Big Sky Chronicles: MT Thanksgiving History

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There are quite a bit of stories behind early Thanksgivings in Montana history.

Beartooth NBC's Charlie Misra headed to the Montana Historical Society for background on how the holiday was celebrated in years past.  Montana Historical Society spokesperson Tom Cook says Thanksgiving Day was first mentioned in Montana in November of 1864.  He says an editor of the Montana Post in Virginia City was upset since no one at the time was celebrating the holiday.

Cook says, "He was looking out and he's kind of lamenting the fact that nobody's really doing anything, they're out protecting their claims, trying to find gold, they were doing all those sorts of things.  Being a true printer and early journalist, he complained.  He said not only are there not any good Thanksgiving meals, but there aren't even any free drinks for the printer."

Years into the future, the editor would get his wish.  Cook says as the state became developed, Montana newspapers began mentioning places people could go to "eat and pray" on Thanksgiving.  Cook says places like the Broadwater would present grand Thanksgiving dinners.  He says many places would feature oysters on the half shell.

Cook says, "Oysters were brought in on ice and whenever they could have oysters, they did.  So they had oysters, they had turtle soup, which was another common thing there, they had mutton, they had all kind of fancy vegetables."

Cook says back then, it was important in Montana to showcase a variety of food on Thanksgiving.


Story by Charlie Misra, Beartooth NBC.
Sponsored by Big Sky Plumbing & Heating of Helena.
Copyright ©2012 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Big Sky Chronicles, montana historical society, Tom Cook, Virginia City, Montana Post, Thanksgiving History

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