From a town that started as a trading post and fort for people heading out west, the introduction of a railway in 1887 helped to expand the town of roughly 300 into a city of 12,000 people by 1920. The Northern Pacific Railway reached Missoula in 1883, the same year the city was incorporated. The Northern Pacific encompasses seven states including: Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon… a distance of roughly 1,983 miles.
Further reading: The Official Northern Pacific Railroad Guide by William C. Riley
Check out the North Missoula Community Development Corporation for up-to-date information about what is going on in the “old town” Missoula areas.
For more information about the Northern Pacific 1356 that initially ran from Spokane, WA to Missoula, MT, visit this website.