It’s a pleasure to be here at This Author’s Life. Thank you for having me!
The History Behind the Story: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gallagher’s Pride
By MK McClintock
Gallagher’s Pride is a complete work of fiction and though very few real places or events are
mentioned, there is still a history behind the story. These are tidbits I came across from my
research and where they may not all have a place in the book, the events are still a part of
the story’s foundation, even where I took some liberties. Not to mention history it was fun
to learn something new.
The fictional town of Briarwood, Montana is actually set in an area north of the real
city of Bozeman, originally platted in 1864, though mentioned in journals by William
Clark from his 1806 travels.
2. On the evening of December 26, 1881, the first Utah and Northern Union Pacific train
entered Butte, Montana; however in Gallagher’s Pride, the train doesn’t enter into
Butte, but rather it’s implied that the train went into Bozeman.
3. The Umbria and her sister ship the Etruria were the last two liners of the period to be
fitted with auxiliary sails. Umbria was built by John Elder & Co of Glasgow, Scotland
in 1884. They were the largest liners then in service and they plied the Liverpool to
New York route. Though a specific ship was not mentioned in Gallagher’s Pride for
Brenna’s crossing to America, it is possible she would have travelled on one of these
4. The first cattle operation in Montana was likely in or around 1850 and operated by
Johnny and James Grant whose ranch was sold to Conrad Kohrs in 1866 and later
sold and is now The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site near Deer Lodge,
Montana. The Gallagher’s ranch of the fictional Hawk’s Peak would have been
established in the 1860’s making them some of the earliest ranchers.
5. September 2, 1883 marked the last stagecoach run in Montana, but I took some
liberties with that in having the stagecoach run through October of 1883.
6. Brenna’s tutor mentioned early in the book was from London and she most likely
would have traveled from London to Edinburgh on the Flying Scotsman, an express
passenger train that ran between the two cities since 1862.
7. A couple of events in Gallagher’s Pride take the characters into some wilderness
areas of Montana. Geographically, those areas would now fall into modern day
Helena National Forest and Lolo National Forest, established in 1907 and 1906
8. In the story, the Gallagher’s used wood fencing on some of their borders though it
would have been more likely they would have run wire to cover such a great expanse
of acreage. Since I could find no evidence to suggest that wood fencing would have
been impossible or unheard of, I opted for that over wire. Overgrazing, drought and
the harsh winter of 1886-1887 helped to end the practice of open range in Montana.
9. The telegraph is an often used form of communication in Gallagher’s Pride.
November 2, 1866, the telegraph came to Montana. "Montana is no longer an
unknown Territory, hidden from the view of the country and the world by the Rocky
and Wind River Mountains, but is united with civilization," editor Henry Blake's of the
Montana Post. The telegraph survived 150 years.
10. What’s in a name? The surname Gallagher has a long Gaelic heritage and is the
anglicisation of the Irish surname Ó Gallchobhair meaning ‘foreign helper’. It is the
most common surname in Donegal, though the family was born in America.
Wow, such a fun post! It's always neat to get a peak into a fellow author's brain. Thanks again for sharing with us MK:)
Here's an excerpt from Gallaghers Pride
Are you out of your mind?” The words tumbled from her mouth before she could stop them,
but he had gone and truly shocked her.
“No actually I’m not. It’s your safety I’m thinking of,” replied Ethan, more to himself than
her. He loosened the hold on her arm.
Brenna let out an exasperated sigh, something her mother had always tried to
discourage, and said, “I do appreciate your kindness, Mr. Gallagher...”
“…Ethan, but I’m certainly not the type of woman to just go home with two men whether I
know them or not. It would be highly inappropriate, not to mention stupid.”
“And you’re not stupid.”
“Not as far as I can tell,” Brenna said with fire in her eyes. She rarely ever took offense at
what people said, too comfortable in her own skin to care, but this man riled her and he did it
Amazon ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Gallaghers-Pride-Gallagher-Series-ebook/dp/B006ZOSVFG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1329260704&sr=8-2