Saturday, November 12, 2005

Jardine Ski Club

My grandfather (my father's father) on skis, sometime in the 1920's, I think. Another great picture from a pile of great pictures of people about whom I have NO information... except for Poggy...

In my mother's house, in the front bedroom (my old room) there is a small piece of furniture with doors and shelves. I cannot think of what it would be called, so we'll leave it at the above description. Into this small piece of furniture my mother put pictures and albums she got when my grandparents died, from both sides of the family. My mother and I used to go through the pictures often, remarking that, although some of the people were obviously relatives (my brother's eyes appear more than once), we had NO identification on most of them. (an aside here... if you have pictures, make notes... ). When I say we used to go through them often, I mean just that. It would kill a long afternoon, even before Mom started having strokes. I emphasize this because, in spite of the many times we went through the boxes and albums in that small piece of furniture, I never saw the guest book until I started packing up some things to put away this year.

The guest book for the Jardine Ski Club.

I NEVER saw this before. Now occasionally we would run into a picture that seemed particularly tantalizing-someone that neither of us had seen before, who seemed more 'related' than most and we would agonize over the identity of the occupant of that picture. But this was a largish GUEST BOOK. I would swear it wasn't in that small piece of furniture the last time I was looking at things. But there it was, large as life, earlier this year... go figure.

Now I've been searching for Jardine, Montana. The closest place that keeps popping up is Gardiner, but I'm thinking Jardine is a ghost mining town. I can't find it anywhere. It is possible that the name of the ski club was whimsical, and the actual lodge was somewhere close, but many of the signers of the guest book list Jardine as their address. I don't have a clue. What I DO have is this lovely guest book, with signatures of so many people, and so many of them relatives of mine, including my grandfather. Apparently, in spite of his health being damaged by TB, he could still ski... and don't you love that picture!

The first entry in the guest book was made by my grandfather, Edwin Thomas Schenck in 1921. (on closer inspection, he was not the first, he merely put his name there at the top... that is SO Schenck!) The last was made in 1943, at which time the owner of the cabin (and founder of the ski club?) was 86. Fortunately, someone included his obituary in the guest book, so part of that mystery is solved. Some of my relatives refer to him as an uncle, but I have no idea if he was a relative or just 'uncle Tom". hmm..

"Funeral Services held for Thomas H. Lewis, MONTANA PIONEER". I love that part. He was born in 1857 at Mount Vernon (which, if you have been following these discourses, would put him in the right part of the country to be related). His father built a number of ships for the government. At the age of 18 he enlisted in the 7TH CAVALRY and (unfortunately) participated in campaigns against the Nez Pearce and Crow Indians. I don't love that part. He came to Gardiner in 1889 and erected some of the main business buildings in the southern Park county community. He later located in the Crevasse Mountain area and for many years had been prominent in developing mineral resources. He discovered some of the outstanding tungsten mines in the area. He retired in Jardine. He never married. He died in 1945.

A hell of a life, if you ask me...


He liked to ski...


At 6:32 PM, Blogger TRZ said...

Hey, MizM,
Google Earth shows Jardine just north of northwest Wyoming, near Wyoming highway 212.

This is so haunting. I've been going through kind of the same thing. Worse: I joined ancestry.com. You can stalk anyone into the past. We found out my grandparents got married because they were knocked up - they named the baby the same name they gave my dad four years later - what happened to the baby? They went to The City, where neither had ever been before, to give birth. Were they married?

My dad died two years ago. He never wanted to tell us anything about his family. The last time we talked about it, he suggested abuse, jealous rage, and all kinds of things I never imagined, but he didn't want to talk about it...she died three years ago, leaving a giant box of unmarked photos, which she had always wanted me to sit with her and mark - but she never had a pen.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Stephanie Cochrane said...


Jardine is a tiny town 5 miles north of where I live in Gardiner, MT. Jardine was once a thriving gold mining district employing thousands of miners in the late 1800's and early 1900's, and again in the 1980's. There is a ski trail system used mostly by locals, and the snow is excellent. I am very interested to learn anything about Jardine's history, and skiing in particular. Several books have been written about the history of the Gardiner area by Doris Whithorn.

Sincerely, Stephanie Cochrane


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