Historical Markers in
Missoula County, Montana

1028 Wolf Street 140 University Avenue 1877 Fort Missoula Officers' Club 315 Daly 415 Connell Avenue 425 Connell 426 North First Street West 439 Connell Avenue 521 University Avenue 613 North Third Street West 906 Worden A Crossroads of Culture A Shortcut A Vast Network of Indigenous Trails. All gave some, some gave all Apartment Building at 116 West Spruce Big Blackfoot Milling Company Big Blackfoot Railroad Bitterroot Valley, Homeland of the Selíš BPOE Lodge #383 Brave New World Central Heating Plant Charles C. Brothers Residence Chemistry-Pharmacy Building Commanding Officer's Quarters Company Officers' Quarters Corbin Hall Cycles and Circles Danger Ahead! Dixon-Duncan Block Draper Residence Federal Building & United States Post Office First Architect Following Formation Forestry Building Fort Fizzle Fort Missoula Fort Missoula 1910 Era Barrack Buildings Fort Missoula Alien Detention Camp Fort Missoula Barrack Building Fort Missoula Guard Tower Fort Missoula Officer's Row Fort Missoula Post Headquarters Fort Missoula Post Headquarters (T-2) Building Fort Missoula Post Hospital Fort Missoula Recreation Hall Fort Missoula, Montana Francis L. Worden Residence Frank A. Roberts Home Free Speech Corner Ghost Town Byway Glacial Lake Missoula Gleim Building Gleim Building II Greenhood Residence Headquarters Building and Daily Company Annex Historic Logging Shaped These Woods John J. Lucy Home John M. Keith House John R. Toole House John S. Johnston House Joseph Dixon Residence Journalism Building Journey Through the Blackfoot Keim Building Labor Temple Lenox Flats Lewis and Clark in Salish Territory Lewis and Clark on Lolo Creek Lindsay Commission Company Warehouse McCormick Park & Orange Street Bridge McIntosh House Men's Gymnasium Missoula County Courthouse Missoula County War Memorial Missoula Laundry Company Missoula Mercantile Warehouse Missoula's First Flight Mrs. Lydia McCaffery's Furnished Rooms Name That River Natural Science Building New Hall Newton Residence and Shop Nobel Laureate North Hall Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Northside Missoula Railroad Historic District Northwest Passage Outwitted and Outflanked Parade Grounds Pauses and Parleys Post Commander's Residence Post Headquarters Prescott House Public Hands for Public Land Quartermaster's Root Cellar Rankin Hall Rattlesnake Creek Reid Residence Sand Park Cemetery Sliderock Lookout Tower Soldiers as Naturalists South Hall Souvenirs of the Ice Age St. Francis Xavier Church Steiger Apartments Studebaker Building Student Union T-1 Post Headquarters Taking Cover... Taxidermist Shop and Warwick Apartments The Atlantic Hotel The Grand Griz The Heart of Campus The Journey Home The Lolo Trail The Nez Perce Sikum The Ninemile Remount Depot The Oval The Palace Hotel The "Soldiers' Corral" Travellers Rest Twilight of an Era Uncovering the Expedition University Hall University Library 1908-1923 University Library 1922-1973 University of Montana World War (I) Memorial Veuve Hall Women's Club Art Building Women's Hall "Galloping Goose"
The state of Montana was once home to a massive inland sea that covered much of North America around 80 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period.
Missoula County, located in western Montana, has a rich history that can be traced back to the indigenous peoples who called the area home for thousands of years. The Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Nez Perce tribes were among the first inhabitants, relying on the abundance of natural resources in the region. In the early 1800s, European fur trappers and explorers began to arrive, establishing trading posts and interacting with the native communities.

The 19th century brought significant changes to Missoula County. In 1860, the town of Hellgate was founded, and it eventually became the county seat of Missoula County. With the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the 1880s, Missoula experienced rapid growth and became an essential transportation hub in the region. The timber industry boomed, attracting more settlers and facilitating the development of nearby towns.

The University of Montana, located in Missoula, was established in 1893 and has since become a respected institution, shaping the city's culture and economy. During this time, Missoula County also experienced increasing tensions with Native American tribes, leading to conflicts such as the Battle of the Big Hole in 1877. The county witnessed significant shifts in land ownership and territorial disputes throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In the 20th century, Missoula County faced challenges and transformations. The county suffered from the impacts of the Great Depression, but it also saw the construction of major infrastructure projects like the Bonner Dam and hydroelectric plant, which provided much-needed employment opportunities. Tourism started to play an essential role in the county's economy, thanks to its stunning landscapes and recreational activities. Today, Missoula County continues to thrive as a center for education, culture, outdoor recreation, and a vibrant arts scene, while still honoring and learning from its diverse history.

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

  • 1860s: Missoula County established as one of the original nine counties of Montana Territory.
  • 1873: Missoula becomes the county seat.
  • 1883: The Montana Central Railway reaches Missoula, leading to economic growth.
  • 1895: Construction of the University of Montana begins.
  • 1908: The city of Missoula is incorporated.
  • 1910s: Missoula sees significant growth due to logging and the timber industry.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression causes economic challenges in Missoula County and throughout the country.
  • 1940s: World War II brings military presence and economic stimulation to the area.
  • 1950s-1970s: Missoula County experiences growth and development, including the expansion of the University of Montana.
  • 1990s-2000s: Missoula County sees continued growth and diversification of its economy, including the tech sector.