These are personal notes which I use during group tour excursions throughout the Glacier-Waterton Int'l Peace Park area.

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This site is provided by Ted Amenta, Breckenridge Ski School ski instructor,
available for private ski instruction upon request.

Choteau (Pop. 1741, Elv. 3800)

-Egg mountain: Local rancher found dinosaur remains 1970.
-Paleontologist Jack Horner led excavation of site.
-Found that reptile dinosaurs nested eggs, suggests caring and
protecting role of mother.
-Today's reptiles most lay eggs and leave.
-Armatures allowed to dig supervised for $100/day.

-Old North Trail runs through, used by migrating natives 8,000 yr. ago.
-Old trail museum features dinosaur remains and prehistory artifacts.
-Named for Pierre Chouteau of American Fur Co.

Black Feet Indian Reservation

-Blackfeet migrated from north of great lakes around 1600.
-3 tribes: North Piegan, South Piegan, and Blood.
-Mostly southern settled here, others in Canada.
-Prior to getting horses from other tribes (Shoshone, Crow, etc.) drove
bison off cliffs.
-Horses and guns made much easier to hunt.
-Thousands killed by smallpox & scarlet fever.
-Reservation once much larger, now 1.5 million acres.

-Name origin: Man had vision telling of location of bison. Second vision
told of medicine with which he could paint eldest of three sons feet
black. Son could now out run bison, great hunter. Decedents now
blackfeet. Other son given medicine to paint lips red, Bloods. Third
son returned home with clothing of distant tribes, "far off clothing"
which whites translated as Piegan.
-Could also refer to blackness of feet after migration.

-Cut Bank: Named for river cutting through white clay of area.
-Oil and gas mining since 1930s.
-Pop. 3329, not all Blackfeet.

-Browning: Pop. 1170, Elv. 4462, headquarters of Blackfeet tribe.

Waterton Lakes Nat'l Park

-203 sq. mi.
-Part of Waterton Lakes-Glacier International Peace Park, established as a
sign of goodwill between two countries.
-10,000 yr. ago (end of last ice age) valley filled by huge glacier.
-Advanced down valley until hit Bear's hump (ridge overlooking town).
-As it melted it formed lakes and Moraines of area.

-Oil seepages caused "prospecting" which disrupted ecosystem and beauty
of area in early 1900s.
-Caused formation of Glacier in 1910, Waterton 1911, combo 1932.
-Prince of Wales Hotel built 1926.

-North for of flathead river forms the parks western boundary.
-Area of continuous struggle between environmentalists and fossil fuels
-1980s environmentalists prevented large open pit coal mine from being

Hungry Horse

-During severe winter of 1900 two logging draft horses (Tex & Jerry)
wandered off, found a month later near starvation.
-South fork of flathead river dammed in 1952.

Columbia Falls (Pop. 3000, Elv. 2960)

-No falls here.
-Built in 1890s as a division point of Great Northern R.R.
-Kalispell became actual division point, Columbia Falls over built.
-Now industrial center: Anaconda Aluminum (Smelting), Plumb Creek

Kalispell (Pop. 12000, Elv. 2930)

-Native for "prairie above the lake"
-Metropolitan center of NW Montana, flathead county seat.
-Center of "resortifacation" trend
-First built by Charles Conrad (freight kingpin) on a tip by Jim Hill
(Great Northern R.R.) on a tip that the R.R. would come through here.
-1891 R.R. did arrive.

Flathead lake

-28 miles long, 7 to 8 miles wide, up to 300 ft. deep, largest natural
freshwater lake west of Mississippi river.
-Result of glacier carving and terminal moraine at end.
-1809 first white arrived (David Thompson), led by natives.
-1810 began trapping with Jocko Finley (Scot-Indian).
-1891 first real settlers. Began growing cherries.
-Steamboats toured river late 1800s, early 1900s.
-1910 Homesteading, grew variety of fruit. Had been reservation land,
Dews Act allowed whites to settle.
-Natives allotted individual land, rest up for grabs.
-Now Kerr Dam regulates water level: 204 ft tall, built during
depression, opened 1939.
-Montana Power pays $9.4 million to natives to operate.

Flathead Indian Reservation

-65 by 35 miles.
-For Confederated Salish (flathead) and Kootenai Tribes.
-About 6500 members total, 3800 live on reservation.
-Flatheads live mostly in Arlee, Kootenai in Elmo.
-Mission Mountains tribal wilderness first reservation land in country
set aside as public preserve.
-Flatheads always friendly toward whites, threatened Nez Perce they
would defend whites if the came to valley. Lewis & Clark found

-Most Salish speaking tribes on west coast.
-Argument over whether ducks quacked with their beaks or wings.
-Wing quackers moved here.
-Spent much time hunting bison on eastern plains prior to Blackfeet
arrival in mid-1700s. Then stayed here.
-1855 Hell Gate Treaty formed reservation.
-1910 Dews act allowed white settlement. Now %80 white.

Polson (Pop. 2800, Elv. 2949)

-1880 first store built.
-1898 enough of a town to warrant post office.
-Named for David Polson, local rancher since 1870.
-Now business center for lake region.

St. Ignatius

-Home of Salish Cultural Committee, keep natives culture intact.
-National Bison Range established 1908 on fears bison would be extinct.
-Original herd purchased form Conrad ranching family.


-Longest running liquor license in MT @ Dixon Bar.


-Prior to Flatheads, Pend d'Oreille would practice vision quests at
nearby cliffs.

St Regis

-Named for Jesuit missionary, St. Regis De Borgia.

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Fun !Take a Lesson !

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