Me and Martha: Intimate Reflections by Dora DuFran about the Real Life of Calamity Jane Program

 

Dora 1 High

Mary Jane Bradbury as Dora DuFran

Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane

The third program in the Yellowstone Gateway Museum’s Culture of the 19th Century speaker series continues with the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program “Me and Martha: Intimate Reflections by Dora DuFran about the Real Life of Calamity Jane” with Mary Jane Bradbury on Wednesday, April 24. Partial funding for the Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana’s Cultural Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The final program is about Copper King William A. Clark. The free programs are held at 7:00 pm at Park Photo, 115 S. Main St., Livingston.

The name Calamity Jane brings to mind an iconic character of the American West.  Accounts of Calamity—whose real name was Martha Canary—are legion and she has achieved mythical status in the lore of the frontier.  She lived and traveled throughout Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas from 1867 to 1903, during some of the West’s wildest days. The voracious Victorian press sensationalized her activities, and as a flamboyant character in popular dime novels, Calamity Jane’s legend grew until the person behind the character all but disappeared.  Mary Jane Bradbury will bring to life insights about Calamity’s real life through the eyes of madam Dora DuFran, a Black Hills pioneer, entrepreneur and close friend of Calamity’s. Ms. DuFran built a successful red light business during the rambunctious early days of the western frontier in Deadwood, South Dakota, and has a unique perspective about how wild it really was.  Ms. DuFran knows better than anyone the life of Martha Canary and Calamity Jane, two quite different women, one legendary, one all but forgotten. 

Mary Jane Bradbury is a scholar and actress with over 25 years of experience bringing history to life for audiences of all ages in the Rocky Mountain region.  She is a member of the Humanities Montana and Colorado Humanities Speakers Bureaus, and before moving to Montana, was an historic interpreter for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

The speaker series’ final program is on Wednesday, May 8,”A Verdigris Legacy: The far reach of Copper King William Andrews Clark” is presented by historian and writer Robert Brock. He examines how the spoils and costs of Clark’s conquest have weathered the decades, revealing many deep parallels that still exist between cities across the country and Montana. This program was rescheduled from its original date.

All programs are held at 7:00 pm at Park Photo, 115 S. Main St., Livingston. The speaker series is free, open to the public and refreshments are served. Doors open at 6:00 pm for the March 27 program; doors open for remaining programs at 6:30 pm.

Watch for more information about upcoming programs or contact Karen Reinhart at 222-4184 or kreinhart@parkcounty.org. Visit our Facebook page, yellowstonegatewaymuseum.