Celebrating History-October 27, 1917

Be looking for Behind the Lace Curtains-Sunday Dinner edition this week for the stuffing recipe!

Most of the news in the October 27, 1917 issue of The Havre Plaindealer was related to the Great War. The price of coal was regulated by Dr. H. A. Garfield, the federal fuel administrator in Washington, D. C. Earlier in the year, Congress passed a law fixing the price of coal and coke in order to avoid price gouging during wartime, thus keeping the price of fuel reasonable for us stateside. While the statement from W. J. Swindlehurst, Montana’s fuel administrator, felt that most fuel dealers in the state were “generally honest”, but nonetheless warned those thinking they were going to charge more for their product during wartime would be facing consequences.

The Montana College of Agriculture in Bozeman was opening their campus to a special officers’ training camp. This offering was for national guard or regular military personnel, and enlistment “must be for the period of the war”.
Montana women were being encouraged to help out the soldiers in Washington state who had a specific need with this announcement:

“A practical suggestion comes to the patriotic women of Montana from their neighbors in Washington to send pillows and dish towels to the Montana boys at Camp Lewis. The word comes to a Bozeman woman from her sister in Seattle, who is active in the Red Cross work and is one of many Washington women trying to look after the comfort of the boys from other states in camp, as well as those from her own state.
“The government does not provide pillows nor dish towels for the boys, she says, and these are needed and can easily be provided by the women from the states or from the towns from which the boys come. If these things are sent here there are certain regulations that must be observed. The pillows must be 12 by 18 inches, with colored pillow slips. Many a woman has a good feather pillow she can spare, but she must make it the regulation size. The dish towels may be flour sacks or toweling, but in all cases they must be hemmed.
“These articles can be sent to Sergeant Harold Murray, miscellaneous detachment, quartermaster’s corps, Camp Lewis, American Lake, Washington, for the Montana boys or they may be sent in from any city in the state to the boys at Camp Lewis from that city. The Washington women who provided pillows and towels for their own boys had some extra towels which they gave to the Montana boys, but they did not go far with the boys from this state.”

This is hunting country. We Montanans are proud of our hunting heritage and are appreciative and grateful of the bounty the land, water and skies can provide. Duck was on the menu at a couple of social events found in the Society column, and both sound like a grand time:

“Mesdames Kent and Babb Entertain.
“On Monday evening, at the home of Mrs. L. M. Babb on Third Avenue, occurred one of the most pleasant social functions of the week, when Mesdames Fred Kent and L. M. Babb entertained a number of their friends to a duck dinner. The menu contained an even dozen blue bills and mallards, besides other things that go to make up a well appointed banquet. Those who enjoyed the hospitality of the ladies were: F. E. Werner, A. G. Gibb, George J. Singer, Fred. E. Kent, L. M. Babb, Louis Babb. Mrs. A. G. Gibb and Bernice Gibb.

“Duck Dinner for Guest.
“On Saturday evening Mr. and Mrs. Masterson gave a duck dinner at the Club café, in honor of their guest, Miss Alma Overbue of Lothair, who has been visiting them for several days. Mrs. C. E. Foss and Miss Minnie Foss of Bowdin, where out of town guests at the banquet.”

I grew up on wild meat, so I appreciate reading these entries. Dad would often bring home duck and goose, and how I learned how to prepare them was passed down by both of my parents. Dad’s mother would put fatty bacon on the backs of the fowl to add some fat as they can be dry, and Mom always stuffed them with a stuffing recipe handed down from her grandmother. There’s nothing better than wild duck and goose roasting on a cold autumn day for dinner in the evening! Always was mashed potatoes, gravy, and a vegetable to go with the meat and stuffing.

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