“Butte, America” or “Until We Meet Again”

Two weeks ago today, we stopped in Butte, Montana to see my cousin, her husband – and their adorable granddaughter. We had a short but wonderful visit.

They live downtown so we were able to walk around and see some of the old buildings and even had time for a few meals – dinner on Friday evening at the Metals Sports Bar & Grill located in the historic Metals Bank Building, and breakfast on Saturday morning at Gamer’s Cafe, a Butte institution.

Butte holds quite a special place in my heart.

My great grandparents Joseph and Kate (Myers) Kieron immigrated there from Ireland in the late 19th century. Their daughter – my grandmother Nora Marie (Kieron) Blacker – was born there in 1900.

An Ri Ra flyer

And as luck would have it, we were there on the same weekend of the Irish Festival, which this year was commemorating the Easting Rising of 1916 – which I wrote about earlier this year.

We had some spare time on Friday evening so we headed up the hill to the Original mine – one of only a few remaining headframes left in Butte – where we listened to Irish fiddle tunes and saw a group of young Irish step dancers. As you can see in the picture below, the stage was set up at the bottom of the headframe, also sometimes referred to as a “gallows” frame.



Irish Dancers at the Original Mine, Butte Irish Festival 2016
Irish Dancers at the Original Mine, Butte Irish Festival 2016

Listen to a wonderful Irish fiddle tune while you finish reading this post.

And as it was a little chilly out, I had to buy a sweatshirt!








As I sat at the Irish Festival next to my cousin, listening to the tunes, I couldn’t help but wonder about our great grandparents and our grandmother.

  • I know my great grandfather worked in some of the mines . . . but which ones?
  • What neighborhoods did they live in?
  • What was life like for them in Butte?
  • And do you suppose my great grandparents Joseph and Kate ever danced together to fiddle tunes from their homeland?

(I’ve been doing lots of research since returning home, hoping to answer some of these questions in a forthcoming blog.)

The next morning before leaving town, we visited the graves of our great grandparents at St. Patrick’s Cemetery.

I was so happy to share this time and place with my cousin and her family. And I’m already looking forward to our next visit.

Beannachtaí libh go bhfeictear arís sibh.

Until we meet again.

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Cid at Work

I got to thinking about my grandmother’s remark that my grandfather always wore a “cap with a hard visor” in his various jobs. This morning I looked at my files and came across these three photos. I’m not sure the first cap had a hard visor – but it’s fun to have these wonderful photos that document his working career throughout the years.


1919 photo_Cid Dalin Sr standing and friend in wagon_est_fr negative
Cid posing in front of what appears to be a delivery wagon for the New York Store, later Fligelman’s Department Store. Photo probably taken about 1916.


1920 photo_Cid Dalin Sr inside trolley car
This photo was taken during the time Cid worked as a conductor for the City Street Car line, circa 1920.


1946 09 00 photo_Cid Dalin Sr in front of Coca-Cola truck
Cid began working for the H. F. Sheehan Company in about 1930. This photo was taken in 1946.

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Once Upon a Time . . .

About a year after my paternal grandfather died in July of 1952, my grandmother – Georgiana Frances (Schenck) Dalin – wrote this beautiful story in her journal.

July 27, 1953

“Once Upon a Time”

You have heard people say “once upon a time when I was young” or “once upon a time I was thin and tall”.

Cid Dalin Sr. circa 1916
Cid circa 1916

“Once upon a time” I was very much in love. He was tall – 6 ft. 1 inch tall, dark and very handsome. He had the sweetest smile. He was a motorman and conductor on a City Street Car line, never letting an older man or woman get on the street car without getting off and assisting them onto the car, always removing his hat at the same time. Somehow his work always required him wearing a cap with a hard visor. After the conductor’s cap, the bus cap – then the Coca-Cola cap which he wore for nearly 20 years.

We never really officially met, but instantly knew our love for each other and could never be separated not even for a time.

“Once Upon a Time” there was a World War I. My Cid was on a photograph of a group of soldiers who had enlisted and were leaving for the Service. I saw this photograph at Marysville before ever meeting him and picked him out as my ideal. So odd that we should meet a year later.

He always did the nicest things for me, often bringing a rose to my place of employment during working hours. Always he sent me flowers. He strived in every way to make his family happy and giving them anything they wanted or wished for. Never passed on his way but always alert to see who he could help in some way, never wanting to pass a hitch hiker on the road.

He was a wonderful Father, always doing for someone of his family, his happiness consisted in doing for others, no matter what the cost physically or otherwise.

Our love grew deeper and greater as the years passed. After 31 years, Our Blessed Lord sent for him and [we] must go on alone. Seems impossible at times, but Heaven is so beautiful and Cid’s happiness there so great. [I] find after this year of loneliness we can spare him, safe with God and His Blessed Mother, and would not wish him back. If only we could pay back in some way (other than prayers for him) what he has done for us.

Fran and Cid circa 1930
Fran and Cid circa 1930

One Life, One Love, One Heart – I have a very warm love to remember.


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19th and 20th Century 4th of July celebrations in Montana

I got to wondering what July 4th celebrations were like in Montana – back in the day, as they say. So I did a little searching of newspapers at one of my favorite websites – chroniclingamerica.loc.gov – and came up with a few samples from 1889 (in Helena), 1917 (in Butte) and 1922 (in Great Falls).

1889 07 04
The Helena independent. (Helena, Mont.), 04 July 1889. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025308/1889-07-04/ed-1/seq-3/>


1917 07 04_Butte
The Butte daily post. (Butte, Mont.), 04 July 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85053058/1917-07-04/ed-1/seq-1/>


And among a list of activities scheduled to take place at a 4th of July celebration in Great Falls on July 4, 1922 —

City-wide voting on most popular man and most beautiful woman.

Boxing bout between James O’Neil of Great Falls and Kid English of Casper, Wyo.; four rounds

Wrestling match between Ci Reed of Red Lodge and Swede Olson of Helena.

Pillow fight on a rod between two men yet to be chosen. [hmmm . . .?]

50-yard potato race for men.

100-yard dash for young women.

50-yard three legged race for men.

Egg race for women.

Broad jump for both men and women.

Cascade-Court of Honor baseball game, seven innings.

Sand Coulee-Court of Honor baseball game, seven innings.

Great Falls tribune. (Great Falls, Mont.), 03 July 1922. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045217/1922-07-03/ed-1/seq-10/>

And although it didn’t make the newspaper (at least not that I’m aware of), here’s a wonderful photograph of my great grandmother Mary Gertrude Rumping as the “Godess of Liberty” in the 1895 July 4th parade in Marysville, MT. She was 17 years old at the time.

1895 07 04 Goddess of Liberty

Happy 4th everyone!!!

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