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Kalispell Montana is a beautiful western town surrounded by National Forest, and trimmed by Flathead Lake. We are the beneficiaries of over 10,000 square miles of parks and national forests of the Northern Rocy Mountains. To the west is the Kootenai National Forest, and to the east is the Flathead National Forest. The area is famous for the many glacier-carved mountains and valleys.
A Brief Kalispell History
The town of Kalispell was established in the early 1890's, and incorporated
in 1892, as the railroad came through. The Great Northern Railway was the initial
impetus for the town as businessman Charles Conrad established Kalispell around
the division point of the railroad in 1891. However, the route over Marion Hill
was a tough haul for locomotives - even tougher than going over the Continental
Divide! So in 1904 the Great Northern moved its mail line to Whitefish which
was touted as, “a heavily wooded, swampy marsh full of green frogs, lizards
and other creepy things with trees so big and so thick that the sun could hardly
shine through.” . The area is still served by the Amtrak
station in Whitefish.
1910 was a banner year for the area with the creation of both Glacier National
Park, and the Flathead Indian Reservation (which served poorly to protect Native
Americans from the onslaught of settlers brought into the area by heavy Great
The national forest areas around Kalispell experience periodic forest fires,
but none to compare with the Half Moon Fire which started west of Columbia Falls,
and swept across the mountains into Glacier National Park in 1929. In a mere
three days it burned 103,000 acres in a 30-mile swath. Since then, Mother Nature
has beautifully restored these areas into prime Elk and wildlife habitat.
In 1938, Kerr Dam was built at Polson. This dam is 204 feet high, and controls
the water of the top 10 feet of Flathead Lake. And in 1947, the Big Mountain
Ski Resort began operations, solidifying the area as a main tourist destination.
Kalispell in the 1950's
Although we have a colorful 20th century turn of the century history, the real
expansion of Kalispell began in the the 21st Century. The beautiful Flathead
lake has seeded a flourishing arts community and Kalispell now holds over 2
dozen art galleries and studios! We have numerous Antique stores, gift shops
and other high-quality tourist attractions.
Kalispell Montana is located to the northwest of the beautiful Flathead Lake in the rough and pristine mountains of the Montana/Canadian border country. Kalispell is a recreational mecca of the northwest a mere 31 miles southwest of Glacier National Park.
Our up-and-coming city is experiencing a tremendous boom as visitors are discovering the relaxed and invigorating Montana lifestyle. With a population (as calculated in the 2000 census) of just over 14,000. 2004 estimates the population to have grown to over 17,000! Kalispell carries the small-town feel with plenty of services and opportunities
While to many Kalispell may seem to be located in freezing arctic north, we are actually only 2954 feet above sea level, giving us a relatively mild climate. We enjoy the big, sunny, beautiful skies of Montana living!
We also have the CREVIERS SCHOOL OF COSMETOLOGY on First Street.
The Kalispell Public high school isFLATHEAD HIGH SCHOOL (with approx l1,831
students, Grades: 10 - 12). Flathead Valley Christian School, is a private school
on Glen Drive (with approx. 325 students; Grades: K - 12)
Kalispell's Elementary/Middle Schools
KALISPELL JR HIGH SCHOOL
EAST EVERGREEN SCHOOL
KALISPELL JR HIGH SCHOOL
CORNELIUS HEDGES SCHOOL
LILIAN PETERSON SCHOOL
WEST VALLEY SCHOOL
TRINITY LUTHERAN SCHOOL
ST MATTHEWS SCHOOL
KALISPELL MONTESSORI CENTER
SUGAR N SPICE LEARNING CENTER
VALLEY ADVENTIST CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Our library is the FLATHEAD COUNTY LIBRARY at 247 1st Ave. East.
We feature area businesses: realtors, outfitters and guides, recreation, motels, restaurants, bed and breakfasts,
community associations and more in our colorful streets.
Our many businesses welcome you to Kalispell, MT.
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Just when you thought you saw it all... Harmonica in Carnegie Hall.
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