The Year We Were Famous: Helga and Clara Estby's Walk across a Changing America

The Year We Were Famous: Helga and Clara Estby's Walk across a Changing America

by Carole Estby Dagg

Paperback(Revised ed.)

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THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS is based on the true story of Clara and her suffragist mother, Helga Estby, who walked 4,000 miles from their farm in Mica Creek Washington, to New York City in 1896 in a heroic attempt to win $10,000 that would save the family's farm and prove women could do it.

Equipped only with satchels containing compass and maps, first-aid supplies, journals, pistol, and a curling iron, they headed east along the railroad tracks. In two hundred thirty-two days, they wore out thirty-two pairs of shoes, crossed mountains, deserts, and plains, and survived a highwayman attack, flash flood, blizzards, and days without food and water. For a year, they were famous as they met governors and mayors, camped with Indians, and visited the new president-elect, William McKinley.

They intended to write a book about their adventures, but because of the way their trip ended, their journals were burned. Fortunately, newspapers across the country reported on their travels, and THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS is based on those articles, with imagination filling the gaps between known facts.

THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS won the Will Rogers Medallion, the Willa award from Women Writing the West, was selected by the American Library Association for its 2012 Amelia Bloomer List of Best Feminist Fiction, and won the Sue Alexander Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

For more background on THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS, book trailer, and discussion guide, visit the author's website at

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781737626305
Publisher: Carole Lee Dagg
Publication date: 10/15/2021
Edition description: Revised ed.
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Before writing, Carole worked as an accountant and children's librarian. She writes under the supervision of a bossy cat at her father's old desk in Everett, Washington and in a converted woodshed on San Juan Island.She imagined how disappointed Clara must have been to be denied the chance to write a book about her heroic trek with her mother across the country. The Year We Were Famous is an imagined recreation of the book that did not get written over one hundred years ago. For more information, visit Carole's website at There you'll find more about the author, a book trailer, and a curriculum discussion guide to further explore the lives of real-life Clara and her suffragist mother, Helga Estby.

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