In 1889, a young spunky British woman of genteel upbringing set sail for the United States―against her family’s wishes. She traveled with a friend, Ewen Cameron, the man who later became her husband. They were bound for eastern Montana to hunt big game along the Yellowstone River, only thirteen years after the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The next fall the Camerons returned to England, packed up, and moved to Montana, where they lived for the rest of their lives. They first rented a ranch on the Powder River, among other British expatriates, to raise polo ponies for export to England. After years of limited success in the pony trade, they bought a small herd of cattle, settling into a more dependable existence of ranching and market gardens.
In her first biography, author Lorna Milne uses diaries and letters to reconstruct how Evelyn lived in the harsh eastern Montana landscape and how she became an extraordinary photographer. Evelyn may have been born in England, but through heart and temperament, she was a Westerner. She was resourceful, hard working, observant, artistic, adaptable. According to her contemporary, a traveling Englishwoman, Evelyn was described as “one of the great wonders of Montana.”