Mining the Past

Mining the Past

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Description

Description, Mining the Past In the late summer of 1977 the author headed for the Wyoming prairie to try to find Big Muddy, the seemingly magical coal mining camp where her grandmother and her family had lived in the early 1900's. Her first obstacle had been finding out that her grandmother wasn't well enough to travel with her. Susan decided to go anyway, armed only with her grandmother's vague directions and the name of a coal mine no one except her family seemed to think existed. Road maps drew a blank, and there was no GPS or Google in those days for information. Mining the Past tells the story of the author's quest to find the mining camp, intertwined with her grandmother and great aunt's tales about the adventurous years spent there. Tales about the band of Ute Indians visiting the camp, cowboys carousing on a Saturday night, an accidental shooting and everyday life in a mining camp. Research in the Casper, Wyoming, library turned up surprising facts about the mine and the times. In newspaper accounts and pioneer records Susan began to learn the truth about some incidents and examine the slippery, sometimes elusive relationship between memory, truth, and fact. Many years after the trip, as the author attempted to piece together all of the stories, the research and the memories, she came to realize that this was her story as much as it was her Grandmother's. She reflects on her grandmother's influence on her life, their relationship, and their dual emotional investment in telling the stories. This memoir will provide readers with entertaining tales and history, but also a fresh appreciation for family stories and their enduring values as they're passed down through the generations.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 100 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 5mm | 145g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514819198
  • 9781514819197

About Susan Bartsch Backer

Susan Bartsch Backer is a fourth generation Montanan. She grew up south of Great Falls along the banks of the Missouri River. She graduated from Macalester College and earned a M.A. from Lesley University in the Creative Arts in Education. She is a retired elementary educator and has published curriculum for teachers and articles for children. She lives in Bozeman, Montana, with her husband, Marvin. This is her first book.show more