MOUNTAIN MAN MEMES!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: May 5, 2024

Montana was the destination for many a Mountain Man. Whether they were shooting Buffalo on the plains or trapping Beavers on the Musselshell, Montana was the place to be. Ironically many newcomers still want to make Big Sky Country their new mountain home. 

John Colter found Yellowstone Park. The boiling waters and mud, spewing geysers, and amazing beauty was part of the many Mountain Man stories. The Yellowstone area was nicknamed “Colters Hell”.

Many Mountain Men ended up with some unique and crazy names. Today we would make memes of these pioneering legends. Everyone seems to know the story of Jerimiah Johnson. After making enemies of the Crow Indians, his new name became “Liver Eating Johnson.” When he killed a Crow Indian, that was hunting him, he would roast their livers over a fire and feast. The Indians had killed his family, and he was out for revenge. 

Montana’s Mountain Men came from other places. They were looking for fur and adventure. Civil War veterans, ex-slaves, unhappy immigrants, and folks looking for a chance to be alone, became Mountain Men. 

Jim Bridger was also known as “Hump” due to a large goiter that grew on his neck. Yellowstone Kelly was a Scout and mountain man that was named after the river that he explored. Harris Moses was an escaped slave, and mountain man, that was also called “Black Harris” or “Black Squire”. “Hatchet Jack” was good at throwing an axe and was partial to his Hawken Rifle. His character was found dead, “Killed by a Grizz”, in the movie about Jerimiah Johnson. “Bloody Dick” lived near Dillon, MT. where a stream is named after him. “California Joe” was a scout for Custer. He had never been to California but wanted to go there. “Grizzly Adams” was a real bear killing Mountain Man. Later an actor used his name for a popular tv show. 

Other mountain men were named after deeds, scars, or stories that made them a legend. My name was given to me by my students. I kept a flag of Montana in my Maryland classroom and often talked about my summers spent guiding, fishing, and exploring Montana. Eventually, after retiring from education, my family and I made Montana our forever home. 

Montana Grant


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