Talk:Basin, Montana

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Good article Basin, Montana has been listed as one of the Geography and places good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
February 22, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
WikiProject Montana (Rated GA-class, Low-importance)
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Beyond start class[edit]

Over the past three months, I've taken this article well beyond what I would consider start class. I nominated it today for GA, and I'm interested in seeing what others think. To tell the truth, I found more information about this little CDP than I ever expected. It turned out to be much more than a wide spot in the road. Finetooth (talk) 19:12, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Hey Finetooth, as a member of the Montana Wikiproject, I want to thank you for your work on Basin, Montana. Good or featured content relating to Montana is sparse. I see that you are practiced in raising the quality of a wide range of articles. Knowing that Basin will shortly achieve a GA rating assuming the edits suggested by Ben MacDui are incorporated, I think that in the meantime the article is a solid B class article. So, I'm upgrading the assessment for the purposes of the Montana WikiProject. Thanks again for your work. -- Ltvine | Talk 18:23, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi Ltvine, Thanks for bumping the Basin article up to B class. This in encouraging. I found Basin to be a fascinating place, but I am now at some considerable remove from the Boulder library and other local sources. Perhaps you can help. Can you recommend source(s) of information, especially books that might be found in large libraries, about Montana between the arrival of the First Peoples in 12,000 BCE or so and 1862. This span is totally missing from the Basin article, as Ben MacDui has correctly noted. I can put together a skeletal paragraph or two from material at hand or from things found on the web such as a list of the Indian tribes of Montana and a map of the route of Lewis and Clark, but I would appreciate a short list of other good sources if you have one. My best. Finetooth (talk) 00:39, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
That's a tough question. A while ago, I was attempting to write a history section for another Montana locale. I began with the pre-European period and found few readily accessible resources that told the story of First Peoples in a particular place. I found it to be a tall order without spending more energy than I had at the time. But since you brought it up, I started doing some research again. For a general background of the American Indian tribes that have reservations in Montana the Office of Public Instruction publishes a booklet that can be found here. It contains additional resources you might find in a library near you. A book I found that you can probably find in most libraries is Montana's Indians: Yesterday and Today ISBN 978-1560370642. Hope this helps. Good Luck. --Ltvine | Talk 06:16, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, thank you very much. This will be a great help. Finetooth (talk) 06:40, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

<outdent>Bryan was exactly the source I needed, and I thank you again for this most helpful information. I was lucky enough to find a Google book version online. I have another question. One of my sources calls Basin "Basin City," but the others all call it "Basin". Various explanations are possible. The one source might be wrong. Boosters might have called Basin "Basin City" for a while before giving way to reality. People in Basin might have gotten tired of a two-word name and elided "City". Or, "City" might have had political significance such as the existence of a mayor and city council; I've uncovered no evidence of that. Do you happen to know if all Montana "cities" suddenly became "towns" or something else because of an act of legislation? And when did little places like Basin become CDPs? Finetooth (talk) 20:33, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, various explanations are possible for why "Basin" versus "Basin City" might be or have been applied. I can't provide a reference to settle that specific question. I do have insight into the specific legislation question you pose though.
Since I had been finding various editors claiming the status of any particular populated place being a "town" or "city" in various lists covered by the [[Montana Wikiproject, I had to do some research to clarify the issue. Its true there is legislation that defines both "town" and "city" in Montana. You can find my clarification of the "town" versus "city" controversy in Montana at the top of the list of cities and towns in Montana. There are references therein for your use in the future. Though it won't help with the historical question, I do know that places like Basin--and there a lot of places like it in Montana--became a census-designated places when a particular decennial census created the definition. I don't know when the United States Census Bureau created the designation offhand.
There are other locales--particularly in western Montana--which did or continue to append the word "city" to their name. See Jefferson City, Virginia City, or Miles City. Now to complicate things, legally, Jefferson City isn't a city, but a CDP; Virgina City is a town not a city; while Miles City is legally a second class city. A question I'd like to settle is what defines a "ghost town". By reading Wikipedia's article one could probably classify Basin as a "ghost town" because "the word is sometimes used in a depreciative sense to include areas where the current population is significantly less than it once was." Anyway, I've gotten off-topic. Hope this helps. -- Ltvine | Talk 02:03, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you once again. I had noticed in my surfing that some places with "City" in their formal names are not cities in a legal sense and not in a logical sense either if you think that a city is bigger than a town. I had thought about ghost towns while working on Basin. It is a survivor (so far) among nearby places that didn't survive such as Comet and, I think, Elkhorn and Galice. Finetooth (talk) 04:13, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

GA On Hold[edit]

Criterion 1. It is well written.

