Well shoot, up late looking for information. You might recall I told you of summers spent surveying and living on the Smith River down North of White Sulphur Springs, and being taken under the wings of a couple old-timers there. Looks like I first told you about him 6/10:
"Scotty was the name of the feller in the sheep wagon I mentioned. I was probably 13 when we got that place on Smith River in trade for surveying. It was only an acre, but sat on a hill overlooking Smith River. The reason we picked it is because it had a small natural rock arch with some petroglyphs and smoke patina.
Anyway, I made a deal with my dad (step-father) for an old camp trailer and got the guy I did the road work for, to level a little spot for my camper. When I got that set up I undertook to introduce myself to the locals who consisted of Scotty, the sheep wagon guy, and Mr. Cope, the one who went hunting his nephew and the guy splitting up the property and putting in the only road to the area.
Neither one of the old-timers were thrilled with developments. They'd both lived there a half mile apart for many years doing what good neighbors do, leave each other alone for the most part, but there if either needed help or occasional company. Both were kind to the kid that was me, as long as I understood the terms...don't be a pest.
Smith River was excellent fishing and my favorite deep hole was within sight of Scotty's wagon across the river, so if he was up to company, he'd come out and wave me across the river. Scotty was in his mid 70's then. A tiny little Scotsman who lived in the wagon during the summer and moved into his cabin a mile up river for the winter. Don't know why he didn't do the cabin all year, and no idea how he got that sheep wagon in there because there was no obvious road.
Scotty was in both world wars and had some kind of pension, and supplemented it with trapping. He was married to a gal in Great Falls, where his checks went, but only spent about a week at a time with her, twice a year when he walked out and hitched a ride. He was very self-sufficient and the only thing he bought were big bags of oats for his horse and his breakfast, that he kept in garbage barrels under the wagon. His only other company besides the horse was his old sheep dog and a USFS guy that would ride through occasionally to check on folks and maybe drop off mail if there was any.
The first time he invited me to dinner was a bit of an eye-opener. The wagon was surprisingly spacious inside, and I imagine set up the same as sheep wagons everywhere. Bed across the back, small stove by the door, a shelf or two and a small table. The canvas top was a double layered affair, which I discovered that night when a packrat found his way between the canvas and Scotty pulled out an old .308 and blew a hole right through both layers and the packrat. He was plagued with packrats and hated them with a passion.
I think Scotty really liked me because I always brought piles of old newspapers. He valued them not only for reading, but to use as a table cloth. Of course his belongings were simple, he only had a couple tin plates and a cup or two. His dish washing method consisted of letting the dog lick them clean, then he'd carefully spread a new piece of newspaper on the table and put the clean tinsels upside down so they didn't get dirty again.
He was ever so proud of his homemade "medicine", which was a vile tasting wild rhubarb wine, from a big patch of rhubarb he tended up by his cabin. He used it externally and internally in liberal doses. He was always worried about my health and would insist I drink it with him, though I never acquired a taste for it.
Don't know if you have ever been in the Smith River country, but the river itself, alternates with sheer cliff faces on one side of the river and opening on the opposite side. The mountains surrounding are full of caves, many of them former dwellings. It's obvious the area was heavily utilized because of all the petroglyphs in many of the caves. Scotty was a great resource in that, while he was too crippled to get to most of them on foot, he wasn't averse to pointing them out or telling me how to find them, along with what I might find in each one. Some of those places were really inaccessible and it's a wonder I'm here to talk about them today! I don't know how many times I climbed to a place, then was too afraid to come back down. I sometimes had to sit there 'till it was going to get dark on me before I worked up the courage to go for it."
Anyway, I started out on Google Earth trying to locate various spots, then came across a PDF of the rock art in the area and lo and behold, at the end of the paper, they mentioned Scotty with information I never had, his last name Allen. http://www.greerservices.com/Assets/publications_pdfs/2001MAS_SmithRiver/2001_MAS_SmithRivermg2r.pdf
It even has a couple photos of one of his garbage can caches!
Anyway, I undertook to search google for more info on Scotty and Mr. Cope and didn't come up with anything else. The PDF report mentioned a resource book, The Smith River Journal: A History from Lewis & Clark to 1979 (Cascade & Meagher Counties, Montana) the only one I can locate is on Amazon for $170 http://www.amazon.com/The-Smith-River-Journal-Counties/dp/B000BHCT06
Short of headed over that way and searching through second hand stores for another copy, I got to thinking maybe your librarian friend might be able to locate a library copy I could borrow through my library here or some other way. Would you mind very much inquiring for me when you think of it?
I wish I was more savvy in those days of the potential of oral histories, because both those gents were full of stories and local knowledge and didn't mind sharing with a curious whippersnapper. I wish I knew more about them.