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Missoula 1884

  • 9700

This is a handsome depiction of Missoula, MT in 1884. Missoula is located along the Clark Fork River near it's confluence with the Bitterroot River in Western Montana at the convergence of five mountain ranges, this it is often described as the "hub of five valleys." Missoula was founded in 1860 as Hellgate trading post while still part of Washington Territory. By 1866 the settlement had moved five miles upstream and renamed Missoula Mills, later shortened to Missoula. The mills provided supplies to western settlers along the Mullan Wagon Road. The establishment of Ft. Missoula in 1877 to protect settlers further stabilized the economy. The arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1883 brought rapid growth and the maturation of the local lumber industry. An element of prestige could be claimed ten years later when what was already called the City of Missoula was chosen by the Montana legislature as the site for the new state's first university. Along with the US Forest Service headquarters founded in 1908, lumber and the university would remain staples of the local economy for the next hundred years.

All sizes are approximate. 

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