Alpine Appellation

Mount Blackmore, Hyalite

Alpine Appellation

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Joyce Pollastro

Naming Mount Blackmore. 

At 10,154 feet, Mount Blackmore looms high above Bozeman on the southern horizon. Anyone who has lived in town for more than a few weeks can point to the peak, but few know how the mountain got its name.

In the summer of 1872, a wealthy English couple arrived in Bozeman on their way to Yellowstone from Helena. William and Mary Blackmore stopped because Mary fell ill during the long stagecoach ride. General Lester Willson and his wife Emma offered the weary and sickened Mary Blackmore their hospitality while William traveled on to Yellowstone; he felt that Mary showed signs of improvement, so he continued on his adventure.

Within days of William’s departure, Mary died in the Willson home. When word finally got to William regarding Mary’s passing, he rushed back to Bozeman. With the help of some early Bozemanites, William buried Mary on five acres he purchased from the Rouse Family, the land that is now Sunset Hills Cemetery.

Before he departed Bozeman, William left money with the Willson family to have a pyramid-shaped headstone placed over Mary’s grave. Lord Blackmore likened it to the shape of the top of a mountain he could see from the hill where Lady Blackmore was laid to rest. In honor of Lord and Lady Blackmore, the citizens of Bozeman named the mountain with a pyramid-shaped peak, which can be seen from Mary’s grave, Mount Blackmore. You can access this majestic mountain from the Mount Blackmore trailhead up Hyalite.

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