South of Havre there is a mountain range with peaks and buttes that rise to the sky.
They have provided food, rest and tranquility to people for centuries.
But there is no tranquility among local historians and nature lovers on one topic:
What is the name of these mountains?
"The Bear's Paw Mountains," said Gary Wilson, an author of several books on Montana history.
"The Bear Paws, that's what everybody says," according to Rob Lucke, who has written countless articles on north-central Montana history.
"I teach the Bear Paw Mountains," said Jim Magera, a long-time history teacher and local history buff.
At least in some historical documents, the range was once referred to as the Bearpaws.
"It doesn't matter to me, I just call them home," said State Sen. Jonathan Windy, D-Box Elder, who lives on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, nestled in the middle of the mountains.
For centuries, Magera said, Native Americans called them the Mountains of the Bear.
Lewis and Clark called them the North Mountains, he said.
But Wilson points to the map approved by the Montana Territorial Legislature in 1865, which called them the Bear's Paw Mountains.
The dispute has raged for a long time. Sometimes it's a good-hearted debate, but people have spray-painted "Bear's Paw" road signs so they read "Bear Paws," Wilson said.
He said he was in the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce office when a person came in and raucously complained that the Chamber's material referred to the mountains as "the Bear's Paw Mountains."
Lucke said that though the name Bear's Paw may be historically accurate, most people today refer to them as the Bear Paw Mountains or Bear Paws, and newspapers and community organizations ought to follow suit.
"That's what the community calls them" he said. "That's what you ought to do."
One legend is that Native Americans were camped along Box Elder Creek, maybe in the winter, when one tribal member went into the hills to look for a deer because the tribe was hungry, historian Toni Hagener said.
The Indian got a deer and was carrying it back to the camp when a giant grizzly bear attacked him and pinned him to the ground. The Indian prayed, asking the Great Spirit to tell the bear to free him.
The Great Spirit three times asked the bear to free the hunter, but the bear refused.
Angered, the Great Spirit then severed the bear's paw. The tribe thereafter called the mountains the Bear's Paw Mountains.
There are variations of the story. Some insist that it was a Cree hunter, while Hagener said it isn't possible to know for sure.
And there are other legends.
Windy Boy said Centennial Butte looks like a bear hunched over on the Plains, and that some believe that is the origin of the names.
Roberta Carkeek Cheney, an early Montana historian, in "Names and Faces of Montana," said the name came because people stood atop one of the tallest buttes, looked out at the mountain range and said "it looks like a bear's paw spread over the prairie."
While this debate seems widespread enough, the name of the mountains is just one of many disputes about Hill County history, the historians agreed.
The Marias River was named Maria's River for Meriweather Lewis' niece, Maria. Over the years, the apostrophe was removed, and the accent of the name was changed, Wilson said.
And Magara said stories about how Havre got its name are probably wrong — such as the rumor that someone spun a globe and pointed a finger at Le Havre, France. He said that the city was never called Bullhook Bottoms.
Wilson said the debate about the mountain range will probably continue on without resolution.
"In the end, people can call it whatever they want," he said.
Hagener said over the last 100 years, the name of the mountains have varied in newspapers, government documents and even road signs.
She speculated that the apostrophe in Bear's Paw was dropped because printing presses had a difficult time replicating an apostrophe.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going to fight about it," she said.
Just the same, she predicted, other people will be willing to fight.
"People feel strongly about this," she said. "You'll get response to this article."
Tell us what you think
What should the Havre Daily call the mountains in its news stories?
• Bear's Paw Mountains
• Bear Paw Mountains
• Bear Paws Mountains
• Bears Paws Mountains
• Who cares? Just go out and enjoy them.
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