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My Montana: A History and Memoir - 1930-1950
by Jewel Lansing

Click For Enlarged Cover Image Montana's huge Flathead Indiana Reservation was still a frontier when author Jewel Beck Lansing grew up there on a farm. A generation removed from the reservation's first homesteaders, she helped her parents run their general store and post office. Her forthright account of school, social, and family life, along with dozens of photographs, give us a heart-warming ride back in time.

"My Montana is both a good story and a fascinating look at the Montana of yesteryear." -- Molly Holz, Publications Director Montana Historical Society

"In this engaging and informative book, Jewel Beck Lansing captures the pioneer spirit of her homesteading parents and community. She gives us a warm and respectful look at a rural Western Montana girlhood in the 1930s and 1940s that is sure to be enjoyed by children and adults alike." -- Oregon Congresswoman Darlene Hooley

Jewel in 1948 Ronan, MT "There is much love for Lansing’s family, friends, farm life, and Round Butte expressed in this memoir, which adds to the enjoyable experience . . . Jewel Beck Lansing was the good kid, the one parents wanted their children to hang around with. Lansing never rebelled and I often wished she’d displayed more spirit . . . But as I was becoming irritated with my narrator, I came upon a picture of Lansing with the other journalism majors at the University of Montana . . . Lansing is the lone woman in the photograph. . . . In these days where a woman is a serious candidate for the President of the United States and some young women have the luxury to claim they are not feminists, it is easy to forget what opportunities for women used to be like. In Lansing’s way, she was a rebel after all. . . . [D]on’t miss My Montana. . . ." -- Paula Younger, "My Montana": One Woman's History, www.NewWest.net


"Those of us growing up in the 1930-1950 era will appreciate Jewel Beck Lansing’s experiences as related in My Montana: A History and Memoir, 1930-1950. You needn’t have grown up in rural Montana to appreciate them either – many western and mid-west farms and ranches shared the same lifestyle.

If you’ve ever wondered what life was like on the American frontier, here’s a first-hand account from someone who was there!

Like much of Montana, the huge Flathead Indian Reservation was indeed a frontier in the 1930s and ‘40s, only a generation removed from the first white settlements that had been established there prior to the start of World War I. Author Jewel Beck Lansing, who grew up on a farm and later in her parents’ store located on the original reservation lands, kept meticulous journals of her experiences from the time she was 11 years of age through her junior year in high school.

Jewel chronicles the stories and history of this great land and its people, using dozens of historical photographs to complement her accounts of life among the area’s native peoples, the homesteaders who oftentimes displaced them, and her own family. Whether you grew up in the city as a Generation X’er or can personally relate to the life and times described in My Montana, you’ll enjoy this heart-warming, exhilarating ride back in time to an exciting period in American history.

No running water, no electricity except by generator; hand-cranked wall telephones and party lines; water wells that needed priming before pumping, country dances. And those WWII years of food/gasoline/rubber/shoe rationing; the theoretical 35 mph national speed limit; collecting magazines, papers, tinfoil, metal for the war effort; candy bar shortages; young men leaving for the armed forces, some never to return.

Difficult days? Yes, but the challenges were met with ingenuity, cooperation, camaraderie and humor. If you didn’t grow up in that era, you’ll learn what it was like – and gain a new appreciation and respect for the folks who did."
-- Paul Fugleberg, former publisher/editor of the Flathead Courier, former publisher of the Ronan Pioneer, and author of Proud Heritage, An Illustrated History of Lake County, the Lower Flathead, Mission, and Jocko Valleys

Publisher: Inkwater Press, 2007
(Softcover $22.95)
ISBN-10: 1592992722
ISBN-13: 978-1592992720

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