Monday, June 28, 2010
Another Trip to the Past
Our campground has a mailing address of Garryowen, Montana, however the "town" consists of a gas station/convenience store and the Custer Battlefield Museum. The name of the town comes from the marching song used by the 7th cavalry of George Custer. Originally this was simply a small way station for trains to pick up water and drop of mail and supplies to area forts and homesteaders, but the land was included as part of the Crow Reservation when that was created. Later the Crows sold some of the land to private citizens but still all that was there was the small store. At the time of the 50th anniversary of the battle of the Little Bighorn, workmen were excavating an irrigation ditch when they uncovered a partial skeleton surrounded with buttons and bullets which indicated that the man had been a cavalry soldier. Assumed to be one of the 14 men of Reno's troops who was never accounted for, the remains were reburied in a special monument created to the unknown soldier and concluded with a "burying of the hatchet" ceremony which included burying a hatchet with the soldier after a peace pipe had been smoked.
The museum itself has a very nice display of photographs of American Indians, many of whom were involved in the battle with Custer. There are also Native American artifacts, some bullets taken from areas of the battlefield and information on the battle of Little Bighorn, including a 45 minute documentary film which was extremely interesting and also made you rethink what you learned about the battle in school. That alone was worth the small price of entry.
Between exploring the battlefield area and working on the trailer (putting the repaired leaded glass window back in the door, trying to modify the poorly functioning air conditioning system, defrosting the fridge, etc.) and just sitting outside enjoying the scenery and watching the world go by, the week has passed quickly. It's time to move on, this time to a tiny town called White Sulphur Springs. We'll find someone to remove the stitches from Denny's neck, play a round of golf and see what trouble we can find to get into.