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Sweet Pea Carnival photo album, circa 1920s-1930s
Overview of the Collection
- Schlechten, Alfred, 1877-1970; Schlechten, Albert, 1876-1962
- Sweet Pea Carnival photo album
- circa 1920s-1930s (inclusive)19201939
- .20 linear feet, (in one half manuscript box)
- Collection Number
- The Bozeman Sweet Pea Carnival Album features photographs of the 1907 Sweet Pea Carnival in Bozeman, Montana. The first portion of the scrapbook contains photographs of the carnival taken by noted Bozeman photographers Albert and Alfred Schlechten. These photos feature images of carnival floats and scenes of the Sweet Pea parade on Main Street in downtown Bozeman. The end of the scrapbook contains personal photos that appear to be unrelated to the festival and were taken circa 1920s-1930s. They likely belonged to Louise Bratvold who owned the photo album. The Sweet Pea Carnival was an annual celebration that was established by the Bozeman Commercial Club (now the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce) in 1906 and continued until World War I. It was characterized by a day-long summer event of people, vehicles, and animals decorated in sweet pea flowers.
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.
Historical NoteReturn to Top
The Sweet Pea Carnival was established by the Bozeman Commercial Club (now the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce) in 1906 to attract a sugar beet processing plant to the city of Bozeman. The Commercial Club chose the sweet pea as the focus of the carnival after seeing the flowers growing abundantly around the community. Although the sugar beet plant eventually chose Billings as its location, Bozeman continued to host the carnival until World War I. It was revived in 1978 as the Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts, an annual three-day event celebrating local music, theater, dance, and visual arts.
Albert and Alfred Schlechten, whose photographs of the 1907 Sweet Pea Carnival are included in the album, were prominent photographers in the town of Bozeman. They ran the Schlechten Brothers photography studio in Bozeman from 1900-1910. Albert Schlechten (1876-1962), the eldest brother specialized in landscape photography, while Alfred Schlechten (1877-1970) was more skilled as a portrait photographer. Although their photographs were often credited simply as "Schlechten," the type of scene depicted in their work serves as a useful indicator of which brother took the photo.
Louise (Huppie) Bratvold (1910-1989), who owned the photo album, was born in Lewistown, Montana in 1910. She married William F. Gregory in 1927 and the couple had one daughter. The marriage ended in divorce, and she married J.R. Johns of Lewistown in 1929. That marriage ended as well, and she married Oscar Marcus Bratvold in 1932. Although her marriage to Oscar Bratvold lasted less than a year, she retained the last name Bratvold until she married Boles Sinkovitz in 1948. She ran a cafe called Louise's Cafe in Bozeman and later moved to California. Louise Sinkovitz died in Anaheim, California in 1989.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The Bozeman Sweet Pea Carnival Album features photographs of the 1907 Sweet Pea Carnival in Bozeman, Montana. The first portion of the scrapbook contains photographs of the carnival taken by noted Bozeman photographers Albert and Alfred Schlechten. These photographs feature men, women and children who participated in the festival. The photos predominantly depict parade floats, which consisted of decorated cars and wagons. The vehicles were decorated with an array of flowers, while the people riding on the floats are depicted wearing white dresses or suits. In many photos the horses pulling the wagons were also decorated in flowers or decorative woven netting. Some of the photos depict children who were pulled in smaller wagons by goats or sheep. Images depict individual cars or floats, while others depict scenes of the Sweet Pea parade on Main Street in downtown Bozeman.
The back of the scrapbook contains personal photos that appear to be unrelated to the festival and were likely taken circa 1920s and 1930s. These photos likely belonged to Louise Bratvold who owned the scrapbook. A typed label on the inside cover of the album indicated that Bratvold loaned the scrapbook to a "Historical Committee" in 1944. The photos depict friends and family members, often identified by only first names or nicknames in several places throughout Montana. Several photos were taken in Shelby, and one appears to have been taken in Moccasin.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Carnivals--Montana--Bozeman (Mont.)
- Flower festivals
- Flower festivals--Montana--Bozeman (Mont.)
- Sweet Pea Carnival (Bozeman, Mont.)
- Bozeman (Mont.)
- Montana-- Bozeman (Mont.)
Form or Genre Terms