Prairie County is steeped in western history and loaded with charm and hospitality. Visit us and discover the rugged beauty of eastern Montana.
Historic photographer Evelyn J. Cameron gave up a life of wealth and privilege in England when she moved with her husband, British ornithologist Ewen Cameron, to Montana near the turn of the century. Her diaries record daily life in Prairie County from 1893 until her death in 1928. Transcriptions of these diaries can be found at the Prairie County Museum and are open to the public for genealogy and research purposes. The stunning images she captured of pioneers forging a living on the frontier are worthy examples of the spirit that can still be found in eastern Montana’s small towns, where the quality of life is high though populations are still relatively low.
Evelyn Cameron personified the strength and perseverance of Montana women. She thoroughly enjoyed the area’s rugged beauty and the freedom life on the prairie afforded her. She preferred not having servants and reveled in doing her own housework, gardening, and ranch tending. When Ewen and Evelyn’s attempt to raise polo ponies failed miserably, Evelyn took to photography as a way to earn a living. “From her photographs, it is obvious that she admired the ingenuity and propensity for hard work that characterized the Montana pioneer” (Lucey, xvi). With her camera by her side, Evelyn was called upon to document everything from weddings to immigrant sheep shearing crews to technological milestones. A witness to the end of the open range and the height of the railroad, Evelyn Cameron’s view of the prairie is one you can’t miss.
FACT: Terry is the official “Home of the Evelyn Cameron Gallery.”