2 First Avenue East
The North Lake County Public Library District hosts Montana Conversation “Me and Martha: Intimate Reflections of Dora DuFran about the Real Life of Calamity Jane” with Mary Jane Bradbury on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public. Funding for the Montana Conversations program is provided by Humanities Montana through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Montana’s Cultural Trust, and private donations.
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. The 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. Who better to give us insights about the real story than 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 who brings history to life for audiences of all ages in the Rocky Mountain region. She teaches for the Colorado Humanities, and is a historic interpreter for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
For more information, please call the North Lake County Public Library District at 406-883-8225