Hamilton area information
What does Hamilton and the Bitterroot Valley offer?
Located in western Montana, Hamilton is 45 minutes south of Missoula. Missoula is serviced by Major airlines including Allegiant Air, Delta, Northwest and United Airlines. The Bitterroot River flows Northward for about 75 miles from the Idaho border to Missoula. The valley is surrounded by the Bitteroot’s of the Rocky Mountains to the West and the Sapphire Mountians to the East.
Bitterroot Valley: (Banana Belt of Montana) Stretching from Missoula south 96 miles to the Idaho border, the Bitterroot Valley, is 25 miles wide at the widest spot for total of 2,394 square miles. Land ownership is 74% is public and 26% is privately owned.
Hamilton: In the middle of the Bitterroot Valley, in Ravalli County, is the county’s seat of Hamilton. Home to over 4,000 people, and the immediate area around the town has somewhere over 12,000 people. Downtown Hamilton has several historic buildings with many unique shops and restaurants. Just finished in the spring of 2004, there is a newly revitalized downtown. New streetscape, trees, and street lamps make way to enjoy the unique downtown shops.
Hamilton, the county seat, has an elected mayor in the community of 4,163 in the city limits, an immediate drawing area of about 12,000 and county of 40,000 residents.
Population (2010 Census) Population projection (County)
Age Number Percent 2010 actual 40212
0-4 2324 5.8 2011 50868
5-9 2245 5.6 2012 56540
10-14 2712 6.8 2013 62370
15-19 2876 7.2 2014 68360
20-24 2088 5.0
25-34 3539 8.8
35-44 4849 12.1
45-54 6461 16.1
55-64 5961 14.6
65-74 3860 9.6
75-84 2052 5.1
85+ 1086 2.7
Month Avg. Low Avg. High
January 18 33 Growing days 130 to 150 days
April 32 60 Average Rainfall 14” per year
July 50 84 Elevation 3572’
October 31 61
History: Hamilton was a planned town of wide streets and avenues, a complete economic center for an area of farms and stock ranches. History of Hamilton began when Marcus Daly, a great copper king of the 1880 era in Butte and Anaconda mining development, made his way into the Bitterroot Valley seeking interests other than mining. About 1887, Daly bought up small saw mills west of the present site of Hamilton and established a lumber mill on the bank of the Bitterroot River. Marcus Daly’s next move was to bring two men from another state to plan and develop his dream town. They were James Hamilton and Robert O’Hara, who came from Minnesota in 1890. Daly named Hamilton after James Hamilton and the town was incorporated in 1894, and Mr. O’Hara was named the first mayor.