top of page

Libby area history:

The first white men recorded in the Libby area were explorers and trappers. One of the earliest was David Thompson from Canada. In the early 1800s, the Northwest Company in Canada employed him to explore, trap, and map the Kootenai River. The river begins in Canada, makes a large loop into the now present USA, and then back up into Canada. When the group arrived at the Kootenai Falls, they had to portage their canoes around the turbulent falls. It is interesting to note; I mention Kootenai Falls and David Thompson in my book, #Chinook: King of the North, also in the present day, the movie, "River Wild," was filmed at this location. Several forts were established along the river, however, all remnants have since vanished.

Gold was first discovered in October of 1889 at the now-defunct Snowshoe Mine in the Cabinet Mountains. Though it was the area's largest mine, miners still used horses and mules to pull the loads to town up until the mine closed. A realistic replica of that mine is at the Heritage Museum in Libby, Montana.

Wolf Facts from the US Dept of Wildlife:

Wolves are wild animals and can be dangerous if encountered in the wild. Agressive behavior is rare, however, many factors can come into play. Such as; rabies or other sicknesses, protecting their young, injury, or if cornered.

Be alert in wolf habitat. Never walk alone, never feed a wolf, keep dogs on leash, never leave small children unattended. Make noise while hiking. Wolves may become habituated to humans by frequent contact or feeding and thus become a danger.

If a wolf appears threatening: Face it, stand back to back (if two people), stand tall, wave your arms, yell and throw sticks or rocks at the wolf. Much like you would a Mountain Lion.

That's all for this month. Please note that I will not be posting a blog for May and June. Also if you no longer want these monthly blogs, please let me know at, and I will take you off the list.

**Special Note: If you haven't left a review of my book on Amazon yet, please consider writing a review. It would mean a lot to me. That's how I get ranked on Amazon. Thanks!


p.j. Wesley

6 views0 comments
  • Writer's pictureP. J. Wesley

Hi everyone!

I hope you all are doing well. I can't wait till springtime and no more ice! I can deal with the snow, but the ice is a different story, for sure.

Now, for a little history about the Kootenai Indians. If you read my book you will remember that Lone Eagle was from the Kootenai tribe. The Kootenai (Kootenay) bands called Montana, Idaho, and British Columbia home, along the shores of the Kootenai River for many years. It is not known exactly for how long. Although they never settled permanently in the Libby area, they frequented the area for its abundant hunting, fishing. They also received spiritual solace at the Kootenai Falls, a sacred place, and sought out a special stone, used for their ceremonial pipes.

This special stone was of extreme importance and was excavated in a particular area of Libby called Pipe Creek. This stone was cut and shaped into small bowls for their ceremonial pipes. Known for its multicolored stone shades of red, yellow, green, gray, black, and banded, it was also highly sought after by other faraway tribes seeking these stones for their own ceremonial pipes.

The Kootenai Indian's clothing was usually plain, with no decoration and long fringes. Their diet consisted mainly of fish but was supplemented with bison, elk, and deer. Berries and roots and bulbs of plants rounded out their diet.

The tribe relocated to the Flathead Indian Reservation in 1855. In 1974 the Kootenai Tribe declared war on the United States. The "war" was peaceful. The publicity it got from the event got them their 12.5.acres of land back from the US Government.

Wolf Facts: The Pack

A wolf pack is actually a family of mostly related wolves. Within the pack there is a dominant male and female, usually referred to as the alpha pair. The alpha pair are usually the only ones to breed and mate for life. Occasionally another pair will breed with an outsider, but this is uncommon. A typical pack consists of the alpha pair, young pups born that year, last year's young adults, and possibly some older wolves.

The pack size varies according to the prey available, other wolf packs in the area, and whether they are feeding pups. The average wolf pack size varies with location, too.

Midwest: From four to eight. During winter upwards of 16.

Northern Rocky Mountains: Average 10, however one pack in Yellowstone reached 37 which then split off into smaller packs.

Canada and Alaska; Packs can temporarily reach 30 in number, but typically much smaller.

That's it for this month!


P.J. Wesley

#Chinook: King of the North

22 views0 comments
  • Writer's pictureP. J. Wesley

Now for you history lovers, some early facts on the history and making of the Northern Rocky Mountains area.

**The following summation of information was gleaned from, "Northwest Exposures: A Geologic Story of the Northwest," by David Alt and Donald Hyndman. If you like geology these books are for you.

According to geologists, the "Rocky Mountain Range first had its beginnings off the coast of the present-day United States and Canada at the beginning of the Jurassic era, about 205 million years ago when the western edge of North America collided with the floor of the Pacific Ocean. With great thrusts of energy, the crusts jammed together, leading to the upheaval of the land, and developing into high jagged peaks."

Next, "steam and hot basalt magma rose above the sinking slabs of the ocean floor and melted the rocks in the lower part of the continental crust, whereupon vast amounts of molten granite magma rose into the early mountains and then sheared off into giant slabs and moved tens of miles east into western Montana, thus becoming the Rocky Mountains."

Ancient glaciers many miles thick carved out the beautiful valleys and alpine lakes in Northwest Montana, and other parts of the Rocky Mountains. It is hard to imagine that the Cordilleran Ice sheet covered all but the very tops of our present mountain peaks. The tallest in our area reaching over 8,000 feet in the CabinetMountain Range. The Purcells nearby were completely covered, giving them round tops that we see today.

Now for some wolf tidbits!

Wolf Pups:

A mating pair mate for life and only mate once per year, usually between January through March and have between 4-6 pups.

Wolf Dens:

They come in a variety of forms, from a rock cave to a hollow log. They sometimes use the dens of other animals such as foxes or bobcats. Some dens may have an entrance as long as ten feet with a chamber at the end to hold the mother and pups.

The pups are weaned at about six weeks old.

Thanks again! I hope you enjoyed this newsletter. If you no longer want to receive these newsletters, just reply back and tell me to take you off the list--no worries.


P.J. Wesley

#Chinook: King of the North

PS: If you ordered my book, "Chinook: King of the North," on Amazon, please consider leaving a review. It would mean a great deal to me. Thanks!

22 views0 comments
bottom of page