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Regional, Monthly All-Breed Horse Magazine • Since 1993
Idaho • Montana • Nevada • Oregon • Utah • Washington • Wyoming

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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Dog Hair & Mule Sweat  

with Natalie Riehl

editor@rockymountainrider.com

 

December 2013 issue  

 

     The Western U.S. , although geographically large, is amazingly small when it comes to “degrees of separation.” In the years I have researched articles for this magazine, I have had delightful conversations with many people who live in the states where we distribute RMR. Frequently we establish a common connection to someone we both know: a relative knowing a relative; acquaintances; historical figures.

     Last May, Rick and I traveled to Provo , Utah , where I could see a medical specialist. It may be something in my nature, but I hate to constrain a journey to the Interstate Highway System. I was interested in driving through the Bear Lake area in southeastern Idaho , as my grandmother’s father, in his teens, had wintered with his family there about 1880, and had lost most of his family due to the harsh weather.

     We traveled through Soda Springs toward Montpelier and Bear Lake to the south. Rick always keeps an eye out for interesting old structures to photograph, and in Georgetown (18 miles south of Soda Springs), we saw a boarded-up, red building with its name — Georgetown Country Corner — in white letters across the front and “For Sale” signs in the windows.

     As Rick was taking photos, an older couple stopped their car and inquired why anyone would want to take a photo of that old, fading building.

     I explained that we were fascinated with history, and they told us that they had once been the owners of the business, which they had run for more than 30 years, carrying groceries and operating a small café.

     After the photo of the store ran in RMR, Rick received a query from Gloria Higgins of Soda Springs , Idaho , (18 miles north of Georgetown ) who wished to obtain a copy of the print.

     Gloria had grown up in Georgetown , and we learned that, during the Great Depression, the store’s owner had created his own currency so people could trade their produce and dairy products, receive his special dollars, and use them to buy other items in the store.

     Gloria mailed a fascinating biography of the area’s first doctor, Ellis Kackley, who set up practice in Soda Springs in 1898 after just completing medical school back east. The book, written by Ellen Carney, provides a gritty, inside view of the rough, frontier town at the time, along with a portrait of Kackley’s stalwart integrity and intelligent decisions he made as a doctor.

     When he started his practice, he often made the trip to patients too sick to travel, riding horseback, hiking or snowshoeing distances over 20 or 30 miles. Eventually, as he became well-known and transportation modernized, patients traveled to see him.

     Rick and I contrasted the rigors of a doctor treating patients circa 1900 with our zipping by on the highway in our heated pickup truck with a good stereo system.


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     This month we include an article about childrens’ toys during the pioneer era. In my grandmother’s front hall sat a child’s chair — with six-inch wooden legs, a woven seat, a tall wooden back, and wooden arms. In the early 1800s, the chair lived in a farmhouse where the children used to turn it upside down and pretend it was a plow. The tips of the back and arms were worn to angles.

 

 

     Thank you for submitting your photos to our annual “Kids & Horses” Reader Photo Album. Please vote on your favorite by going to RMR’s website, emailing us, U.S. mailing, or by phoning us.

     Two winners will be chosen: one for the photo that receives the most votes; and the other a random drawing from all those submitting votes.

            We hope you have a peaceful December, with friends and family in good cheer!

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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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Rocky Mountain Rider Magazine • Montana Owned & Operated 
PO Box 995 • Hamilton, MT 59840 • 888-747-1000  •  406-363-4085 • info@rockymountainrider.com