In June, 1979 the descendants of Howard and Marie Haines held the first family
reunion at the homestead with seventy-five members and friends attending. It has
been an annual event since then, with as few as fourteen family members attending
(1987), to as many as one hundred and three (2013).
It is always a riot of color, with campers, tents and motorhomes spread out up and
down the draw by the homestead cabin. Meals are usually pot-luck style, with everyone
contributing a dish or two. No one ever goes hungry. In the early years meals were
taken at picnic tables in the cabin yard, but it was a bit congested there. In 2001
Helen Smith contributed a huge gazebo-type shelter which is set up in the open
area near the cabin. It serves as a shaded central gathering spot for eating and socializing.
For the younger set activities abound. The granite cliff and rocks behind the cabin
have provided fun and adventure for four generations of Haines children and it continues
today. The kids also spend hours on end sleigh
riding down the grassy hill in front of the cabin on pieces of cardboard. For several years Bruce
St. George provided a 100 gallon tank of water for the reunion weekend. The
youngsters had a nearly inexhaustible supply of ammuntion for their water guns and
spray bottles and they put them to good use on each other (and a few adults).
Since the formation of the LLC the annual company meeting has been held on Saturday
afternoon, with the LLC manager Don Petersen presiding. He presents the financial
report for the previous year, the business plan for the current year, and other items
For many years Kevin and Michele St. George had a very popular Saturday evening
tradition of hanging a pinata from a tree, blindfolding the kids, and letting them
take turns beating on it until it breaks and strews goodies hither and yon. It was
later expanded to include a pinata (filled with mini-bottles of liquor) for the adults.
Which also proved to be very popular.
Bonfires, guitar playing, and sing-a-longs were a staple of the reunion for many years, but the fire hazard
became too great, so they are now just a fond memory.
If anyone has reunion photos they would like to display,
please e-mail to
Gary Baker, or US Mail to:
20 Heather Dr
Billings, MT 59105
Photos sent by US Mail will be scanned and returned.