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How do you say Weippe?

There are lots of places in Idaho with Native American names that don't always roll off the non-native tongue very well.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho has a rich history, as we know, that has a deep attachment to its Native American roots.

With that comes a lot of Native American place names, that well, don't always roll off the non-native tongue very well.

Which is why we're bringing back a favorite segment of ours.

One where we try to help us and you learn about this great state.

Because how can you get there or tell people where you're going - if you don't know how to say where you're going?

Well, we can't go anywhere right now, so we crashed out sales team meeting for this edition of "How do you say it?"

There's a tiny town in Clearwater County with a name that's a bit unclear.

You know who does know? Those that live and work there, like David Thomson.

 "Wee-ipe. My wife and I we moved up here in 2008 and we thought it was going to be this beautiful word like Wi-Ape, something to that affect, and we get here and it turns out it's just Wee-ipe," said Thomson.

It's just the place where Lewis and Clark first met the Nez Perce in 1805.

But its origins are unfortunately just as unclear.

And what Weippe means is also up for debate.

Not the only question in this small town.

Like why is there a gorilla on the water tower?

And how old is their mayor? The longest serving mayor in Idaho who's been in office since 1968.

The name Weippe even has its own YouTube video.

The meaning of the word Weippe has been hard to nail down.

It either has something to do with how old the place is. Maybe something to do with a spring of water or it could be the Camas flower, according to Weippe.com.

As for the 8-foot gorilla on the water tower, it used to be the high school mascot from 1927 until 1970, and then the middle school mascot until 1989.

Timberline High School is now the Spartans but the town wanted to keep the gorilla alive for posterity.

Mayor Norm Steadman turned 83 last November and was honored by Gov. Butch Otter in 2017 for being the longest serving mayor in Idaho. Steadman is still in charge and still plows the roads when needed.

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