In 1972, the Montana Constitution was rewritten and adopted, becoming one of the most progressive state constitutions in the United States. It includes provisions for public access to streams and rivers, protection of the environment, and guarantees of individual privacy and civil rights.
Granite County, located in the southwestern part of Montana, has a rich and fascinating history that spans back centuries. The area where Granite County now stands was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Salish, Kootenai, and Blackfeet tribes. These tribes relied on the abundant natural resources in the region for their livelihood.

In the 1860s, gold was discovered in Granite County, leading to a gold rush. Miners flocked to the area and established numerous mining camps and towns, including Phillipsburg and Granite Ghost Town. These towns quickly grew as miners extracted vast amounts of gold, silver, and other minerals from the area's mines. However, by the early 20th century, the mining boom had started to decline, and many of the mining towns were eventually abandoned.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, agriculture became a significant industry in Granite County. Farming and ranching communities sprang up, and the county became known for its production of wheat, barley, cattle, and sheep. Although agriculture remains important in the county today, it has diversified to include other industries such as tourism and recreation, thanks to the county's stunning natural beauty and its location near National Forests and wilderness areas.

Throughout its history, Granite County has faced challenges such as the decline of mining and the Great Depression, but it has also persevered and adapted. Today, the county is a thriving community that celebrates its rich history while embracing the opportunities of the present. Visitors and residents can explore the remnants of the mining era, enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing, and experience the warm hospitality of the local communities.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Granite County, Montana.

  • 1865: Granite County is established as a gold mining town.
  • 1866: Granite County becomes an official county of Montana Territory.
  • 1872: Philipsburg, the county seat, is founded.
  • 1879: The Montana State Legislature establishes Granite County as a political subdivision of the state.
  • 1880: The county population reaches its peak due to mining activities.
  • 1893: Mining activities decline, affecting the local economy.
  • 1905: Granite County becomes known for its scenic beauty, attracting tourists and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • 1928: The historic Granite County Jail is built in Philipsburg.
  • 1960s: The county experiences a revitalization as tourism flourishes.
  • Present: Granite County continues to be a popular destination for outdoor activities and historic charm.