Lamenting the handwritten word…

December 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In today’s world of email, instant messaging, and twitter, there are many who lament the “old days” when people took the time to type out a letter, sign it, and use a stamp & envelope to get it to its destination. This item, found in “The Townsend Messenger” of Montana, issue date of March 18, 1892, takes that “lament” back one step further when the typewriter replaced the handwritten note.

First newspapers in Montana…

August 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Similar to other eventual states in the western portion of the country, it was the search for gold & other precious metals which took some of the earliest adventurers to the Montana Territory.

Gold was discovered in Montana in 1858 and a “town” immediately sprang up, named Bannack. A newspaper, title the “News-Letter“, was started but not being successful only lasted a few numbers. (Given its format and short life it is not considered Montana’s first newspaper by some, that honor given more commonly to the “Montana Post“.)

The following year a richer strike was made in nearby Virginia City, where the first issue of the “Montana Post” was printed on August 27, 1864. Its publisher, John Buchanan, sold the newspaper just two weeks later to Tilton and Dittes, and 4 years later when Helena became the state’s capital the newspaper moved to that location where the first issue from Helena was dated August 25, 1868.

The next Montana newspaper was the “Montana Democrat“, printed in Virginia City from 1865. It would be followed by a few more in the 1860’s: the “Montana Radiator” in late 1865, the “Rocky Mountain Gazette” in 1866 and the first daily newspaper titled the “Herald” from Helena late in the same year.

Collectors prize issues of the “Montana Post” from Virginia City, although those with a Helena imprint are the more commonly found.