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Photo: Looking north to Mount Potts from Mount Packenham (courtesy Sonny Bou)

Mount Potts

  • 3002 m (9,850ft)
  • Naming History
50.7789N -115.100W
Located west of upper Evan-Thomas Creek; 1.5 km north of Mount Evan-Thomas; 1.0 km south of Mount Denny

Range: Opal
Province: Alberta
Park: Kananaskis
Headwater: Bow
Visible from Highway: 40S, 742
Year Named: 1974
Named by: Glen Boles
Named for: Potts, Jerry (A scout and interpreter for the North West Mounted Police, Jerry Potts was of great assistance to the Force in 1874 upon their arrival in the Fort Macleod area. The mountain was named during 1974, the centennial year of the NWMP.)

Mount Potts, together with nearby Mount Denny were named by Glen Boles during the one hundredth anniversary of the arrival in Alberta of the Northwest Mounted Police.

JERRY POTTS

A Metis, Jerry Potts was born to a Scottish clerk and a Blood Indian woman in 1840. Through his association with the natives and by travelling widely with non-natives, Jerry became experienced in travelling in what was then the unsettled prairie or the North West Territories.

In 1874 the North West Mounted Police rode from Manitoba and established Fort Macleod. Col. Macleod met Jerry Potts in Fort Benton, Montana and Jerry agreed to assist the NWMP by acting as a guide and interpreter. He was associated with the police for 21 years as they rid the country of the whiskey traders, help to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the natives, and make the prairies safe for settlement.

In his book, "Forty Years in Canada," the legendary Sam Steele provides an insight into Jerry Potts. He wrote: "He was a short, bow-legged man, with piercing black eyes and a long straight nose. He was silent and laconic, and people said he was a fighter and he looked it. He won the confidence of all ranks the first day out, and when morning came he rode out boldly in front of the advance guard. It was noon when the party reached Milk River, and found him there sitting near a fat buffalo cow which he had killed and dressed for the use of the force. To those new to such life he appeared to know everything, and their good opinion of him was confirmed when on the second day he turned sharp to the left toward the Milk River Ridge, selected a camp ground, and then led the force a short distance to some fine springs containing the best water that they had tasted for many a long day. . . At all our posts he (Potts) was trusted implicitly in all dealings with the Indians. The officers and men treated him with the greatest consideration and recieved in return the most loyal assistance and support."

Photo: Looking east-southeast to Mount Potts from Opal Ridge

Looking east to Mount Potts (courtesy Alan Kane)