City Focus – Missoula, Montana

Celebrating A Long Past

Missoula, the cosmopolitan center of Western Montana, has a notably rich history. Located at the confluence of five mountain valleys and corresponding waterways, Missoula’s earliest inhabitants date back 12,000 years to end of the last ice age. Its native heritage can be attributed to the Salish, Kootenai, Pend d’Oreille, Blackfeet and Shoshone tribes with the first US citizens coming with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

If you hang around Missoula much, you will hear the term Hellgate. Its origin comes from the narrow eastern entrance that was so strewn with human bones from repeated ambushes that French fur trappers would later refer to this area as the Gate of Hell and the term has stuck!

The establishment of Fort Missoula in 1877 to protect settlers further stabilized the economy but ironically become the site of the Italian Interment camp during World War II. They named the valley “Bella Serra” (beautiful view). The Railways brought rapid growth to the area and subsequently a maturing lumber industry.

The site of the state’s first university, The University of Montana, was established in 1893 and many a proud GRIZ has graduated from this fine and picturesque campus. During the last decade, the decline of the lumber industry and the rise of education and healthcare have become Missoula’s leading industries. St. Patrick Hospital and Health Center is the area’s only Level II Trauma Center. The city is also home to both Montana’s largest and oldest active breweries.

All of the five Missoula mountain valley drainages have a unique environment of their own. From the Rattlesnake to Grant Creek and South Hills to Pattee Canyon and Miller Creek, the Missoula Valley offers a youthful and vibrant lifestyle to all its citizens and visitors.

(Photo from available property 11060 Windermere Missoula, MT, contact Cole Bergquist for more details)

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