Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Pot luck presentation: Fifty Dollar Bride - early Pincher Creek Pioneer Marie Rose Smith

Pot-Luck Supper Meeting
Saturday, March 24
5:00 – 8:00 PM at St. John’s Anglican Church
Metis Local 1880 will present the story of Marie Rose Smith
(the early Pincher Creek Pioneer known as the “Fifty Dollar Bride”)
Everyone welcome.

Marie Rose Delorme Smith (1861 – 1960) – “The Fifty Dollar Bride”
Her mother arranged a marriage between her and Charlie Smith (a wealthy trader who paid $50 for her). They built a little house on the prairie (1881) and took up ranching at Pincher Creek (Jug-handle Ranch).

Speaking at least three languages, she was an entrepreneur and business woman, making elaborate beadwork and earning the nickname “Buckskin Mary”. She also used natural remedies and worked as a midwife until the medical profession forced her to stop.

She was a writer and correspondent (for the Lethbridge Herald). Her historical articles in the Canadian Cattlemen provide a window to the past.

Among the first of settlers in the area, had 17 children. Was mother, homesteader, ranch manager, cottage industry crafts person, medicine woman, midwife, hostess … Made buckskin articles (beading, cooking with native roots and herbs, tanning skins, making soap, drying meat). Contracted work with CPR (making tents for railway construction crews, shirts for the men with help of 2 half-bred women, gloves), cooking in boarding house, running homestead (Charlie, still the Trader, was absent great deal of the time). Beaded buckskin blouse and mocs for “checking girl at hotel in Waterton”, midwife, writer, hostess to many visitors Charlie invited to the ranch. 1907 moved from Ranch to PC (Charlie died in 1914). Friend to Fr. Lacombe, Kootenai Brown, and many important guests who were welcome at the ranch. Brought with her many cultural and survival traditions she’d learned from childhood.

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