The Yellowstone Gateway Museum hosts a program by author Nan Weber on Friday, July 12, at 6:30 PM at the Livingston-Park County Library. Weber’s program, titled Mattie Culver’s Autograph Book, illustrates how the autograph book, dating from the late 1800s, uncovered the puzzle of Culver’s gravestone in Yellowstone National Park. Her research about Culver led to the publication of her book, Mattie: A Woman’s Journey West. Artifacts from the museum’s new exhibit, Mattie Culver: A Life Sketch, will be on display during the evening. A book signing reception follows.
After discovering Mattie’s fenced grave in Yellowstone National Park, author Nan Weber followed her curiosity through four years of research to trace the steps of this mystery woman’s spirited life. The result is the inspiring story of a strong woman trying to better her life during difficult times. Not unlike today, life for women in the nineteenth century served up hearty challenges on a daily basis, though the burdens of 100 plus years ago certainly were of a different flavor. Mattie: A Woman’s Journey West offers a taste of that life through the story of Martha “Mattie” Shipley Culver, whose life passage took her from her childhood in industrial new England and work in the New York textile industry to her role as the wife of a winter caretaker in Yellowstone National Park, where she died and was buried in 1889, at the age of 32.
Nan Weber grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but always knew she would one day live in the West. She received her BFA in theatre arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ms. Weber has also lived in Minnesota, Washington, and Montana. She now makes her home in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her musician husband, Paul Boruff. In addition to stage scripts and screenplays, Weber is the author of Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip.
The only reason we know the story of Mattie Culver is because she is buried in Yellowstone National Park and because of Weber’s curiosity and research. Learn the fascinating and poignant story of one of Yellowstone National Park’s early residents during the program. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments provided. The library is located at 228 W. Callender; please use the North 3rd Street entrance.