Final preparations are being made for the Prairie County Museum and Cameron Gallery’s “Afternoon Tea.” The event is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Gallery in Terry from 2 to 5 p.m. The Tea is being held to commemorate the original opening of the Evelyn Cameron Gallery and the completion of the transcription of Evelyn’s handwritten diaries.
Twenty years ago in August 1991, the Montana Historical Society’s traveling exhibit of 47 of Evelyn Cameron’s photographs debuted in Terry at a temporary gallery in the Eddie Gaub Professional Building. At the urging of William Deppe, an heir to the Cameron collection, a permanent home for an Evelyn Cameron Gallery was sought. In October of the same year, this was made possible when the Stith family donated the building that currently houses the Cameron Gallery. The grand opening of the permanent Cameron Gallery was held about a year and a half later in May 1993. Over the years, countelss volunteers have contributed to the ongoing success and popularity of the Callery which now showcases prints of 112 of Evelyn Cameron’s photographs and a number of Cameron artifacts.
Evelyn Cameron’s legacy is of particular historical relevance not only because of her photography, but also due to her remarkable diaries which she kept from 1893 until her death in 1928. Written in small ledgers in even smaller handwriting, Evelyn detailed her daily life and offered commentary on business dealings, hunting trips, neighbors and current events. Local historian and long time museum board member, Wynona Breen was instrumental in seeing that Evelyn’s diaries were transcribed into a more reader-friendly format. With the support of the Montana Historical Society and assistance of a team of volunteers, this substantial undertaking has been completed. Copies of the original diaries and their transcriptions will be formally presented to the public at the Tea on Sunday.
A light fare of weet and savory treats will be offered to the Tea guests. Those who are unable to attend the Tea but would like to visit the Gallery and view the diary transcriptions are invited to contact a museum board member to set up an appointment.
Published Sept. 28, 2011