Blanche Hamel, Flore Hamel, and Edmond Hamel Interview, March 31, 1976


Ethel MacDonald and Barbara Frey



Download Audio Interview (76.8 MB)

Download Transcript of Blanch, Flore, and Edmond Hamel Interview (382 KB)


Blanche and Flora Hamel talk about the Western Hotel in Frenchtown, Montana, which their parents owned during the late 1800s and early 1900s. They describe the social events that occurred at the hotel as well as its size and the number of community businesses that were housed in the building. All three interviewees reminisce about the historic streets, buildings, and businesses that were established in Frenchtown during the turn of the 20th century and how those landmarks had changed by the 1970s. They recall some of the first homesteaders in the Frenchtown area including the LaJeunesses. They also describe the annual St. John’s Day celebration which attracted about 3,000 people from all over western Montana including Butte, Deerlodge, and Anaconda. All three describe some of their childhood memories which include witnessing the fire of 1899, irrigating their land by diverting water from Mill Creek, and getting ice for their ice house at the mill pond.

Only a partial transcript of the interview exists because the audio quality is very poor.


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Document Type

Oral History


Frenchtown, Montana; Western Hotel, Montana; St. John’s Day; St. John’s Society; LaJeunesse family; Mill Creek

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Frenchtown Historical Society Oral History Project, OH 047, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 047-005

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (15 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:00:24 minutes

Local Filename


Blanche Hamel, Flore Hamel, and Edmond Hamel Interview, March 31, 1976