We invite you to join us as a supporting member of the EHAHC!
Help perpetuate the traditions of entertainment and education.
Your gift is tax-deductible
Levels of membership
Larry Barsness $150
Fremont Ellis $250
Frank Bird Linderman $500
Mary Elling $1000
Larry Barsness - $150
Larry Barnsness was born and raised in the Lewistown area of Montana. He earned a degree in Speech and Drama from the University of Iowa and worked as a high school English and drama teacher until the summer of 1948, when he happened to visit Virginia City. Legend has it that someone was playing a Gilbert and Sullivan song on the piano at the Brewery and Larry started to sing along, drawing the attention of Charlie Bovey. The two men got to talking and agreed a summer theatre was just what the town needed. And so, The Virginia City Players were born, and led by Larry for the next 20 years. In 1962 he published a history of Virginia City, Gold Camp, and in 1985, a history of the American buffalo, Heads, Hides and Horns.
Fremont Ellis - $250
Fremont Ellis was born in Virginia City in 1897, the son of an itinerant dentist and theatre performer. Although he did not have a formal education, Ellis had a keen eye and natural talent and began painting at age thirteen. By 1919, he had drifted into Santa Fe and soon became a popular figure in the embryonic artist’s community. In 1924, his painting “When Evening Comes” won a national prize and established his reputation. Over the next sixty years, Ellis frequently returned to the Virginia City area to make sketches for his outstanding portfolio of work in oils and acrylics. His landscape “Madison River Montana” is a beautiful example of the rich colors and the dry, glowing light which was his trademark style. Ellis’ work is included in such prominent collections as the Gilcrease Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum, and the White House.
Frank Bird Linderman - $500
Frank Bird Linderman came to Montana in 1885. During those early years he had frequent contact with various Indian tribes and began to chronicle their lives and legends. By 1897, Frank had arrived in the Ruby Valley where he built a cabin on Mill Creek for his wife and two young daughters. He purchased the assets of a failed Sheridan printer for $5, and began publishing a newspaper; the Chinook. He was elected as a State Representative in 1903 and 1905, and served as Montana’s Assistant Secretary of State from 1905-07. In 1917, Frank moved to the Flathead Lake area and devoted himself to preserving the Old West in words and art. Along with his good friend, Charley Russell, he also worked tirelessly to obtain a homeland and treaty rights for the Cree and Chippewa. By the time of his death, in 1938, Frank had authored 13 books, produced 17 inspiring bronze sculptures, and the Rocky Boys Reservation had been established.
Mary Elling - $1,000
Mary Elling was born in Vermont in 1848. In 1868, her father moved his family to the Madison Valley of Montana; near Ennis. After working as a private teacher, in 1870, Mary became the bride of Henry Elling; a German immigrant. Henry prospered in the drug store and retail trades, banking, mine holdings, land acquisitions, and livestock enterprises. Mary supervised the building of their elegant home, raised their seven children, and was tireless volunteer in community activities. Mary enjoyed and loved to share the classics in literature with her children and their friends. She was also fond of social gatherings and the performing arts. After Henry’s death, she expanded the house to include a ballroom for social, musical, and cultural gatherings. Mary’s penchant for style was described in The Ties That Bind, as: “[she was] a grand lady who wore long kid gloves on formal occasions [and] had a gold buttonhook to fasten all the tiny, little buttons that graced her formal gloves.”