How Kremlin Montana Got Its Name

By Charles M. Petrie, Depot Agent at Kremlin for nearly 40 years.

Charlie Petrie became the depot agent in 1925 when he and his family moved to Kremlin from Poplar, Montana, where he had worked for Great Northern Railway in a similar position. He wrote the following for Kremlin's U.S. Bicentennial Project in 1976.

    Charlie Petrie Handing Orders, 1941
Charlie Petrie Handing Orders 1941 "The following is a story which I have heard many times over a period of about 40 years while I was the Great Northern Railway station Agent at Kremlin, Montana."

"The town of Kremlin was started soon after the railroad tracks were laid in about 1890."

"On the steel gang which laid the steel rails there was an assistant foreman who served as an interpreter for the laborers. This man seemed to have a special talent for having a name ready for any number of things."

"In this prairie country we often see a mirage, that is a reflection of some town or large object on the atmosphere. Well, this man often saw the mirage formed by the Bears Paw Mountains forty miles distant, and it reminded him of The Kremlin in his native country Russia."

"He immediately began to call the newly made Railroad siding The Kremlin and the laborers referred to it in their native tongue as The Kremlin."

"The name caught on and the railroad company officials eventually adopted it as the official name for this station."

"I have heard a variety of stories about how the naming of the town came about, but this one seemed the most likely one to me."     Charles M. Petrie

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