The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through Montana in 1805-1806, on their journey to explore the western portion of the United States. They traveled up the Missouri River and crossed the Rocky Mountains, encountering many Native American tribes and documenting the flora and fauna of the region.
Mineral County, located in western Montana, has a rich history that dates back to the indigenous Native American tribes that inhabited the region for thousands of years. The Salish and Kootenai tribes were the primary residents of the area before European settlement. These tribes thrived on the abundant natural resources provided by the Clark Fork River and the surrounding mountains.

European exploration began in the early 1800s when fur trappers like David Thompson ventured into the area. However, it was not until the 1860s that mineral discoveries brought a wave of settlers to the region. Gold and silver deposits were found in the mountains, leading to a brief but fervent mining boom. The town of Murray, once a thriving mining community, attracted thousands of people in search of fortune. However, as the mining boom ended, so did the prosperity of the town.

In 1914, Mineral County was officially established, named after the mining industry that had shaped its early days. The county seat, Superior, was chosen due to its central location and access to transportation routes. Timber soon became the primary industry in the area, and sawmills were established to exploit the vast forests of western Montana. These sawmills provided employment opportunities for many residents.

In the present day, while mining and timber are still important industries in Mineral County, the economy has diversified. Agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreation now contribute significantly to the county's economy. Mineral County offers stunning natural beauty, including pristine lakes, towering mountains, and abundant wildlife. This attracts visitors who enjoy activities like hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking. The county's historical sites, such as the Old Prison Museum in Deer Lodge, also draw history enthusiasts. Today, Mineral County continues to thrive and evolve, building upon its rich history while embracing the opportunities of the present.

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

  • 1884 - Mineral County established.
  • 1887 - Irons Creek Mining District organized.
  • 1888 - First post office established in Alberton.
  • 1890 - Superior becomes county seat.
  • 1895 - Missoula & Western Railroad reaches Superior.
  • 1907 - St. Regis becomes an important logging and milling center.
  • 1947 - St. Regis becomes an incorporated village.
  • 1959 - The Cold War results in the construction of a Minuteman Missile Launch Facility in the county.
  • 1996 - Opening of the Hiawatha Trail, a popular biking and hiking trail.
  • 2011 - Alien tunnel network conspiracy theory emerges.