Butte, Montana, was once one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the United States due to its rich deposits of copper, silver, and gold. It was known as "the richest hill on earth" and attracted miners from all over the world during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Lincoln County, located in the northwest corner of Montana, has a rich history that spans centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kootenai, Salish, and Pend d'Oreille people. European exploration began in the early 1800s when fur traders and trappers arrived in the region.

In 1853, the United States government established the Washington Territory, which included present-day Lincoln County. This opened the area to further settlement and development. The discovery of gold in nearby areas in the late 1800s brought a significant influx of people to the region, leading to the establishment of towns such as Libby and Troy.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the growth of the timber industry in Lincoln County, with numerous sawmills and logging operations being established. The abundance of natural resources, including timber and minerals, fueled the local economy and contributed to the development of the region.

However, the history of Lincoln County is not without its challenges. In 1967, the area was affected by one of the worst environmental disasters in American history, when a massive landslide blocked the Clark Fork River. This created a large reservoir, known as Lake Koocanusa, but also displaced many residents and caused significant damage to the local environment.

Today, Lincoln County continues to thrive as a rural community surrounded by stunning natural beauty. It is home to numerous outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, fishing, and hunting. The county's history is celebrated through various museums and historical sites, paying tribute to the pioneers, miners, loggers, and Native American communities that have shaped the area's past and present.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lincoln County, Montana.

  • 1865: Lincoln County established as a county in the Montana Territory.
  • 1892: Troy is incorporated as a town in Lincoln County.
  • 1912: Additional land is added to Lincoln County from Flathead County.
  • 1922: Eureka is incorporated as a town in Lincoln County.
  • 1931: Libby is incorporated as a city in Lincoln County.
  • 1963: The Libby Dam is completed on the Kootenai River.
  • 1975: Libby is designated as a Superfund site due to asbestos contamination.
  • 1988: The Kootenai National Forest is established and includes parts of Lincoln County.
  • 1990: Troy celebrates its centennial.
  • 1995: Lincoln County celebrates its 130th anniversary.
  • 2011: The Kootenai River is designated a Wild and Scenic River.