They are the Bear Paw Mountains


South of Havre and Chinook are a grand set of mountains that provide entertainment and inspiration to area residents and visitors.

They are called the Bear Paw Mountains. At least in the Havre Daily News they will be.

That was a result of the Facebook/ survey we conducted over the last week.

People felt very passionate about the name of the mountains.

One historian who believed the name should be the Bear's Paw Mountains was criticized by one caller.

"He says 'it's history,' but it is 'his story,'" complained the caller.

Several people insisted that the name has always been the way they want it.

Several people brought in copies of old maps that upheld their contention, and those old maps don't agree. Some called the range Bear's Paw, others Bear Paw Mountains.

In fact, a tiny community in southeast Blaine County has had several spellings of the name through the years. Some insist that it was called Bear's Paw initially, but changed to Bear Paw after a post office was established. But one old map brought in by a reader showed it as "Bearpaw."

But the readers are right. From here on it, it will be Bear Paw Mountains on the pages of the Havre Daily News.

Some of the comments:

Dick Lund: "The Mountains south of Havre should be referred to as the Bear Paws since that is what they are called locally.

"This would follow the manner in which the people of the state of Nevaaada refer to their state rather than Nevawda (from Sierra Nevada) that outsiders call it."

Steve Pierson: "I refer to them as the Bear Paw Mountains, but when its the weekend, and everyone wants to head out there, its the "Bear Paws."

Mikel Molyneaux: "I have always known them as Bear's Paw Mountains. I was told once that from the air they look like a bear's paw and that is how they got their name. I also like the choice, who cares go out and enjoy them."

John Bauer: "Make up a new legend, and call them Bear's Pause."

Thanks to the nearly 125 people who took part in the survey.


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