Captain John B. LaBarge: LaBarge City

The death of Capt. John B. LaBarge at Bismarck last Friday reminds us that Deer Lodge City was originally called "La Barge City" and was so noted on the maps of Montana for many years. 

Two friends of Captain John B. LaBarge, John S. Pemberton and Leon Quesnelle, who were living in Cottonwood, believe the LaBarge, Harkness, and Company should set up a mercantile establishment here in the summer of 1862. LaBarge, Harkness, and Company was organized to trade with the miners. They drew up a map of the townsite, had it surveyed and named it “LaBarge City.” Harkness was in charge of the trading and took the stock of miners’ supplies and trading goods to Gold Creek.  Upon deciding he did not like anything in the mountainous country except the trout fishing, he left and gave away most of his stock and sold what he could to John Grant.

When this area was in Idaho territory, Deer Lodge City was designated the county seat and renamed Idaho City.

Information taken from the book


Written and edited by
Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation
Historic Action Committee
Dorene Courchene, Editor