One of my grandmother’s favorite memories was the visit to her Uncle George’s in 1934 as they were traveling to Idaho. My great grandparents had sent their furniture on a train to Idaho and they were driving their Model T from Philip, SD to Dover, ID. This was a trip that was accomplished in 1934 without paved roads (or interstates) and in a vehicle that had few of the modern conveniences that we enjoy today. Not only that, they had seven children in the vehicle as well. So, in November 1934, my great grandparents made a stop at the George Shawver ranch. The nearest town of any size was Jordan…and it is 40 miles away.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Jordan, MT and the George Shawver ranch (part of a family reunion). This visit has convinced me that I am glad that my great grandparents went on to Idaho. Not that it isn’t beautiful country – but it is very different than what I am used to. We had a wonderful time visiting and meeting various family members. This reunion was organized to mark the 100th anniversary of the George and Clara “Midge” Shawver homestead. One of the activities was to visit the original home place. So, as we traveled the road to ranch, I tried to picture what it must have been like to travel there in 1934 in November near Thanksgiving. There was a concern that we wouldn’t be able to make the trip because they had a rainfall that morning. This made me wonder if we were having that problem in the middle of the summer, what occurred in November?
|Pictures I took along the drive to the ranch.|
|Uebra Post Office|
The comment was made several times “I am glad the grandfolks came to Idaho,” however, I am sure many of my Montana Shawver cousins feel differently. It is a beautiful landscape and being that remote would be ideal for many people. It reminds me how different our lives are as Americans. You have people who live in bustling cities and couldn’t imagine living somewhere so far from civilization and others who live in remote areas and couldn’t imagine living so close to so many people.
|Shawver Ranch from above|
|Uncle Duane in front of the old barn|
My grandmother would have enjoyed this family gathering so much. It wasn’t hard for me to imagine her sitting there visiting her dear cousin Mary in person instead of email or the phone. Mary was there for some brief periods and along with her sister, Clara. They are the last surviving children of George Shawver and Clara Bacon. (Mary has just recently passed away.) I couldn’t help think of that long ago trip that my great grandparents had made. It was memorable time where the older children had the chance to go and play…whether it was horseback riding or a few local dances with some of the locals providing the music.
|Full house - when time to eat!|
|The handwritten tree - to try and explain the branches of the family who were present!|