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Hamilton, perhaps the fastest growing city in Montana, is centrally located in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley along US Highway 93 and the Bitterroot River approximately 45 miles south of Missoula and 47 miles north of the Idaho border at Lost Trail Pass.
Hamilton offers the traveler just about all the necessities, if not the amenities, of a large metropolitan city plus easy access to millions of acres of heavily forested public lands and mountains that support almost any form of outdoor recreation that one can imagine.
The city was founded in 1890 by Irish immigrant and copper magnate Marcus Daly. Daly bought his 22,000-acre Bitterroot Stock Farm in the area in 1889 and then decided it would be a good idea to have a town nearby. So, Daly brought in planners and laid out and built his city with plots for churches, schools, parks and businesses.
Daly later decided his family needed a summer home so he built "Riverside", a mansion and estate that were once a part of the Bitterroot Stock Farm. Today, the Mansion and the fifty acres of grounds surrounding it are owned by the State of Montana, managed by the Daly Mansion Preservation Trust, and recognized as a National Historic Site.
Hamilton features a number of other handsome old homes and public buildings including the Ravalli County Museum, which is housed in the Old Ravalli County Court House, and the City Hall.
*See also the Go Northwest! guide to the Bitterroot Valley
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Moon Montana, 8th Edition (Moon Handbooks) by Judy Jewell and Bill McRae. This book journeys from Yellowstone to the eastern prairies, highlighting the best of the Big Sky Country. Whether it's cross-country skiing at Glacier National Park or observing elk at Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge this book has all the information needed. Order now...
Montana Off the Beaten Path, 8th: A Guide to Unique Places by Michael McCoy. This guidebook features the things people want to see and experience, if they knew about them. From the best in dining to quirky cultural tidbits to hidden attractions, unique finds, and unusual locales. Order now...
Benchmark Montana Road & Recreation Atlas by Benchmark Maps. Large-scale Landscape MapsTM and a complete 30-page Recreation Guide make it the ideal planning tool for any outdoor adventure. Benchmark field-checkers drove thousands of miles to make sure the Montana Road & Recreation Atlas is the most accurate and reliable map product. Order now...
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