By Jim Harmon/Missoula Current

OK, it’s time to play: “Name That Place,” a game show testing your knowledge of local landmarks – but offering absolutely no cash, no prizes, no trips to exotic places, not a thing – except perhaps bragging rights. Here we go!

1. Just south of Missoula, it’s a mountain named for the founder of the University of Montana School of Journalism.

Mystery photo - Archives & Special Collections, The University of Montana
Mystery photo - Archives & Special Collections, The University of Montana

2. A creek and a peak named after followers of a certain faith.

3. West of Missoula, it was named by settlers Baptiste Ducharme and Louis Brown.

4. A nearby lake and a river named after migratory birds.

Photo - Mystery River
Photo - Mystery River

5. Southwest of Missoula (under the right weather and light conditions) it appears a certain color.

6. North of Missoula, it’s named for Jacques ("Jocko") Raphael Flnley, a trader and trapper for the Northwest Fur Company.

7. Once used as the water supply for the city of Missoula, this creek was named after a deadly serpent.

8. Two mountains: one named after a circus animal and a neighboring mountain used as an observation point.

Morton J. Elrod Photo 1904
Morton J. Elrod Photo 1904

9. A small community near Missoula named by R.S. Ashby, a Virginian, for a prominent river back East.

10. Two area creeks named after the same man – but spelled differently.

The histories of the places named above (and many more) are available online, through the research of Don Bert Omindson in his "Study of Place Names in Missoula County, Montana" (Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers, 3727) at Montana State University, Missoula in 1961.

Now, to the answers!

1. Arthur L. Stone, a well-known Montana journalist, working for The Anaconda Standard, and later editor of the Missoulian, established the journalism school at The University of Montana. Dean Stone Mountain, named after him, today sports antennas for TV broadcasts and other communications.

Dean Arthur L. Stone - photo circa 1915 UM Archives
Dean Arthur L. Stone - photo circa 1915 UM Archives

2. Mormon Creek and Mormon Peak.

3. Frenchtown.

4. Swan.

5. Blue Mountain.

6. Jocko.

7. Rattlesnake Creek.

8. Mounts Jumbo and Sentinel.

9. Potomac.

10. Pattee Creek and Petty Creek, as well as Pattee Canyon, were named after David Pattee, who homesteaded the Pattee Canyon area in 1871.

How did you do? 100%, I’m sure.

No tests next week – I promise.

Jim Harmon is a longtime Missoula news broadcaster, now retired, who writes a weekly history column for Missoula Current. You can contact Jim at His best-selling book, “The Sneakin’est Man That Ever Was,” a collection of 46 vignettes of Western Montana history, is available at

More From Missoula Current