The Checkered Years
A Bonanza Farm Diary, 1884-88
Author Mary Dodge Woodward, Edited by Mary Boynton Cowdrey, Introduction by Elizabeth Jameson
Minnesota Historical Society Press (May 15, 1989)
Mary Dodge Woodward, a fifty-six-year-old widow, moved from Wisconsin with her two grown sons and a daughter to a 1,500-acre bonanza wheat farm in Dakota Territory's Red River valley in 1882. For five years she recorded the yearly farm cycle of plowing and harvesting as well as the frustrations of gardening and raising chickens, the phenomenon of mirages on the plains, the awesome blizzard of 1888, her reliance on her family, and her close relationship with her daughter. She noted "blots, mistakes, joys, and sorrows" in her "olf friend." This Borealis edition brings back to print a valuable record of a frontier woman's life.
"Mary Dodge Woodward's personal record of her life on a Dakota Territory 'bonanza farm' adds new detail and texture to the histories of both women and the West. . . . [She] wrote about what she saw: The epic procession of reapers and threshing crews, the wildflowers and birds, the stupendous mirages that could make the wintry prairie an optical wonderland."
Elizabeth Jameson, from the Introduction
- 302 pages
- 5.5 x 8.25 inches
- ISBN: 9780873512374
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