Saturday, 1 June 2019
Three Cooks (~1904) - Sepia Saturday 472
An unwritten, undated card from my great-uncle Gustaf's postcard album: "The Three Cooks at Highgate, Mont." The card sits in between postcards from 1904 in the album. Gustaf lived in Pennsylvania between 1902-1911. So far, I have not come across any evidence that he himself ever travelled much further west in the US. But perhaps some friend sent him this card with a letter?
Somehow, the door in the background does not really suggest a first-class restaurant... And yet there is a printed postcard?
From the official website for the state of Montana, I learn that the discovery of gold brought many prospectors into that area in the 1860s; leading to boomtowns growing rapidly - and declining just as quickly when the gold ran out. Later, there was also silver and copper mining. And a lot of cattle and sheep ranches and wheat farming, as the gold-diggers and miners needed to eat... But the gold ran out (and perhaps silver and copper too); and post-WWI droughts and depression meant that a lot of farmers were forced to leave the state as well.
(That reminds me of a novel I recently read & reviewed on this blog: The Practice House. That was about Kansas, not Montana - but drought and depression hit hard there too.)
Anyway. My best guess at the moment is that the "Three Cooks" postcard may be from a boomtown restaurant for miners; and perhaps sent with a letter to Gustaf from a friend working in that area for a while. Whether he was one of those three cooks, or a miner eating their food, I'm not likely to ever know!
(If anyone has other ideas, feel free to suggest them.)
I'm linking to Sepia Saturday 472. Connections to the prompt picture (below): Restaurant, male bonding, men standing outside a door... And someone must have had a camera, or there would be no photo! Whether the three cooks ever became Famous I don't know, but they may have been dreaming of it.
PS. I have recently revived my Greetings from the Past blog (based on Gustaf's postcard collection + old family photos) and put in some new posts there this week. This post/card may re-appear there as well a bit further on.