The Marrow of Memories: Mapping the Historic Springhill Cemetery

Quincy Balius and Dr. Janet Ore, Department of History, Montana State University, Culbertson Hall, 100, Bozeman, MT 59717

The Springhill Cemetery project is intended to illuminate and preserve the personal histories of ordinary people in rural Montana and illustrate how they correspond to broader historical arcs. The work was inspired by a personal desire to document the American West through the lens of social history. I also saw a need to collect and preserve the stories of people interred in rural cemeteries in order to maintain valuable historic data that would otherwise have vanished. I utilized vertical files, archival information, genealogical data, books, letters, newspaper articles, organizational records, and oral histories in order to complete the research for this project. I used both digital and physical collections to gather information about and photographs of the people interred in this cemetery, mapped the cemetery with GPS coordinates, composed biographies, and placed all material into the Story Maps program. The program provides a platform for an interactive experience with the cemetery itself that allows people to walk through the cemetery while clicking on the tombstones in the program to learn more about the people interred at Springhill. It can also be used for research into the American West and rural communities. The project tells the stories of over 170 people and how their lives tie into broader historical events from 1870 through to the present day. It will be discussed as a resource for genealogists, historians of the American West, and social historians since it provides a valuable database of historic information from ordinary Montanans. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Quincy Balius

Institution: Montana State University

Type: Oral

Subject: History

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Oral 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 645
List other presenters in this same room and session