Vol. 65, No. 2
Childbirth, the Board of Health, and Montana Women, 1860–1920
by Jennifer J. Hill
Pack Mules and Parachutes
Firefighting Partners at Montana’s Ninemile Remount Depot
by Janet Ore
The Chinese in Montana
by Ellen Baumler
Daphne Bugbee Jones
A Modernist Architect’s Legacy
by Hipólito Rafael Chacón
Montana Book Roundup
by Aaron Parrett
Orsi, Citizen Explorer, reviewed by Jay H. Buckley | Petersen, John Mullan, reviewed by Ryan Shaw | Caffey, Chasing the Santa Fe Ring, reviewed by Rick Hendricks | Ball, Tom Horn in Life and Legend, reviewed by Jeremy M. Johnston | Anglin and Morris, Gloomy Terrors and Hidden Fires, reviewed by Lee H. Whittlesey | Albrecht, Rethinking Rural, reviewed by David D. Vail
On the Cover
On the front cover is a detail from an embroidered silk banner that once hung in the Chinese temple in Helena circa the 1890s. Montana’s first Chinese arrived during the 1860s gold rushes, and by the 1890s they numbered over 2,500. The largest community lived in Lewis and Clark County. Because Chinese immigrants were overwhelmingly male, few family homes existed where traditional altars could be erected to practice the Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, and Christian religious beliefs brought from China. Consequently, temples in urban Chinatowns were established as places to worship and socialize. The painted wooden altar (circa 1880s) on the back cover is also from the Helena Chinese temple (MHS Museum, Helena, 1973.17.01). The characters that flank the center and sides of the altar pay homage to military hero Guan Yu. Pairs of birds, silkworm moths, and bats carved in wood across the top symbolize good luck. The altar has an address—206 Clore—penciled on the bottom. From the 1870s to about 1892 that address belonged to a small log cabin on what is now Park Avenue. The cabin’s occupant possibly played some role in the altar’s installation in the temple.
The banner and altar are on exhibit at the Montana Historical Society together with the artifacts featured in “Forgotten Pioneers: The Chinese in Montana,” which begins on page 41. The artifacts will be on exhibit through fall 2016. The banner is on exhibit courtesy Crystal Shors, L2014.05.02.
To purchase this or other issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (406) 444-4708, or subscribe now.