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Located at an altitude of 2,400 feet, nestled in a valley that has some of the most spectacular mountain views of north western Montana and along the banks of the Clark Fork River, lays our charming community with deep roots and history. The Clark Fork River provides a scenic playground for fishing, boating and varieties of water recreation.
In the early 1800's various Indian Tribes camped and wintered their horses on the abundant natural grass in thePlains Valley. The Indians called Plains, "Horse Plains" or"Horse Prairie" and it was at time referred to as "Wild Horse Plains". The name was later shortened to "Plains" when the US Postal Service established a presence in 1905.
The First permanent white settlers came in about 1867 and with the arrival of the railroad in 1881-1883 the town of Horse Plains really increased and the people settled in to stay.
Stone Jail - September 20, 1900 Local News: Board of County Commissioners ordered a stone jail to be built in Plains and Thompson Falls, the citizens of each place agreeing to furnish the necessary rock and sand.
photo submitted by Deb Warren
Pat's Knob (Patrick's Knob) - John W. Patrick was probably the third white man to settle in "Horse Plains" in the spring of 1869. He operated a ferry at the point of the Clark Fork River for the accommodation of pack trains carrying provisions and clothing. On one occasion, the boss of a pack train remarked to Mr. Patrick, "That yonder mountain seems very high!". Patrick's response was, "Oh that's only a little knob." From that time on, the mountain south of Plains has been known as Patrick's Knob.
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