Trail End

A Whole-House Exhibit at the Trail End State Historic Site
​April 2010 - December 2011

No Time For Boredom

Making the Most of Leisure Time in a Screenless Society

Detail, Judge Magazine, 1912 (Private Collection)

IN THE EARLY 20th Century, the vast majority of jobs at which men worked were physically demanding. Whether they tended furnaces, dug ditches, put up fence, built houses or mined coal, these men had to be in good condition to do their jobs.



CLASS DISTINCTIONS

Much of their leisure time was also spent in physical activity, usually ones that didn’t require a lot of monetary investment. Polo, tennis and golf, for example, were seen as rich men’s sports; one had to purchase special equipment, clothing or horses in order to participate. Wrestling and boxing, on the other hand, were favorite sports of the so-called “working class.” A man’s strength and endurance were the sole measures of success; he didn’t have to have money to prove he was the strongest.

Baseball was one of the few sports enjoyed by both rich and poor. Just as many accountants and teachers played baseball as did miners and soldiers. Each of the various mining communities sponsored a team, as did Fort Mackenzie and several local businesses. In the 1910s and '20s, Sheridan’s Twilight League featured a dozen or so teams that played not only among themselves, but against teams from Buffalo, Red Lodge and Billings as well.



KENDRICK FAMILY ACTIVITIES


Sports appealed to everyone in the Kendrick family. Unlike his sister and wife, Manville Kendrick was a sickly child; nevertheless, he grew up to become an excellent horseman. He also golfed and played tennis on Trail End’s grass court (located north of the Carriage House). John and Eula both rode horses and played the occasional round of golf, while their daughter-in-law was an accomplished shooter (during her years at Washington, D.C.’s Western High School, Diana was the only girl on the school’s award-winning rifle squad), tennis player, skier and horsewoman.

The real rider of the family, however, was Rosa-Maye. From her earliest days, Rosa-Maye loved horses and loved riding them. Born in Sheridan in 1897, she moved to the OW Ranch in southeastern Montana at the age of six weeks. Before her first birthday, she was riding across the open prairie, sitting on the saddle in front of her mother. When they moved to Sheridan, Rosa-Maye kept a riding horse in town; first at a livery stable just below the hill from Trail End and later in the Carriage House. 

After graduating from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1920, Rosa-Maye stayed in the area, working part-time for her father in his Senatorial offices. She also volunteered with the American Red Cross and the Junior League. She spent a great deal of her time, however, on the bridle paths of Washington’s Rock Creek Park. She was described by one newspaper as “a typical Western girl; an accomplished horsewoman.”



PHOTOGRAPHY & MOVIE-MAKING


Like thousands of Americans - and the women of her own family including her mother, grandmother and cousins - Rosa-Maye developed an interest in photography at an early age. Since the 1890s, when Eula Wulfjen Kendrick and her mother got their first Kodak cameras, the Kendricks and Wulfjens had been avid photographers. Fortunately for us today, they took their cameras with them everywhere.


With the slogan “You push the button, we do the rest,” George Eastman’s Kodak cameras – both the “Folding Pocket” model (1898) and the “Brownie” (1900) – found their way into countless American homes. A new type of photograph, the snapshot, was created. Unstudied and informal, these little images are the kind of photos the Kendricks took.

In 1927, John and Eula Kendrick invested in a home movie camera, which they took with them on an extended vacation to England and continental Europe. They seem to have gone everywhere! Moving images show Rosa-Maye riding a camel near the pyramids in Egypt, her parents drinking beer in Bavaria, John visiting a Scottish cattle operation, and all of them posing outside castle ruins in Ireland.

Sports & Hobbies

Rosa-Maye Kendrick at the Carriage House, 1915 (WSA Collection, TESHS)

 State Historic Site