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Stevensville - Where Montana Began

“Everyone thought we would be able to find nothing better anywhere else.”

Father Nicolas Point, S.J. upon the founding of St. Mary’s Mission, on September 24, 1841.

On a cool autumn day, Father Pierre DeSmet, S.J., the indefatigable missionary to the American Indians, planted a rough hewn wooden cross on the east bank of the
BitterRootRiver, an event that established the first pioneer settlement in Montana. He named it St. Mary’s. A little village grew around the mission and is known in the history books as St. Mary’s Village. John Owen’s trading post, FortOwen, attracted more settlers to the community. In 1864 the village was plotted into a town and was named Stevensville

winter_sunrise_stevensville

Today, Stevensville is a small town with locally owned businesses; you’ll find no franchises here! We are centrally located in town, so take a short walk to art galleries, antique shops, gift shops, and several restaurants. Valley Drug has an old fashion soda fountain serving Montana made ice cream. We have many eateries featuring everything from a hearty ranch breakfast, light lunches, and dinners with local & international flair. Visit a Brew Pub with hand crafted beers or an old time bar. Visit the neighborhood's historic buildings, including the beautiful Bass Mansion and St. Mary's Mission, founded in 1841.

 

Friendly smiles are the norm, and always a favorite recommendation for our visitors.

st marys_bpTake a longer stroll down the paved walking/ bike path to the sparkling clear Bitterroot River for fishing, swimming or tubing. Stop at the Fort Owen State Park on the way. The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is just a mile away with resident Peregrine Falcons nesting by the road and numerous other species, a Visitor Center and trails. The 9 hole Whitetail Golf Course, is adjacent and open spring through fall. Within a few miles of Stevensville are a multitude of uncrowded mountain trails awaiting your exploration. Climb to St Mary’s Peak overlooking the town for a challenge or take it easy at Bass Creek or Kootenai Creek Trails. The Bitterroot Valley has a bike/walking trail following Hwy 93 from Lolo in the north to Hamilton in the south. At night, the moon & stars paint the sky and it’s so quiet, we often hear the cows mooing out in the fields!

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St. Mary's Mission

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