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State Facts - History Firsts
State Facts - History Firsts

Montana State Facts - Montana History Firsts

Catch up on your state trivia with these Montana history firsts and interesting fun facts about the state.

Official Name Montana
Capital Helena
46.59652 N, 112.02038 W
Rocky Mountains
Constitution Ratified 1972
Statehood November 08, 1889
41st state
Number of Counties 56 Counties in Montana
Largest County
(by population)
Yellowstone County
2,635 sq. mi.

Montana History Firsts & State Facts

More Montana History Firsts & State Facts

  • You can fit Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York within Montana state borders- and still have room left over for the District of Columbia
  • Public lands, state and national forests and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land constitute roughly 35% of the state, opening up much of the state for recreation and a myriad of other uses.
  • Montana has the largest migratory elk herd in the nation.
  • Among the approximately 100 species of mammals in Montana are elk, black bears, grizzly bears, antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, caribou, and mountain lions.
  • Montana's rivers and streams provide water for three oceans and three of the North American continent's major river basins.
  • Every spring nearly 10,000 white pelicans with a wingspan of nine feet migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to Medicine Lake in northeastern Montana.
  • The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park is considered one of the most scenic drives in America.
  • More than 6 million tourists visit Yellowstone and Glacier national parks annually.
  • No state has as many different species of mammals as Montana.
  • The average square mile of land contains 1.4 elk, 1.4 pronghorn antelope, and 3.3 deer.
  • 46 out of Montana's 56 counties are considered "frontier counties" with an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile.
  • Yellowstone National Park in southern Montana and northern Wyoming was the first national park in the nation
  • The state boasts the largest breeding population of trumpeter swans in the lower United States.
  • At the Rocky Mountain Front Eagle Migration Area west of Great Falls more golden eagles have been seen in a single day than anywhere else in the country.
  • North of Missoula is the largest population of nesting common loons in the western United States.
  • The Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area contains as many as 300,000 snow geese and 10,000 tundra swans during migration.
  • At Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge it is possible to see up to 1,700 nesting pelicans.
  • At Egg Mountain near Choteau dinosaur eggs have been discovered supporting the theory some dinosaurs were more like mammals and birds than like reptiles.
  • Montana is the only state with a triple divide allowing water to flow into the Pacific, Atlantic, and Hudson Bay. This phenomenon occurs at Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park. If you're nearby, toss a leaf into the stream. Then call your friend in Seattle and tell them it's on its way.
  • The notorious outlaw, Henry Plummer, built the first jail constructed in the state.
  • Flathead Lake in northwest Montana contains over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline. It is considered the largest natural freshwater lake in the west.
  • Miles City is known as the Cowboy Capitol.
  • Yellowstone National Park is a national park located primarily in the US state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho. It was established by the US Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone, widely held to be the first national park in the world, is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park.
  • The town of Ekalaka was named for the daughter of the famous Sioux chief, Sitting Bull.
  • Fife is named after the type of wheat grown in the area or, as some locals contend, by Tommy Simpson for his home in Scotland.
  • Fishtail is named for either a Mr. Fishtail who lived in the area or as the area Indians prefer for some of the peaks in the nearby Beartooth Mountain Range which look like the tail of a fish.
  • The Yaak community is the most northwestern settlement in the state.
  • Montana has the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states.
  • Near the Pines Recreation Area as many as 100 sage grouse perform their extraordinary spring mating rituals.
  • Combination, Comet, Keystone, Black Pine, and Pony are names of Montana ghost towns.
  • Montana is nicknamed the Treasure State.
  • The density of the state is six people per square mile.
  • The highest point in Montana is Granite Peak at 12,799 feet.
  • The most visited place in Montana is Glacier National Park, known as the crown jewel of the continent. It lies along Montana's northern border and adjoins Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, forming the world's first International Peace Park.
  • Buffalo in the wild can still be viewed at the National Bison Range in Moiese, south of Flathead Lake and west of the Mission Mountains.
  • Montana's first territorial capital, Bannack, has been preserved as a ghost town state park along once gold-laden Grasshopper Creek.
  • The Old West comes to life through the brush and sculpture of famed western artist Charlie Russell at the Charles M. Russell Museum Complex in Great Falls. The museum contains the world's largest collection of Russell's work, his original log-cabin studio and his Great Falls home.
  • The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman gained fame through the work of its chief paleontologist, Jack Horner. Horner was the prototype for the character Dr. Alan Grant in the best selling novel/movie, "Jurassic Park."
  • Montana's rivers and streams provide water for three oceans and three of the North American continent's major river basins.
  • Just south of Billings, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his troops made their last stand. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument features the Plains Indians and United States military involved in the historic battle.
  • The first inhabitants of Montana were the Plains Indians
  • Montana is home to seven Indian reservations.
  • Every spring nearly 10,000 white pelicans with a wingspan of nine feet migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to Medicine Lake in northeastern Montana.
  • The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park is considered one of the most scenic drives in America.
  • The Montana 's motto Oro y Plata means gold and silver.
  • Montana's name comes from the Spanish word mountain.
  • In Montana the elk, deer and antelope populations outnumber the humans.
  • Glacier National Park has 250 lakes within its boundaries.
  • Hill County has the largest county park in the United States. Beaver Creek Park measures 10 miles long and 1 mile wide.
  • Competing with the D River in Lincoln City, Oregon for the title of the world's shortest river, the Roe River flows near Great Falls. Both rivers lengths vary from 58 feet to 200 feet. The source for this small river is Giant Springs, the largest freshwater spring in the United States.
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