Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

George Shaw Spring
Lincoln County, Montana

Status = Approved

Description Spring, elevation 4,800 feet, in Kootenai National Forest, 500 ft. S of Standard Creek, 1 mi. SW of Standard Lake
Location 48°04’27”N, 115°32’28”W
PLSS Location Sec 25, T27N, R31W
Proposal new commemorative name for an unnamed feature
Proponent Dwight Shaw, Kila, MT
Administrative area Kootenai National Forest
Previous BGN Action None
See also
GNIS ID 2747979
Local Usage None found
Published None found
This proposal is to apply the new commemorative name George Shaw Spring to an unnamed spring, located in Kootenai National Forest. The proposed name would honor George Edwin Shaw (1927-1997), a local mine operator who maintained a claim near the spring.

The spring is located at the end of a primitive road in a forested area at an elevation of approximately 4800 feet. It apparently provided enough water to support long-term camping by a family and watering of livestock used in mining operations. From its location, its waters appear to drain towards the next gulch south of the one occupied by Standard Creek on the slope of Great Northern Mountain and into Standard Creek about half a mile above the mouth of Standard Creek at West Fisher Creek.

According to the proponent, George Shaw first visited the spring as a child. While his family gathered huckleberries, he explored the area and found an interest in geology. The proponent states, "He found where others had been mining an area above the spring and would return to it again and again. Enamored by the shiny rocks he’d find - galena ore - he’d fill his pockets with his finds. This instilled an interest in rocks, minerals and mining that led him to graduate from the Montana School of Mines in Butte, Montana (now Montana Tech) where he studied metallurgy and chemical extraction. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Over the years, George would continue to explore the Cabinet Mountains and regularly camped at the spring his family frequented when he was a boy. He filed multiple claims throughout the area, always in search of the motherlode. He mined the area up until his death in November 1997." Another biography stated, "The Shaws would clean the spring of the accumulated debris so it would flow freely and provide water for the campers as well as their horses. Since George had devoted so much of his life to the area around the spring, it seems fitting that it be named after him."

According to GNIS, there are 49 features in Montana with "Shaw" in their names; however, none of these are springs. Most features are related to Fort Shaw, a populated place located in Cascade County. Of note, a summit named Shaw Mountain is located in Lincoln County, also on the USGS Howard Lake topographic map, three miles northwest of the spring in question. The origin of the name of this summit has not been determined. The proposal to name the spring was submitted initially as Shaw Spring but the honoree’s first name was later added to avoid any suggestion of an association with Shaw Mountain.

The Lincoln County Commissioners were asked by the Montana State Names Authority (MT SNA) to comment on the proposal but no response was received, which is presumed to indicate a lack of an opinion. Six letters of support for the name were received from members and friends of the Shaw family. The MT SNA recommends approval of the name George Shaw Spring, while the U.S. Forest Service has no objection. A copy of the proposal was forwarded to the following federally recognized tribes: the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation, the Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation, the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation, the Santee Sioux Nation, the Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota. no response was received, which is presumed to indicate a lack of an opinion.

Comments Received by the Montana Geographic Names Advisor
Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Support (Tuesday, June 4, 2013)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, June 13, 2013
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded to approve this new name.
Vote: 10 in favor
0 against
0 abstentions

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