Anyways, I decided to see if there wasn't any info on the Internet about the Orphan's Home, so I headed to Google searched for Twin Bridges Montana Orphan's Home. What I found was a website for the property owner of the now abandoned Children's Center. The main page had a bunch of pictures that cycled through like a slide show, so I saved a bunch of them to my hard drive (it was really helpful that they were labeled, so I knew a little bit of what I was seeing). Then I noticed that they had a history tab at the top, so I clicked on it. There I found a bunch of old photos from the 1930s and forward - staff photos it seemed mostly, and of the grounds from different points and at different times of the year. This was really interesting, to see the house as it would have looked to my great-grandma while she was there, and maybe some of the workers she knew.
But wait - there's more! They also had a group of buttons on this page, with a label that said "select era to see more photos", and one of the buttons was 1930! I went to that page, and found a whole slew of pictures - more pictures of the staff, but a lot of pictures of the kids in the orphanage, as well as pictures of the animals they had at the orphanage (who knew orphanages had animals???). Hope does spring eternal, so I went through all the pictures, hoping to find one or two of my great-grandma and/or her sisters. Sadly, there weren't any pictures of my family up there, but I did find one very interesting picture. They had a photo of Ruth Morris and Madeline Sabo, taken about 1935. Those names sounded familiar for some reason, so I went back to the census record for Grace and Elsie. Sure enough, they were on the same census page! Madeline is listed the next line down from Elsie, and Ruth is just a couple lines up from Grace. It kind of took me back for a minute, looking at these two young girls, who in all likelihood knew my great-grandma and her sisters. Were they friends? Did they fight? I don't know, but it's fun to think about. It also brought home that this was an orphanage, and (from what I read on the orphanage's website) some kids never got to leave, even died there. I'm glad that fate didn't befall my ancestors, but sad that it happened to people in other family trees.
So the wisdom I gained about my great-grandma's life - a view of the orphanage she lived in, more info about conditions and life there, and even a picture of some of her fellow 'inmates' (as the census refers to them) - was a lot more than I bargained for from what was meant to be a quick internet search. But that's what I love about genealogy - it's hard to find what you're looking for, but sometimes, you hit the jackpot.