Life in gardens: Birney, Montana

Montana ranch garden seat, 1941, M. Wolcott, Library of Congress

“Dudes in a covered wagon garden seat,” Quarter Circle U Ranch, Birney, Montana, August 1941, by Marion Post Wolcott for the U.S. Farm Security Administration.

Montana ranch garden seat 2, 1941, M. Wolcott, Library of Congress

Both photos are via the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Wolcott had been charged with photographing the recovery of the western cattle industry. The Quarter Circle U ranch in Birney, Montana, like many others in the region, had begun entertaining dudes in the 1920s to augment ranch income, and so she photographed that side of the modern ranch business as well as cattle raising. The ranch scattered its grounds with covered wagon love seats designed for trysting young couples, many of whom purchased western wear as part of their Montana adventure.

— Mary Murphy, from “Romancing the West: Photographs by Marion Post Wolcott”

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