VERY BRIEF HISTORY
Broadwater Co. used to be the home of the Flathead Indians with Shoshoni
Indians living in areas a little further to the south, east & west.
In the 1860s, the area which would later become Broadwater Co. was still
considered a part of Nebraska Territory. Montana became a territory in
1864 at which time the northeastern part of Broadwater was a part of the
then large county of Meagher & the southwestern area was in Jefferson
Co. (if you look at it on a map, the present county would be divided about
in half with a diagonal line running from the northwest inside corner where
Jefferson and Lewis & Clark boundary come together to the southeast
part of the county about where the Gallatin Co. line joins). The boundary
remained like this until 1895 when Broadwater Co. was formed (with the
same county lines it currently has). The county, as of 1995, had a population
of 3,872 & was not a part of a metropolitan area.
ABOUT THE COUNTY
Broadwater Co. is located between the Elkhorn Mountains to the west
and the Big Belts to the east. Townsend, the county seat of Broadwater,
is situated at approximately 3800 feet above sea level, & is also nicknamed
"the first city on the Missouri River". Townsend is approximately 35 miles
from Helena, the state capitol & 35 miles from the convergence of the
Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers which is the headwater of the Missouri
Canyon Ferry Lake begins at the northern edge of Townsend & is fed
by the Missouri River which it is a part of. Canyon Lake is a popular resort
area & offers swimming, fishing & boating, along with many "back
to nature" type of activities such as hiking, horseriding & more. Canyon
Ferry Lake also serves as a critical feeding ground to support the bald
eagle migration in the fall. The lake is 35,181 acres & has 76 miles
of shoreline. Many types of fish are found in the lake including rainbow
trout, perch, ling & walleye.
Broadwater Historical Society sponsors a local museum of Natural History
in the area. You can also still pan for gold in the area!
The scenery in the area is magnificent & there are crystal clear
streams & lakes. Yellowstone National Park is only 2 hours to the south
& Glacier National Park is about 4 hours to the north. There is wildlife
galore in this scenic area. Some of the animals that are still hunted in
the area include deer, wild turkey, ducks, bear, elk, mountain lion, pheasant,
antelope, geese & grouse. In the winter, there's skiing & ice-fishing,
along with the other typical winter sports.
Many thanks to Bonnie Palmer for this information about Broadwater County.