Montana is a state diverse in its geography, culture, and history. From the history of mining and logging in the west, to the tales of the homestead era in the east, it is a land rich in stories of the past. From the western mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains to the prairies and badlands of the east, it is a land of everchanging scenery. It's here that a culture of ranching and farming blends with a culture of arts and an urban small town lifestyle of it's cities and towns. Montana is huge in it's physical scale, almost 800 miles from the southeast corner to the northwest corner of the state; but small in population with less people in the entire state than are found in most U.S. urban areas with less than a million inhabitants spread across it's vast expanse. Recreation is year round here with a full range of winter activities, ski areas, snowmobile trails, and cross country ski trails, and provides endless opportunities for recreation in the warmer months with world class fishing, hiking and outdoor activities. Your Montana journey starts here.
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When steam locomotives were in their heyday, crisscrossing Montana, hauling passengers, freight, mail and other goods, the coal to fire those locomotives came from an area in southeastern Montana that has become synonymous to coal mining. Even the name, Colstrip, is a combination of the word "coal" and the process used to extract it from the ground "strip mining."
Columbia Falls, located at the north end of the Flathead Valley, is positioned as the western gateway to Glacier Park. It lies at the foot of Mount Columbia just two miles from the scenic Bad Rock Canyon.
Columbus dates back to 1875 when a man by the name of Horace Countryman opened a trading post and stage station stop along the Yellowstone Trail a few miles west of present-day Columbus. This area used to be part of the Crow Indian Reservation lands, and Countryman followed the Crow Agency from Mission Creek to Rosebud Creek. He opened his business just off the reservation. Countryman built the Log Hotel to accommodate visitors that were traveling between Miles City and Bozeman, and by 1882 this area became a major stop on the Northern Paciﬁc Railroad. The railroad named this stop Stillwater Village. In 1894, the railroad renamed the town Columbus, due to shipping mixups with Stillwater, Minnesota.
Most of the homes and businesses that have a Condon address are spread for several miles up and down Hwy. 83 between Seeley Lake and Swan Lake for about 10 miles. Residents once petitioned the Post Office to have the name changed to Swan Valley and conceded to allow them to use either name as their address.
The Aaron Conner family settled the area known as Whitesell Flats in 1882. A notable and well-respected speaker, Aaron Conner was elected as a representative from Ravalli County to the Montana House of Representatives in 1900. When he died of injuries resulting from an accident in his sawmill, the post office and town were named for him. Both were later moved to Conner’s current location south of Darby.
Conrad is named for W. G. Conrad, a significant figure in the Conrad Investment Company which owned much of the land in this area. The town is located near the old trading post where Fort Conrad was located. Close by, Lake Francis, Lake Elwell, and the Marias River extend adventure for both fishing and boating. Occasionally, the only company in these parts is a wide variety of wildlife.