1721 Montana Avenue, Black Eagle, MT.
This exact location does not describe a building or simply an address, it is a home. Black Eagle came to be around 1885 when the site became the home of the Anaconda Company. Families from all over the world built their homes around the industry and back then called themselves “Little Chicago”, “Little Milwaukee” or “Burlingame”. I am a fourth generation Tabaracci to call Black Eagle home. It all started with Theodore Ranieri, father of my great grandmother Inez Tabaracci who built the original family home in 1910 which has now transformed into the 3D restaurant. Inez married Charles Tabaracci in 1911, he was an Anaconda Company worker. Out of 6 children, Emil Tabaracci born August 15, 1917 was my grandfather. Unfortunately, I was never able to meet my Tabaracci grandparents, but I hear wonderful stories of the things they did. My grandfather graduated from University of Montana with a degree in accounting and where he played football for three years and was co-captain of the team in 1939. He entered the military before World War II, serving with the rank of captain with the 8th Air Force in England where he met and married my grandmother, Margaret. The next generation would be that of my mother, Marlene Tabaracci; her identical twin Charlene Tabaracci; and her elder sister Lorrie Tabaracci. She was raised in this same home, that I too was raised and still today lives in the home. She married my father, Jeff Wohler, on December 1, 1990 and a year later on June 19,1991, I was born. So many memories live within the walls of my home with original belongings still sorted throughout the house, such as the original stained glass door. This book is my way of sorting through the memories and bringing the old together with the new. I focused on the generational changes of the community and our home and bringing in portraits of my family members that have grown to love the community of Black Eagle. Some objects or places are still eerily familiar while others are no longer in existence. My purpose behind this book was to study my family history and to make a project that would always allow me to remember where I came from as I move forward in this world.
Jordyn Wohler, June 2013
“After many months of difficult travel, the explorers made their way in to the Great Falls area. They noted an abundance of game, grizzly bear encounters and herds of ten-thousand buffalo. Upon reaching the last falls of the Missouri River, they described a high hill on the north and beautiful level plains on the south. ‘Below the falls at a little distance is a beautiful well-timbered island which is situated in the middle of the river. On this island on a cottonwood tree an Eagle has placed her nest; a more inaccessible spot she could not have found; for neither man nor beast dare pass those gulfs which separate her little domain from the shores.’…May 30, 1805, Captain Meriwether Lewis, from the Journals of Lewis and Clark.From this journal entry, Black Eagle Falls found it’s name. Nearly eighty years later another man, Paris Gibson, beholding that scene envisioned a location for industry with easily accessible resources of water, power and transportation. That dream was realized when the site became the home of the mighty Anaconda Company. Industry offered opportunity for those seeking a better life. They put their homes down, surrounded the Anaconda Company and called themselves ‘Little Chicago,’ and ‘Little Milwaukee’ and ‘Burlingame.’ When a post office opened, the settlements joined and adopted the name ‘Black Eagle’ in honor of the falls and the eagle described so vividly long ago.”
-From In the Shadow of the Big Stack
by the Black Eagle Community