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Woman recreating trip her great-great-grandfather took 128 years ago, including stop in Bozeman

"As I go along, I find myself thinking, how did they do this on a bicycle,” said Amanda. "They had to forge mountains, streams and lakes, but they made it.”
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Posted at 6:49 PM, Jul 01, 2024

BOZEMAN — A lot has changed since the year 1896, but one woman is keeping the past alive by recreating the same journey her great-great-grandfather embarked on over a century ago—which happened to pass through Bozeman.

“Every once in a while, my papa would mention this story that my great-great grandfather, Arthur, had taken this bicycle trip with a friend from Seattle to Boston,” said Amanda Turner.

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Turner is following in her great-great grandfather’s footsteps, literally.

“When I go to recreate a picture, as long as I line it up just right, I’m standing in the exact place where he stood,” said Amanda. “It kind of felt like looking through a portal in time.”

In 1896, Amanda’s great-great-grandfather Arthur Lincoln Turner traveled across the country on his bicycle with one of the very first portable cameras.

From Seattle, Washington to Boston, Massachusetts, Arthur traveled while photographing the sights he’d seen, like Old Faithful, the Yellowstone River, and much more.

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Amanda, a fellow photographer, thought one day, “How cool would it be to go they went, see what they saw, and recreate those pictures."

So, she hit the road in her Jeep—instead of a bicycle, of course.

"As I go along, I find myself thinking, how did they do this on a bicycle,” said Amanda. "They had to forge mountains, streams, and lakes, but they made it.”

Amanda even found the same model of camera her great-great-grandfather used on this trip.

“It’s a Kodak No. 2 Bullseye,” said Amanda.

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She says even though the world looks different through a camera lens than it did 128 years ago—

“The throughlines are there so strong,” said Amanda, “just all these little coincidences.”

Like finding out the inn she was staying at for the night in Washington was once a pharmacy where her great-great-grandfather worked.

“I turn 31 years old on this trip and I learned through my research that my great-great-grandfather was also 31 when he did the trip,” said Amanda. “It’s been fun exploring this connection with him.”

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Amanda Turner

Once Amanda completes her trip, she plans on making a coffee table book featuring photographs, newspaper clippings, and diary entries from Arthur's journey, incorporating the stories of his journey with hers.

“It’s helped me understand myself better,” said Amanda.

She encourages others to dive into stories of the past and life experiences that came before you.

“Just do what you can,” said Amanda. “Reading about the time period, the context of which your family lived, really learn about their character,” said Amanda. “I've learned a lot along the way.”

Amanda still has quite a way to go before her journey ends in Boston. You can follow along with her on the trip by visiting her Instagram page.