Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Creating Fiction from History: 8/24/2022

Tomas and Sylvia Svoboda had just recently arrived in America. They had sailed aboard the sail steamship City of Adelaide from the Port of Shanghai to San Fransisco. Being a distant member of the Bohemian royal family, newlywed Tomas was now near the end of a whirlwind world tour with his new wife. Having passed over many dangerous usually very rough roads through Europe and Asia, the Svobodas finally arrived in Shanghai on April 9th, 1893. After roughly a month at sea, the semi-royal couple finally set foot on solid ground in San Francisco on May 17th. After touring the old city, Tomas and Sylvia made their way over land and water (mostly land, though) to their present location in Colorado.

Both natives of what is now known as the Czech Republic, Tomas and Sylvia had been joined in holy matrimony under the approving eyes of both their families and the monarchy, who also acknowledged their distant kinship. At the time of this possible story, although now a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, their native land was still known as the Kingdom of Bohemia. Francis Joseph the 1st, nephew of Ferdinand the 5th, had indeed blessed their nuptials Himself.

Having heard about the now-famous Grand Canyon in America, Tomas and Sylvia had determined to make this one of their stops along the way. After a short tour there, they moved on through northeastern Arizona Territory, unwittingly crossing the area that would become known as Four Corners on July 1st, 1894. There is much more to their possible story, fraught with hardship, but time and space will not allow. We will thus suffice to report that, after almost two years, the Svobodas finally returned to their own familiar shores. The attached photograph might picture the weary world travelers as they neared the end of their journey.

If you would like to create fiction from history with one of the museum's photos, please contact the Ledger at (406) 287-5301 or email


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