Welcome to

Broadwater, Montana

History of Broadwater County
To Submit any History to the county site email county Coordinator: Christina Palmer

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.


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 River.

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.

This website is a part of the Broadwater Co., MTGenWeb project. All data is free.
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Thank You for stopping by!

Last Updated: 23 February 2012

County Coordinator:
Christina Palmer

Copyright 2012 - Christina Palmer-The MTGenWeb Project - All Rights Reserved

State Coordinator:
Shirley Cullum