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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Missoula in Missoula County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Name That River

Captain Lewis in the Missoula Valley

 
 
Name That River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
1. Name That River Marker
Inscription. Long before railroads and highways, rivers were the lifelines of travel and trade. The Lewis and Clark Expedition named and described hundreds of rivers as they mapped their way west.
While the expedition camped about 10 miles south of here, Captain Lewis sent two men to investigate a rumored shortcut to the Missouri River. On September 10th, 1805, he wrote:

"... I sent out all the hunters and directed two of them to proceed down the river as far as it's junction with the Eastern fork... this fork of the river we determined to name the Valley plain river."

This is the first known written reference to the confluence of today's Clark Fork and Bitterroot Rivers in the Missoula Valley.
Lewis and Clark first named today's Bitterroot River the "Flathead River" after their mistaken name for the local Salish Indians, but within a few days they renamed it Clark's River.

(sidebar on right:)
After Lewis & Clark

The "Eastern fork" or "Valley plain river" that Captain Lewis named over 200 years ago, flows right through Missoula's downtown. The river was named at least eight more times, including the Arrow Stone River, Hell Gate River, and the Missoula River. Today, it is called the Clark Fork (of the Columbia River), and its waters travel
Name That River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 11, 2018
2. Name That River Marker
Marker on the left.
over 1,300 miles - from the Continental Divide in Montana to the Pacific Ocean.
On February 6, 1812, British explorer, map-maker and fur-trader David Thompson named this valley after the Indian word: "Nemissoolatako," If you take away a few letters you will see the word - "missoola."
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
 
Location. 46° 52.14′ N, 113° 59.814′ W. Marker is in Missoula, Montana, in Missoula County. Marker can be reached from Carousel Drive near South Higgins Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 123 Carousel Drive, Missoula MT 59802, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Shortcut (here, next to this marker); Northwest Passage (here, next to this marker); Danger Ahead! (here, next to this marker); Free Speech Corner (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Missoula (approx. 3.4 miles away); Fort Missoula, Montana (approx. 3.4 miles away); Fort Missoula Post Headquarters (approx. 3˝ miles away); T-1 Post Headquarters (approx. 3˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Missoula.
 
More about this marker. This marker is in Caras Park on Riverfront Trail, opposite Brennan's Wave.
 
Categories. ExplorationWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 16, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 16, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 16, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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