Beaverhead County is a rural county located in the southwestern region of Montana, bordering Idaho to the west. It is the largest county in Montana by land area, with an estimated population of 9,300 people as of 2020. The county seat and largest city is Dillon, with other communities including Wisdom, Lima, Melrose, and Polaris. See list of counties in Montana.
The area now known as Beaverhead County has been inhabited since prehistoric times by various Native American tribes such as the Shoshone and Salish. The area was first explored by fur trappers in the early 1800s and was later settled by ranchers and farmers looking to take advantage of its abundant natural resources. By 1881 Beaverhead County was officially established and named after a nearby mountain peak shaped like a beaver’s head.
Beaverhead County is home to some beautiful scenery that includes rolling hills, forested mountainsides, canyons carved out by rivers like the Big Hole River and Red Rock River, wide open valleys dotted with wildflowers in springtime, and numerous lakes for fishing and camping. Wildlife such as bald eagles, osprey, elk, deer, antelope and bighorn sheep are also commonly seen throughout the county.
Agriculture has been an important part of Beaverhead County’s economy since its founding days; today it remains one of the leading industries in terms of employment with many local farms producing wheat barley hay alfalfa sugar beets potatoes oats corn and other crops for sale both locally and nationally. Cattle ranching is also popular in this region due to its abundance of grasslands perfect for grazing livestock; many local ranches specialize in raising Hereford cattle while others produce horses for show or pleasure riding purposes.
Tourism also plays an important role in Beaverhead County’s economy as it attracts visitors from all over looking to explore its vast wilderness areas or partake in some outdoor recreational activities such as hunting fishing camping rafting horseback riding snowmobiling skiing hiking biking ATVing golfing or boating on one of its many nearby lakes or rivers. There are numerous campgrounds state parks historical sites museums art galleries festivals rodeos restaurants bars shops hotels motels lodges cabins resorts guest ranches dude ranches dude camps backcountry huts RV parks marinas boat launches public lands places to stay overnight on National Forest Service land BLM land National Park Service land etc throughout the county where visitors can enjoy all that Beaverhead County has to offer year-round.
Beaverhead County is also home to several educational facilities including two high schools two middle schools four elementary schools a college campus a university center three technical colleges two community colleges one tribal college five private schools seven libraries several daycares preschools charter schools alternative high school programs etc all providing quality education options for residents within their counties borders.
In addition, there are also several medical facilities located throughout Beaverhead County including hospitals clinics urgent care centers pharmacies physical therapists occupational therapists optometrists dentists orthodontists chiropractors massage therapists acupuncturists naturopathic physicians etc providing quality healthcare services for those living within their boundaries.
Overall, Beaverhead County offers something special for everyone whether you’re looking to experience nature explore history participate in recreational activities shop dine sightsee learn something new find quality healthcare services or just relax it’s all here waiting for you.
History of Beaverhead County, Montana
Beaverhead County, Montana is a county located in the southwestern part of the state. It was founded in 1865 and named after the Beaverhead River. The river was named by French-Canadian fur traders in honor of a beaver-shaped rock formation near its headwaters.
The first settlers in Beaverhead County were miners who came to the area during the 1860s gold rush. The county quickly became an important center for mining, ranching, and agriculture. In 1867, a post office was established and the town of Dillon was founded two years later. By 1870, there were over 1,200 people living in Beaverhead County and it had become one of Montana’s most populous counties.
The economy of Beaverhead County continued to grow throughout the late 19th century as more settlers came to work on ranches or mine for silver, copper and gold. The town of Dillon grew rapidly during this time period and by 1900 it had become the largest town in Montana with over 5,000 people living there.
In 1910, Beaverhead County had grown even larger with more than 8,000 residents spread across numerous small towns throughout the region. The county’s economic base continued to diversify during this time period as new industries such as timber harvesting and tourism began to take root in the area.
During World War II, many men from Beaverhead County left their homes to serve their country overseas. After returning home at war’s end they found that much had changed back home with many new businesses popping up throughout Dillon and other towns within the county. This growth continued into the 1950s when new roads were built connecting Dillon to other parts of Montana and Idaho making it easier for residents to travel back and forth between cities for work or leisure purposes.
Today, Beaverhead County is home to nearly 10,000 people who live mostly in small towns spread across its vast landscape that is still dominated by ranching and farming activities as well as some mining operations that remain from earlier times. Outdoor recreation has also become significant part of life here with tourists visiting from all over North America each year looking for opportunities to fish or hunt on local ranches or explore nearby mountains or rivers by foot or horseback. Despite its remote location, Beaverhead County has remained an important part of Montana’s history since its founding more than 150 years ago.