Finding information about an unknown woman who lived in a rather unpopulated area at a time when records were erratically kept, was not an easy task. For instance, there was not even a record of Mattie's death. But Weber's determination to uncover this unknown life, to rescue it from obscurity drove her forward.— Susan Lang
After discovering Mattie's fenced grave in Yellowstone
National Park, author Nan Weber followed her own curiosities
through four years of research to trace the steps of this
mystery woman's spirited life. The result is the inspiring story of
a strong woman trying to better her life during difficult times.
Not unlike today, life for women in the nineteenth century
served up hearty challenges on a daily basis, though the burdens
of 100 plus years ago certainly were of a different flavor. Mattie:
A Woman's Journey West offers a taste of that life through the
story of Martha "Mattie" Shipley Culver, whose life passage
took her from her childhood in industrial new England and work
in the New York textile industry to her role as the wife of a
winter caretaker in Yellowstone National Park, where she died
and was buried in 1889, at the age of 32.