Hamilton

Chris Sawicki

Hamilton, MT

Anchoring the Bitterroot Valley, the well-rounded town of Hamilton—the valley's largest community—offers theater, live music, local breweries, golf, a hopping downtown and easy access to hiking and backpacking in the Bitterroot Mountains. After strolling through downtown, be sure to stop by the Daly Mansion—original home to one of Montana's Copper Kings, Marcus Daly.

Chambers + Visitor Information

Annual Events

History

Originally the Bitter Root Valley was the home of the modem Salish (Flathead) and Pend d'Orcille Indians. It was claimed for the United States in 1788 in the Oregon Country Acquisition and explored by Lewis & Clark during their expedition in 1805 - 06. St. Mary's mission in Stevensville was the first permanent white settlement in Montana, founded by Jesuit priests in 1841.

Marcus Daly the copper mining magnate, came to the valley in search of timber to supply, his mines. He needed a mill to serve the timber operations and a town to serve the mill. He made this his summer home and in 1887 acquired large tracts of land termed the Bitter Root Stock Farm, which was devoted to his hobby of breeding and racing thoroughbred horses. The town of Hamilton was incorporated in 1894 and was named after James Hamilton, a Daly employee, who platted the town along the route of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1890.

Hamilton was a company town revolving around the activities of the large Anaconda Copper Mining the Bitter Root Stock Farm. Most of the residents worked for the Daly interests, lived in "company" homes and shopped in "company" stores. By the time Daly died in 1900, it was the commercial center of the Bitterroot Valley and the seat of Ravalli County.

Marcus Daly began development of an irrigation network that, after his death, gave rise to the "Big Ditch Boom" that ran from 1906 through 1915. The grandiose irrigation and land development scheme was fueled by speculators from the East and Midwest, who invested big money to build the Big Ditch irrigation system. The subsequent "Apple Boom" was fueled by slick salesmen with often misleading literature who promised fertile land and a good climate for growing fruit trees (mainly apples) which, in turn, brought many unsuspecting farmers to the region. From 1907 to 1911 the town's population jumped from 1,800 to 3,000.

Tile Anaconda Copper Mining Company Mill closed down in 1915 after running out of accessible timber. By 1917 financial problems plagued the ditch builders and the boom went bust. The orchard farmers became disillusioned and many moved away. Although the economy went into decline the town survived through farming and timber production. Truck gardens produced fruit, berries and vegetables, dairies were known for their butter and ice cream, and farmers grew celery, sugar beets and potatoes. The U.S. Forest service employed others in their stewardship of thousands of acres of government owned timber land.

Hamilton's period of economic decline did not fully recover until 1927 when the Rocky Mountain Laboratory was established to research the cause of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Contrary to other parts of the nation, Hamilton enjoyed considerable growth during the depression years of the thirties until World War II.

Hamilton and Ravalli County (35,156 residents) have been going through a period of 40% growth in the 1990s' as the nation's population shifts from urban cities to the non-urban "new west" in search of a better quality of life. This time a new generation is drawn to Hamilton because of clean air and water, the open space, and the recreational opportunities of the mountain and the streams.

Upcoming Events

May 31

Artists Along the Bitterroot

May 31st at 10 a.m.

Bitterroot Valley Various Bitterroot Valley, MT

Jun 1

Artists Along the Bitterroot

June 1st at 10 a.m.

Bitterroot Valley Various Bitterroot Valley, MT

Jun 2

Artists Along the Bitterroot

June 2nd at 10 a.m.

Bitterroot Valley Various Bitterroot Valley, MT

Featured Listings

ABC acres
364 McCarthy Loop
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.210.7688
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Angler's Roost
815 U.S. Highway 93 S.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.1268
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Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce
105 E. Main St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406-363-2400
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Daly Mansion and Margaret Daly Memorial Arboretum
251 Eastside Highway
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.6004
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Engel & Völkers Western Frontier - Hamilton
100 Pinckney St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.926.3322
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Explore the Arts
701 Main St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.381.2488
Directions
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Pineview Lodge
322 Wyant Lane
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.203.3954
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Quality Inn Hamilton
1113 N. First St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.6600 | 800.442.4667
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Other Listings

Airbnb
Art Focus Fine Art and Framing
215 W. Main St.
Hamilton , MT 59840
4063634112
Ashley J Photography
806.773.1941
Big Sky Candy
319 W. Main St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.0580
Bitter Root Land Trust
170 S. Second St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.375.0956
Bitterroot Alpine Guides

Hamilton, MT 59840
406.369.5918
Bitterroot Antique Mall
1593 N. First St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.361.0540
Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering
Daly Mansion
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.274.8886
Bitterroot Drug
211 W. Main St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.3611
Bitterroot Info
Bitterroot River Inn and Conference Center
139 Bitterroot Plaza Drive
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.375.2525 | 877.274.8274
Burlap Chic Boutique
175 S. Second St., Suite A
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.375.5898
City Center Motel
415 W. Main St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406-363-1651
Copper Poppy Boutique
307 W. Main St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.361.8250
Downing Mountain Lodge
1017 Grubstake Road
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.531.1486
Flora + Fauna
222 W. Main St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.375.5900
Hamilton Farmers Market Cooperative
Market Location: Bedford, Second and Third St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.381.4386
Hamilton Golf Club
1004 Golf Course Road
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.4251
Jaela B. Photography, LLC.

Hamilton, MT 59840
406.396.4584
Leather & Ivory
1144 Judd Creek Hollow
Hamilton, MT 59840
707.292.4720
Lora Lin Aesthetics Day Spa
565 Merwin Trail
Hamilton, MT 59840
4068024351
Mainstreet Toys
213 W. Main St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.375.5155
Mari Bolen Bronzes Studio & Gallery
226 Peaceful Drive
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.360.3936
Michele Kapor Fine Arts Studio
226 Peaceful Drive
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.381.8001
Mikesell's Fine Jewelry
210 W. Main St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.6236
Ravalli County Fairgrounds
100 Old Corvallis Road
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.3411
Ravalli County Museum
205 Bedford St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.3338
Salvage Signs
406.422.3120
Stay Express Inn
409 S. First St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.363.2142
Suzette's Organics
900 S. First St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.375.5159
The Cabins at Deer Crossing
396 Hayes Creek Road
Hamilton, MT 59840
406-363-2232
Veterans Monument
109 Bitterroot Plaza Drive
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.961.0035
Westslope Distillery
172 S. Second St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.375.5590
Withy Gate Lodgings
701 S. Third St.
Hamilton, MT 59840
406.360.7019
News from Glacier National Park Currently, 29 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.