First clue on Antoinette name and new photos

Corrections and additions for Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone.

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TomTuriano
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First clue on Antoinette name and new photos

Postby TomTuriano » Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:17 pm

Paul Horton alerted me that on the GNIS website, the source of the name "Antoinette Peak" is listed as follows:

"The French name, Antoinette, was arbitraily chosen to commemorate the French trappers and hunters who worked in the area in the 1800's."

The GNIS query site is a good quick place to check for information about placenames on any USGS quadrangle:

http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnis/web_query.gnis_web_query_form

Recently, I have been able to get some new good photos of the south face of Antoinette, one of Jackon Hole's classic moderate runs. Enjoy:

Image
Image

TomTuriano
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The truth about Antoinette

Postby TomTuriano » Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:05 pm

Painstaking mountaineering researcher Paul Horton just returned from Washington D.C., where he spent three days perusing the archives of the US Board on Geographic Names. In the Antoinette Peak file, he found these two letters addressed to the USBGN from William A. Hoesch, mailed from 652 Dewey, Boulder, CO 80302.

1/22/1981

Dear Sirs:
I would like to propose a name for an apparently un-named peak in the Gros Ventre Mountains of NW Wyoming. This peak was climbed recently by myself and I can provide proof it his is necessary.

"Antoinette Peak" is the name I propose; in part to honor the first visitors to the region - French fur trappers, and in part because this name seems to fit the grandeur of the mountain (the loftiest in this, the central part of the range).

Any photos, information, etc. that might help to prove that this is a fitting name I will happily provide. It would give me great pleasure if this went through, since I'm sort of a history "buff," and a resident of nearby Jackson (now attending college in Colorado).

Please contact me if a decision is made, or if one is in the making.

Sincerely,

Bill Hoesch

**************

Dear Mr. Orth:
This is in reply to your February 3rd letter in which you suggested I gather more information regarding my proposed name of Antoinette Peak in the Gros Ventre Range of Wyoming.

I'm afraid that "rallying for support" in the Jackson area and visiting the Forest Service office - as you kindly suggested, is impossible for me at this time. Perhaps a brief explanation of how I arrived at the name would be helpful.

Primarily, the name was suggested for reference purposes. It seems that by virtue of its size alone it deserves to have a name. To illustrate my point; several times while working and living on nearby Granite Creek, folks coming up to visit would ask the names of the mountains forming the panorama to the north. I'd say - that one is Flying Buttress Peak, and that's Open Door Mountain, Pyramid Peak, etc... Then they'd always register surprise in learning that the tallest and most impressive one of the bunch was nameless! A name would be useful to pilots, surveyors, geologists, etc... By the way, none of the long time residents of the area whom I'd met knew of a name (even a colloquial one) either.

Anyway, I thought about the Peak's nature; quite steep on all sides and sharp-pointed, rising from an area that is unusually rich in fur-bearing game. This suggests to me both boldness (steep sided) and femininity (nipple-topped). Now historically, if you can imagine a French trapper in the early 1800s pondering this same question; the name Antoinette (as in Marie) would be the very personification of these traits. Regardless of this, I think that even today to Americans, the name really suggests these qualities too. Perhaps this is also the reason why I and the several people who I've talked to are in agreement that the name truly seems to fit the mountain, and has a good "ring to it."

Also, in a Range that predominates in mountains named in physical terms (often less notable), one that at once honrs the early fur trade and connotes a "physical-ness" would be distinctive.

I'm hoping that you will agree with me and will be able to "re-activate" my proposal soon. Any remaining suggestion you may have to make my arguemtn more convincing would be gladly received. If not, its been a pleasure dealing with you. Thanks for your time.

Sincerely yours,
Bill Hoesch


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