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Montana Historical Society Plans January Lectures

The Montana Historical Society will be hold lectures in January on writer Mary McLane of Butte, North America, prior to the European settlers and noted photographer F. Jay Haynes.

On Thursday, Jan. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark Library, MTHS historic architecture specialist Lindsay Tran will explore the life of writer and bohemian provocateur Mary MacLane in her talk “A Woman, Awakening: Mary MacLane in Butte, America.”

MacLane had a complex relationship with Butte, the city that both formed and frustrated her as a writer. Her first confessional memoir, originally titled I Await the Devil’s Coming, was published in 1902 and became an international bestseller. After a period on the East Coast, she returned to Butte and wrote a second memoir, I, Mary MacLane, that was published in 1917.

Both her memoirs feature striking descriptions of Butte and illuminate MacLane’s feelings about the place and about herself.

On Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 1 p.m. at the Touchmark Assisted Living Facility (915 Saddle Drive in Helena), MTHS community engagement specialist Laura Marsh will present “People and Place in Precontact North America,” walking through the origins of human occupation of North America, particularly in Montana; human interaction with the landscape; and cultural and political systems prior to the European immigration.

North American has been home to an immense diversity of Indigenous Nations for thousands of years. The archaeological record, oral histories, and traditional knowledge all contribute to our understanding of the precontact past on this continent.

On Thursday, Jan. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark Library, MTHS photograph archives manager Jeff Malcomson will share dozens of images in his presentation “Many Fine Views: Photographing the Montana Frontier with Haynes.”

Renowned Northern Pacific photographer F. Jay Haynes followed the construction of the transcontinental railroad as it worked its way across the Montana Territory, capturing the landscapes on his journey.

Recordings of the Thursday programs will be posted on the MTHS YouTube channel.

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