Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Missed Christmas

Mrs. Frances Barton won the Glasgow Courier’s Christmas Memory Contest in 1959 for a story about her family’s missed Christmas. In 1924, Frances, her husband, and their six-month-old son lived in a two-room tarpaper homestead shack in northern Valley County near the Canadian border. Since early December, bad weather had kept the Bartons from making the fourteen-mile trip to the little general store and post office at Genevieve. Their reading material was worn out, their food supplies dwindling, and they had had no mail or contact with the outside world for weeks. The Bartons hoped the weather would permit their team to get through, but Christmas morning dawned without the opportunity. They had a poor Christmas meal, sang a few hymns, and wished each other Merry Christmas, but it was a day like any other. Finally two weeks into in the new year, 1925, the weather broke, and a January thaw came to the homestead. On a sunny morning, Frances’ husband made the trip to Genevieve. He returned with a month’s worth of letters, cards, gifts, magazines, newspapers, and supplies. Christmas finally came to the Barton family,” Frances wrote, “and once again we felt in touch with the outside world.”

From Montana Moments: History on the Go

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