Early Mountaineers Are Now On the Internet

Thanks to a generous Lippard-Clawiter Foundation grant the first ten years of the Mountaineer (1911 to 1921) have been digitized and are now on line.

The website link is:


or Google montananewspapers.org and click on Big Sandy.

Readers everywhere can enjoy the first Mountaineers with this grant to the Big Sandy Cultural Fund. Doug Giebel, the Fund’s Executive Director, worked with the Montana Historical Society’s new effort to digitize, preserve and put on line Montana’s newspapers. The local nonprofit organization hopes next year to digitize the Mountaineers up to 1950.

The grant also allowed digitization and preservation of fifty reels of historic 16mm movie film taken by the McNamara family during the 1930s and 1940s. This rare material documents both ranch and community life.

Many Big Sandy families homesteaded here between 1911 and 1921. The Internet papers are searchable, and readers may especially enjoy the comments of Kenilworth area resident John Truax, who was later accused of improperly appropriating his father’s Civil War pension, was incarcerated at Fort Leavenworth prison where he became editor of the prison newspaper. He got his start with the Mountaineer.

During the 1920s, noted Montana author Dan Cushman, a BSHS graduate, honed his early writing skills while working for Mountaineer editor C. C. Mills.

Newspapers are the often the only record we have of a community’s history, and these early Mountaineers are a treasury of information. People living anywhere in the world can now read about Big Sandy’s colorful past.

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