Kalispell, Montana

Kalispell, Montana
Looking over Kalispell

"Kalispell" is a Salish word meaning "flat land above the lake." A fitting name for the commercial center and largest city in northwest Montana. Kalispell is located just north of Flathead Lake and is maybe a thirty-minute drive from Whitefish Mountain Resort and Glacier National Park. The City of Kalispell estimates the city's population has risen some 44% since the year 2000, in spite of the global economic recession. Part of the reason for that is the beautiful countryside and the mild climate of the Flathead Valley.

Kalispell was originally founded as Demmersville in a location that speculators thought the Great Northern Railroad might choose to build a station at. That didn't come to fruition for a few years, then (with the name changed) Kalispell became a city in 1891, just before the first train pulled into town on New Year's Day, 1892. Founder Charles Conrad had known that sooner or later, the Great Northern would establish the main line junction for this area of Montana somewhere in the vicinity of Kalispell. So Conrad established the Kalispell Townsite Company (to sell the real estate), a bank (to finance the real estate sales) and then built himself a 26-room mansion on what would soon be the east side of town. Since then, the railroad has helped turn Kalispell into a booming industrial city with farmers, flour mills and sawmills.

The old railroad depot is now home to the Flathead Convention & Visitor Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce. The former Carnegie Library is now the Hockaday Museum of Art. And the ranch where Charles Conrad's buffalo used to graze is now the Buffalo Hill Golf Course.

Fast Facts about Kalispell, Montana
Kalispell, Flathead County, MT
Zip Codes: 59901-59904
Founded: 1887; Incorporated: 1891
Elevation: 2,956'
Latitude: 48.1978°N
Longitude: 114.3161°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 94.9%
Hispanic: 1.1%
Native American: 1.3%
Two or More Races: 1.7%
Asian: 0.5%
African-American: 0.5%
High School or Higher: 85.8%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 21.9%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 7.6%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 21,640
Males: 10,108
Females: 11,532
Median Resident Age: 37.7 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $41,000
Estimated Median Home Value: $192,400
Population Density: 3,964 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Kalispell: 90.5
Major Industries:
Lodging & Food Services, Construction, Health Care, Computer & Electronic Products, Educational Services, Finance & Insurance Services, Government, Professional Services, Social Services
Unemployed (March 2011): 13.1%
Photo of Kalispell is courtesy of Katie Brady, CCA ShareAlike 2.0 License
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