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Old 12-26-2006, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Great Falls, Montana
529 posts, read 1,299,115 times
Reputation: 225
Default Montana Myths & Legends

There is an old story about Montana that gets told every now and again about how Missoula, Kalispell and all points west of the great divide were supposed to be located in Idaho.

The debate goes back and forth, even to this day. (more folks need to visit the library of Congress)

Anyhow, the story goes like this......

Way back in the mid 1800's, government survey crews were sent out to survey parts of the Dakota territory, and parts of the Idaho territory, in order to create the Montana territory.

During the course of the survey, government crews presumably got lost or just forgot where they were and surveyed the wrong mountain range, thus giving the Montana territory much more of the Idaho territory than they were supposed to.

After many years of wondering about this, I decided to pay a visit to the library of Congress just to see for myself.

Well, it appears, from the records at the library of Congress, that our government survey crews did indeed goof up somewhere, because Congress had made it very clear that the long/lat and the Rocky mountain range (continental divide) was to be followed.

Instead, the Bitterroot range was followed, thus creating the Montana territory, and eventually, the 4th largest state by land mass in the union.

More folks in the late 1800's knew about this blunder than most do now however, and in our state constitution (1884, 1889), it is very well spelled out that "the state" be created using the "same boundaries" that the territory was created with. They had a choice... to follow the blunder, or to follow the long/lat that Congress prescribed originally..... Our state chose to stay with the blunder.
Thus, putting cities like Missoula, Kalispell, Libby, Hamilton and others, forever within the state boundary of Montana.

And to think........ If the Fed were paying attention (when do they ever??), points west of the continental divide could easily be in Idaho today, and not Montana.

(src= 38th Congress *session 1 May 26 1864)

note: the state constitution of 1884 was ratified but never approved by congress
the state constitution of 1889 was both ratified and approved by congress

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Old 12-27-2006, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Cody WY Off Of Belfry Hwy
719 posts, read 1,944,418 times
Reputation: 187
Thanks, that is really neat info
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:00 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,199 times
Reputation: 10
Thats Great info!!! =) I was born in Great Falls MT, and lived there 12 yrs. and i NEVER knew that. Thanks! :-D
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:59 PM
 
38 posts, read 68,522 times
Reputation: 34
Edgerton, Montana's first governor, succeeded in enlarging Montana. Idaho never saw it coming.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:38 PM
 
19 posts, read 20,321 times
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Based on the shape of Idaho, this story makes perfect sense...

Todd
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,296 posts, read 6,904,458 times
Reputation: 1922
Tho one might express regret at the outcome, depending on one's view of Missoula

Anyone have the full version of "A Tabloid History of Montana"?? Part one is here: http://www.mdt.mt.gov/photogallery/d...id_history.pdf
For some reason the subsequent parts never got posted, or maybe they don't exist??
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:00 AM
 
Location: a Montana state of mind...
271 posts, read 254,342 times
Reputation: 451
Great story! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,296 posts, read 6,904,458 times
Reputation: 1922
Default Modern Myths

This is the story of AQHA, who came riding out of the blizzard, on his camel, uphill both ways... did anyone mention why cowboys don't ride camels?? It's because when you get to the top of the mountain, you can't get back down!!
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:02 AM
 
152 posts, read 184,064 times
Reputation: 106
Could you imagine traveling from Kalispell to your state capital in Boise! I have a feeling the representation would not be so good.

If Oregon hadn't been a state for 30 years by the time of the formation of Montana, Idaho, and Washington, it would have been quite logical to have made an additional state that encompassed NW Washington, North Idaho, and Western Montana, and give Idaho a good portion of the East part Oregon.

It really is too bad that we can't force Western Washington and Western Oregon into a single state and still add another state or two East of the Cascades.
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,296 posts, read 6,904,458 times
Reputation: 1922
Quote:
Originally Posted by nature's cathedral View Post
Could you imagine traveling from Kalispell to your state capital in Boise! I have a feeling the representation would not be so good.
No worse than travelling from Miles City or Wolf Point to Helena

Or from Montana to Washington D.C.
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