2007 Montana Trip
This year we tried a new route and left the interstate at Rockford
Illinois so Mac could see
Galena Illinois for the first time. Sandee & Shelly had been there
years ago, but without Mac.
From Galena we headed west into Iowa and at Dyersville saw the Field of
Dreams of the
movie fame. I was delighted to find that Dyersville was also the home
of the National
Farm Toy Museum as I've been collecting miniature farm equipment
The first day out we have previously driven 850 miles to Wall SD but as
we are now older
and wiser we cut back the first day and stayed at Oacoma SD where we
had stayed last
year on the way home. It was only 700 miles from Park Ridge so we were
able to make
a shopping stop at the Cabellas in Mitchell SD. The second day needed
to be a 800+ mile
day but we were able to make it to Helena where Sandee's mother is as
well as her brother
and his wife.
After rest and relaxation in Helena with Sandee's Quickendens and a day
trip to Great Falls
we were off to Flathead Lake. Not that we needed a reason to go
there other than old friends,
but this year there was a wedding of a daughter of our Maid of Honor
forty three years before.
Party, party, party and all went fantastically well.
Starting for home we again went a new way. We headed north towards
Glacier Park and
skirted the south boundary of the Park on US Route 2 that is the
furthest north trans-
continental highway. I wanted to go that route to stop and see two
different families that
I believed to be distantly related Main families going way back to
Stonington CT in the 1700s.
The first family was on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, because in
the 1880s a CT Main
descendant joined the Army, made it to Montana and took up with a
Indian lass. She reportedly
was the daughter of a chief, who raised her son after she died too
early and the Main father
ran off to start another family almost 300 miles west on the
other side of the Rocky Mountains.
Eight hundred miles east in the woods of northern Minnesota was another
Main family that
added a "e" to the spelling of their name but they too could trace
their line back to Stonington.
The purpose of trying to see these people was to convince them to
participate in the Main
DNA project that I hoped would prove that my ancestor Christopher
was from the Stonington
CT Main line. I missed the family on the reservation but met a relative
in the Minnesota woods who
submitted a dna sample that two months later proved that we
are in fact distantly related.