Saturday, May 31, 2014

Geographical Names: The extreme importance of correct spelling

Only a few citizens currently living in Granite county know the historical significance of certain geographical landmarks. "Fuse" lake, "Maukey" gulch, "Stewart" gulch and lake, "Emerine" mountain and lookout, the "Port Royal" mine... these geographic features shown on current County, State, Federal and traveler maps have lost all relevance to the reason they were originally named. Over the past century, careless geography has produced maps with misspelled names and words taking the place of historically significant landmarks and terms.

Granite County Historical Society has been in contact with personnel at the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest office and thought we had a fast track to getting the spelling corrected. Unfortunately the upper levels of the bureaucracy caught up with our endeavors and we were told after submitting our documentation that the maps could not be corrected without going through the Board of Geographic Names for each individual name change and waiting for the process to determine if the change was of importance. At this point the effort has only been begun for one name, Fusz Lake. In the meantime we are documenting the evidence on this blog-site in the hopes people will start using the correct spelling. Perhaps this way we might see a little progress on seeing correct spelling when the next maps are published.

The following geographical named historical sites on current maps are misspelled:

1- Stuart Lake (2 spots) located at T7N,R13W,Section 9,10,16; Stuart Gulch located at T7N,R13W, Section 17,18,20. They are currently spelled Stewart. These sites are documented as Stuart on Mineral Survey No. 8810 for the Mary E. Lode mining claim of James H. Loomis filed in Helena, Montana on February 24, 1908 and in the Citizen Call  Newspaper on December 25, 1899 where it is stated that the Philipsburg Water was "...emptied into the water of Stuart Gulch." This spelling provides an accurate assumption that the geographic names were originally of historical significance to honor James Stuart, the co-founder of Philipsburg and his brother Granville, also important in Montana history.

2-Amerine Mountain located at T6N,R16W, Section 17; Amerine Spring located at T6N,R16W, Section 7; Amerine Gulch located at T6N, R16W, Section 23,26,33,34. Amerine is currently spelled Emerine on the maps. These sites are documented with the name of Amerine, an early homesteader in the late 1880's, at the base of the mountain that was referred to as Mt. Baldy at that time. Citations are in patent number 122507 of April 1, 1910 signed by President Taft; the New Northwest newspaper July 19, 1897; Philipsburg Mail, December 22, 1922 and April 9, 1926 Tough Trip Through Paradise, 1967, pg. 82-87; Domine, Mettle of Granite County, Book Two, pg.227 ,228-29, 257.

3-McKay Gulch located at T5N,R16W, Section 12 currently misspelled as Maukey Gulch. Documentation of the correct spelling is in The New Northwest, October 1, 1869; Montana DEQ Website 2014 under "Willow Creek Sub-district detailing the murders of John Hays, Amos Elliott and Bill Jory in McKay Gulch" (pg. 2 of 5 and 3 of 5) when speaking of the "Gold Price Mine". Some of the original prospectors in this gulch were James and Tom McKay.

4- Fusz Lake and Fusz Creek located at T6N, R17W, Section 27. Currently spelled Fuse. Documentation of the correct spelling is in the F.D. Brown Archives at the University of Montana in correspondence from Frank Brown to Paul A. Fusz, page 139 in a Letter Press Book, stating "...and that would mean  4 feet at the higher elevation of Fusz Lake." These sites were named for Paul A. Fusz an important person in the American Gem Mining Company and the Granite Bi-Metallic Mining Company.

5- Royal Mine located at T8N, R12W, Section 34 currently misspelled as Port Royal Mine. Documentation is on the Montana DEQ Website page 4 of 8 detailing the Royal Mine is on a small tributary of Boulder Creek about 5 miles from Princeton; Also numerous articles in the New Northwest, Philipsburg Mail and Citizen Call Newspapers from 1890 through 1941 that detail activities at the Royal Mine site.

The Historical Society asks that all Granite county citizens use the proper spelling of these names to promote the importance of the Map Maker's to correct these long standing errors.

No comments:

Post a Comment