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Thunder Jack monument.

Thunder Jack: Mountain Man

Field review by the editors.

Wilsall, Montana

With his trusty rifle, thick beard, and clothes made of animal skins, squint-eyed Thunder Jack waves a friendly greeting to passing motorists on US Highway 89. The life-size bronze statue was sculpted by local artist Gary Kerby in 2006 to commemorate "the mountain men, weathered and wind-bitten," according to its plaque, who explored the Shields Valley in the early 1800s.

They were, according to the plaque, "unsurpassed as marksmen, horsemen, naturalists, and the ultimate masters of survival." They also often ended up fighting bears.

Despite the statue's celebration of local history, there was never any mountain man named Thunder Jack. That name was invented for the statue by the Shields Valley first grade class of 2006-2007.

Thunder Jack: Mountain Man

US-89, Wilsall, MT
One mile north of downtown, on the east side of US-89.
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