Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » States » Montana » Cities & Towns » Whitefish

The city of Whitefish is in Flathead County, Montana, and home to Whitefish Mountain Resort, a ski resort on Big Mountain. Prior to the community being settled, the area was visited by westward immigrants passing through during the 1800s, as well as by trappers and traders. The first known permanent settler was John Morton, who built a cabin on the shore of Whitefish Lake, just west of the mouth of the Whitefish River, in 1883. In the 1890s, loggers came into the area, some remaining. Surveyors for the Great Northern Railway came seeking an easier route out of the Flathead Valley, and the railroad decided to re-route its tracks north to Eureka before heading west to the Pacific Coast, and to locate its regional headquarters at the southern end of the Whitefish Lake. For a short time, the town was known as Stumptown, for the trees that had been felled in preparation of its settlement. The new town was surveyed in June of 1903, and the town was platted. The first train arrived at the Whitefish Depot in October of 1904, and Whitefish was incorporated as a town in April of 1905. A ski resort was developed in the 1930s and 1940s. Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer was a Whitefish resident, although he was born in Havre. Whitefish is west of Columbia Falls, north of Kalispell, and southeast of Olney.


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