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  • Writer's pictureAmber Coburn

What's in the Name: The Jawbone

Updated: Oct 3, 2019

Because we come from a small community, we wanted to relate our name to history in the county. At first, we were set on calling it The Prohibition because that was the theme we were going for, but we quickly scratched that idea when our mom told us it sounded like a cafe in Disneyland. We decided we could still have a prohibition theme without spelling it out in the name. So we tossed around a few ideas still relating to the 1920s, blind pig, bathtub gin, dry county, the laundry room, jury room, etc.

We knew the name was important and it needed to be something that rolled off of the tongue. If people were going to talk about it around town, and hopefully around the state, it needed to be an interesting name that had a story. We started looking into Meagher County history (the county we are located in). There used to be an old ghost town in the castle mountains called castle town. We thought about using something relating to the Castle Mountains, but everyone in town does that. The name needed to be unique. Then, we looked at the other end of the county. There are two mountain ranges nicknamed, the Twin Sisters, "perfect!" we thought because we are twin sisters. No, that wasn't the name either.

We found a book about Meagher County history and looked through it. It was full of black and white photos of White Sulphur Springs back in the day. We came across a railroad called The Montana Railroad. We looked into it more and it was nicknamed, "The Jawbone." It was said that the inventor, Richard Harlow, received all the supplies and money for the railroad by wagging his jawbone and convincing people to get involved. It was built through the motivation, diligence and steadfast persistence of Richard Harlow.

Now, when asked where the name comes from, we theorize about the whiskey which must've ridden in on the Jawbone back in the day, prohibition or none. Then, we offer them another Manhattan with their huckleberry brie. History connects us all to our roots, and without the hard work of the people who came before us, what we are building would never have been possible. Our name is a cheer to them and a celebration of the place we live!

The Montana Railroad, also known as, The Jawbone.

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