Indeed it is and I have a few suggestions.
Geology - "squirted" may be accurate but perhaps 'infiltrated' or 'entered' might be more encyclopedic. You could also link to Vein (geology).
Interstate 15 - the phraseology in "Late 20th century" discusses the planning in the past tense but I don't see confirmation that this was ever acted on in this section (it becomes clear that it was built later) and a construction year would be useful. The link to I-15 is made lower down and could be moved up to its first mention.
"Individual mines", the phrase "what became Interstate 15" is used twice in quick succession. "along the route of" or "the road that later became" could be used for one (or both) of them.
Basin School Image. I wonder if it is really necessary to say "Basin School in Basin, Montana (2007)". "Basin School in 2007" might suffice.
Links - some of the metals and USPS could be linked. USCB is linked as a ref but not in the text.

Purely a personal preference - I prefer geography & geology before history as it seems odd to go forward in time from the 19th century and then go all the way back to the Cretaceous and then forward again to 2000.

Criterion 2. It is factually accurate and verifiable. Pass

Criterion 3. It is broad in its coverage. I have two questions.

a) Etymology - is there any information about this? I note that the "settlement at Basin became known as Basin City" in 1880. When did the 'City' get dropped - and why?
b) Did history really begin in 1862? I know very little about this part of the world, but is there no evidence of earlier exploration or a Native American presence?

Criterion 4. It is neutral; Pass.

Criterion 5. It is stable; Pass.

Criterion 6. It is illustrated. Pass.

Ben MacDuiTalk/Walk 17:37, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the prompt and insightful review. I had imagined that the article might languish for months in a long queue before attracting a careful reader. I have quickly made most of the changes you've suggested. However, three of your recommendations will require more thought: (1) I'm looking for a completion date for the Basin section of I-15 but have not yet found it. (2) I don't know when or why Basin City became Basin; I have hunches but no verifiable facts as yet. (3) History did not begin in 1862, and this is a very good point to bring up. I doubt that I can find a source that will tie particular Native Americans to the exact location of Basin, but I'm pretty sure I can find general information about people who lived in or visited this region before 1862. I will work on these three things this week and see what I can come up with. Finetooth (talk) 04:21, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
OK - I'll await any new information you can find. Ben MacDuiTalk/Walk 14:20, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

<outdent>Hi MacDui, I've reached the end of what I can do on this round. I've added substantial new information about the missing 12,000 years of human history. That was indeed a striking lacuna that needed filling, and I'm grateful that you pointed it out. Adding the new history section led to adding a new paragraph to the lead.

I fixed the I-15 completion date problem by using the date for completion of the entire highway. This is a quarter-weasel; the date is sourced, but it isn't the more relevant date for completion of the Basin section of the highway. Fixing this led to fixing the odd verbs that resulted from citing the 1979 source that spoke of the highway completion as a future event.

I have found a book and an on-line list of the etymologies of Montana place names, and although between them they discuss hundreds of names, Basin is not among them. I've put this naming question to the Montana Historical Society, but there's little chance of getting an answer anytime soon. The most likely explanation is that the town sits on a little alluvial plain where the two streams come together, but I have no source for that. The place might have been named for a wash basin or a scruffy prospector named Joe Basin. I dare not guess.

It's possible that I've introduced new errors or odd phrasings. If you spot any, please let me know, and I will try to fix them promptly. Finetooth (talk) 22:17, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Good work, especially on the history. I just a have few final queries (some of which I should perhaps have spotted before).
Geology: "Technically, the Basin area..". "Technically" may be redundant?
First people: "placer" links to a dab page and may be a duplicate for the "placer mining" link below it.
Arts: "artist residencies". I'm not familiar with this specific usage - I'm presuming it's intended (and not e.g. a typo for "residences") as it appears twice, but for the sake of completion I'd be obliged if you could confirm this. Ben MacDuiTalk/Walk 20:42, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Good catch on "technically". It's redundant, and I removed it. Ditto on "placer". I removed it from the lead and the "First peoples" section. It's already correctly wikilinked in the "Mining camp" section. "Artist residencies" is the term used by the people at the Artists Refuge to mean "a period of active full-time study, research, or teaching". I have just now found a Wikipedia article on Artist residency, and I have linked to it in the Basin article. I'm not sure how this use of the term arose; it may be an extension of the idea of "physician residencies". Finetooth (talk) 23:05, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations on an excellent piece of work.

Please consider supporting the GA programme by reviewing another article. Ben MacDuiTalk/Walk 08:44, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

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