Our Community

Charlo Montana

Charlo was originally a trail crossing for freighters hauling grain and other goods from the rich Ronan Valley to the railroad at Dixon. The place was first called Big Flat, then Charlotte, and later Charlo, in honor of Chief Charlo of the Flatheads, one of the few chiefs who refused to sign Special Commissioner James A. Garfield's order (August 27, 1872) removing all Indians of the region to the Jocko reservation. Joseph Dixon, a governor and US Senator, was instrumental in establishing the name Charlo. (from Cheney's Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)

The Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana is located in Charlo. It was established to discover and memorialize the history and culture of the Flathead Indian Reservation and early Montana. Long-term exhibits include weaponry, spurs and saddlery, a vast collection of Native American beadwork, life-size dioramas of wild animals and of an Indian camp. An old cabin, and wagons and buggies dot the museum grounds.

The National Bison Range is located just seven miles southwest of Charlo on Highway 212. It was established in 1908 and is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the nation. The range protects one of the most important remaining herds of American bison. About 300 to 500 of these great shaggy animals roam nearly 19,000 acres of grassland and timber. The range is also home to whitetail and mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, and at least 200 species of birds. A visitor’s center, auto tour, and picnic area are available.

Polson Montana

Incorporated April 5, 1910, Polson has a history of lumbering, ranching and steamboats. The city was named after pioneer rancher David Polson. Steamboats played a major part in early transportation of freight and passengers. The tugboat "Paul Bunyan" was instrumental in early logging operations.

Polson is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation in a natural amphitheater at the south end of Flathead Lake. This charming lakeside community is the trading center for one of Montana's most fertile farming areas. In a prime cherry growing region and home to numerous cherry orchards, Polson celebrates with an annual Main Street Flathead Cherry Festival.

The broad, sweeping Mission Valley south of Polson is bordered by the rugged, snow-capped Mission Mountains. The Flathead River that flows from Polson features whitewater rafting and Kerr Dam. The National Bison Range at Moiese with its large herds of bison, elk, deer, antelope and bairn sheep is nearby, as well as the Ninepipes and Pablo Wildlife Refuges for bird watchers.

Two museums, The Miracle of America and Polson-Flathead Historical Museum, offer many displays and memorabilia. Polson also has several city parks located on the lake and is home to the Polson Bay Golf Course, a magnificent golf course which is nestled near the Mission Mountains and at the base of Flathead Lake.

Ronan Montana

Originally settled by Salish residents in 1883, this town was called Spring Creek for the local warm springs that flow into the nearby Flathead River. Residents changed the name to Ronan Springs in 1893 as a tribute to Maj. Peter Ronan, who served as the Flathead Indian Reservation agent from 1877 until his death in 1893. Ronan experienced a sudden boom when the federal government opened the Flathead Indian Reservation to non-Indian homesteading in 1910. (Copyright 2009, Montana Historical Society: Montana Place Names from Alzada to Zortman, Montana Historical Society Research Center Staff)

Adorned with the beauty of the Mission Mountain and various sources of fishing and wildlife habitat, the community of more than 3,000 residents offers a wealth of resources and enjoyment. Ronan's Area Chamber of Commerce is a community project serving summer visitors to the Mission Valley. Hiking in the Mission Mountain Wilderness Area by permit, touring the National Bison Range, picnicking in the city park, enjoying the Garden of the Rockies Museum and sightseeing along the Flathead River are among the many attractions. Just west of Ronan, The Mission Mountain Golf Course is acclaimed as one of Montana's finest golf courses featuring lush fairways and beautiful green with a fantastic view of the Mission Mountains. This course is suited for any caliber of golfer and is open to the public.

Ninepipe and Pablo National Wildlife Refuge is an exceptional wetland complex that contains over 800 glacial potholes and a 1,770-acre reservoir. About 200 bird species have been recorded. Nesting great blue herons and double-crested cormorants can be observed from the road on the west side of the refuge.

E-mail Koehn Electric
Ronan Montana 59864