Paradise, on Highway 200, may have originally been “Pair-o-Dice” after a roadhouse on the road along the Clark Fork, but Paradise isn’t such a bad name in itself. There’s the river, the mountains, Montana’s banana belt, and not much else—but hey, who needs it?
The neighboring town of Plains was originally called “Horse Plains.” Its moderate climate made it a favorite spot for Indians and their horses to spend the winters.
You can still see the old Horse Plains Jail, at the corner of Blake and McGowan a block north of Highway 200, and the Wild Horse Plains School House, a log building dating from 1878 on the west end of town next to the highway.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition