Whitefish Native to Uncover Gaps in David Thompson’s Works

Retired Missoula high school teacher Norm Jacobson will present his findings of discrepancies and errors in the works of David Thompson, an English-Canadian fur trader, surveyor and mapmaker who has been described as “the greatest land geographer who ever lived”, during a free lecture he will deliver for the community at Flathead Valley Community College July 13. 

Raised in Whitefish, Jacobson took an interest in Thompson’s sketches during a presentation by Jack Nisbet, author of “Mapmaker’s Eye:  David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau” in Lolo in 2007.  Since that time, Jacobson has obtained copies of all 10 of Thompson’s watercolor sketches known to exist and has spent countless hours traveling to the Mission Valley to compare the peaks of the Mission Mountains to Thompson’s early 19th century sketches. 

Jacobson will present Thompson’s original works at the lecture and will share some of his findings including the absence of Mission Falls and a misplaced Gray Wolf Peak.  

The event will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the large community meeting room in the Arts and Technology Building on the college’s Kalispell campus.  For more information, call the FVCC Continuing Education Center at 756-3832.

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