and was superintendent for the Montana Mining Co. James A. Hendricks came here in 1883, freighted from Helena until the R.R. was built 1887. William Mayger [Meagher?] mined in the spring of 1864 on Silver Creek with W. Rhodes & Alvord Heitze. He located the first placer mine in the gulch in 1866. They put in a bed rock flume & mined until 1876 making 30.00 a day. He discovered the first float of the famous Drum Lummon [also spelled “Drumlummon”] mine. They were unlucky in finding the vein so Thos. Cruse came over from Trinity after the snow thaw, the first hole he sunk disclosed the vein. He built the first five stamp pan amalgamation mill. It was the first built in Lewis & Clark County. The machinery for this mill came by boat from St. Louis to Ft. Benton thereby teams to Marysville.
The first steam boat came up the Missouri to Ft. Benton in 1832. Benetsee1 . . . of the Red River country found the first gold in Montana on Gold Creek, in 1852; 1852 [1858?] came Granville and Jas. Stuart. Hellgate was named Gold Creek after and it was first Benetsee Creek.
1878 Ralston had the first stone house, used as a butcher shop. It’s now owned by Gus Zimmerman. Thos. Cruse came to Montana in 1866 at Virginia City. 1867 he came to Helena then placer mined in Trinity. April 1876 he discovered the Drum Lummond [also “Drumlummon”] mine after Geo. [Detweiler?] and others abandoned it. In 1882, he sold it for a million and a half dollars thro Mr. [Brat?] Nober and others keeping 1/6 for himself. In 1887 he established the first savings bank in Helena & Montana. Geo. Kirby was born in Eagle Harbor, Michigan in 1853. 1878 he worked at the Penobscot & Belmont mines, and [in] Marysville as blacksmith for Thos Cruse. In 1883 he went in business for himself. Their oldest daughter (Veronica Maud Kirby) was the 2nd girl baby born [in Marysville]. Lizzie Ralston [was] first. Geo. Kirby Jr. [was] the first boy born in Marysville.”


I updated this blog post on August 4, 2017, to include some hyperlinks. Some hyperlinks are directly on point. Others will require some searching within the article.
  1. A trapper named Francois Finlay, also known as Benetsee. Click here for more information about Finlay and Gold Creek.