Four generations: one family
Jim Carrig roping with Swede
Montana Bones is fond of saying that we are four generations of one family working together. This post will kick off a series to meet that cast of characters. Let’s start at the top: Jim Carrig.
Jim’s ranch manager career spanned over 40 years and had many notable posts, including the N Bar and Snowcrest Ranches. He’s seen a lot of history in the making from his early days in Butte, to riding saddle broncs and bareback for the first Rodeo Team at Montana State University (then Montana College) and winning the College Nationals for bareback in California at the Cow Palace in the late 1940’s. His common sense range management reached from Montana and into Wyoming and South Dakota.
Jim Carrig at a grandchild's wedding in Helena, with his true sweetheart June. The family wedding overlapped their 50th wedding anniversary celebration week June 2002.
His leather work today is done in an octagon shaped house he designed and built. While he’s slowed down a bit in his late 80’s, he still rides occasionally and is an incredible wealth of ranching knowledge, Montana history, and funny stories about cooks and ranch hands from the old days. His five children, including Kathy Carrig Holzer, have quite the creative touch as well and are also steeped in agriculture.
Jim has quite a fan club including his neighbors, kids, and grandkids. His great grandkids love learning about leather tooling in his workshop on the second story of his log home in Bozeman. His stories are on record at the Montana Historical Society in Helena.
Montana Bones sells Jim’s beautiful leather work: belts, eyeglasses cases, bridles and various handy items, each reflecting his talent and practicality. Jim sets the bar high for this family but is always quick to give a hug and crack a joke with old and new friends alike. Montana Bone’s motto is a nod to Jim: the real deal.
Jim in his leather shop. Photo credit: Lynn Donaldson
Jim's leather creations. Photo credit: Floating Leaf Studios