History of Whitefish

HomeAbout the AreaHistory of Whitefish

Before you visit a new destination on vacation, it can sometimes be eye-opening and important to learn more about the surrounding area to have a great appreciation for where you are going to be. Suppose you are considering going to the bustling town of Whitefish and taking in the sights and sounds of the nearby lake, forests, and cute mountain town. In that case, we recommend learning about the history of Whitefish, the area, settlement, and nearby neighborhoods beforehand to see just how this lakefront settlement came to be.

History of Whitefish in the 19th Century

In the 19th century, trappers entered the Flathead Valley looking for new animals, pelts, and furs that they could sell to make money and use in trading with the Native Americans. The new influx of people ended up coming in contact with the locals of the area, who were able to hunt and capture the pelts of nearby beavers and the meat of the fish in the flowing rivers. Hence, how the name Whitefish came to be!

Through the influx of trappers and settlers into the valley, traders and immigrants began emigrating to this abundant area that was filled with wildlife and promise. The early 19th century saw the first permanent settler, John Morton, build his house right on the edge of the lake and take control of the logging business. He created a new business, which saw employees come from all over the country to start working for his logging company, increasing demand, and partnering with other businesses in the United States. Due to the success of his business, the Great Northern Railway decided to expand into the Flathead Valley, bringing even more settlers and businessmen who wanted to make use of the resources.

20th Century

As the town and the valley saw tons of infrastructure being built and expansion continuing, the 20th century was no stranger to innovation. The railroad system had a route in and out of the valley. The Whitefish Townsite was created in 1903, featuring new plots of land, supply pathways, trail spur lines, and farming communities. As the 20th century went on, the economy continued to increase, bringing a new golf course, clubhouse, railroad addition, skiing mountain and cabins, and much more.

Enjoy a Vacation to Historic Whitefish

As you can see, the history of a settlement and town can change the way you look at a place today. Understanding the history of the beautiful mountain town of Whitefish, MT can give visitors and tourists a better perspective as to the hard work and dedication that created this bustling community.

Contact us today to learn about our Whitefish vacation rentals and plan your next adventure!

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