Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Few Pictures from the Mattson Ranch

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

For Tonight's Virtual Family Reunion,

We've heard many stories about the elderly (snickering) Mattson sibling's time on their Montana ranch. You're wondering where the pictures are illustrating these tales of poverty, hard work, blowing dust, ravaging locusts, prairie fires, miles of walking in waist deep snow and sugar cubes dipped in whiskey. Tonight we gather around our screens and look into the faces of the Mattsons of Eastern Montana.

This picture was taken in 1953. The Mattson Field of Glory.

In this picture we see Grandma Vesta Logan, Violet's mother on the left and Violet (Grandma Mattson) on the right. They're standing behind the family car. Mom's faulty memory recalls it could have been a Packard. Those of you with an interest should do a bit of research and let us know. Great Grandma Logan came to visit the ranch a few times from her home in Pamona California. Imagine the cultural shock! Modern California to the 1850's of Montana, Kerosene lamps and all. Vesta's mother was Dee Bell McCrillis. Grandma and Great Grandma are standing in the corn field. Mother thinks Great Grandma Vesta looks a lot like Janice's daughter Jordan.

Mom remembers it was always a special time when Grandma Vesta came to visit. Her visits included picnics, outings and trips to Belle Fourche.

Grandma Vesta was tall. She always dressed nicely with jewelry. She was very stately, always standing with excellent posture. She had the most beautiful curly hair her whole life and was always fussy about her hair.

Every Sunday afternoon the family got in the car and drove "around the fields" to see how they were growing (as you can see in the picture above). They always stopped at the Sheep Wagon to visit with the sheep herded and all around hired hand Alec Winger.

One day, Violet thought to get pictures of the children in their Sunday best. All four were scrubbed. Luella and Linda had their hair curled. They washed their hair from the rain barrel. The picture above is of scrubbed and cleaned Marvin taken in 1950. He's wearing his chaps and cowboy hat.

Here you see all four children that same day in March 1950. From left to right in this heavily damaged picture you see Marvin, Linda, Luella and John.

Luella is 11 years old. Linda is 8, John is 7, and Marvin is 5. There was one baby boy born between Luella and Linda. His name was Walter Albert Mattson Jr. Mother remembers he was born on October 15, 1941. He died of pneumonia on December 15, 1941 in Grandma Mattson's arms as she and Walter raced to Belle Fourche's hospital on that cold winter morning.

Well, Time to head back to the school. Overnight camp tonight.