Missoula is a charming town that is rich in food, arts, music, sports, and amazing people. It is a destination that is fantastic to visit and where you can have a great time.
Below are some facts that you did not know about Missoula, Montana.
People Have Been Living Here For More Than 12,000 Years
The first people to occupy this area came way before the European explorers. The American Indians from the Salish tribe had this area as their home 12,000 years ago.
They gave it the name Nemissoolatakoo, where Missoula got its name from.
The name translates to “river of ambush,” which refers to the inter-tribal fighting that was prominent at the time.
It Was Underwater
Missoula is situated at the bottom of a valley that was carved out during the age of the last ice.
This valley was under 2,000 feet of water until the giant ice dam burst in Idaho around 15000 years ago. The water that the valley was under was known as the Glacial Lake Missoula.
The boulders that are there currently, in the size of sedans show evidence of the glacial history that occurred. Ancient shorelines on the slopes surrounding the city also show that this happened many years ago.
It Produces Some Of The Best Craft Beer In The Country
Missoula is the mecca of craft beers in the country. You will not go wrong with this. Montana itself ranks fourth in the United States for the number of craft breweries per capita.
Missoula has many brews with interesting names such as Moose Drool, Dancing Trout and Lost Peak Lager.
Missoula’s love for beer and drinking, isn’t always roses, though. In fact, it often leads to DUI charges for locals, but for the most part, Missoulians
The World’s Largest Gold Nugget Was Mined Here
The biggest gold rock ever found was at the Atlantic Cable Quartz Lode that is near Missoula. It was sold for $19000 at the end of the 19th century. Amazing, right?
Lolo Peak Is The Jewel Of The Missoula Valley
It has amazing snow-capped slopes leading to its rocky top that meets the beautiful blue skies. This mountain is a Missoula icon.
Some people believe that it influences the weather in the valley. The Lolo peak rises to 9096 feet and is the highest peak in Missoula. It already has some places named after it such as the Lolo Peak Brewing Co. and Lolo Hot Springs.
Lewis and Clark went to the Lolo Creek banks in the September of 1805. They looked up toward Lolo Peak and named the Bitterroots the “terrible” mountains.
St.Francis Xavier’s Historic Steeple Changed The Landscape
The towering of St.Francis Xavier’s Church changed the landscape of the area when it was completed in the year 1892. At that time, the Wilma theatre had not been built yet.
There was no building that tall at that time. It was a center of worship for the Catholics but also provided a sense of confidence to a community that was still struggling to find an identity.
This church was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Stoverud’s Clock Is An Icon Of Downtown Missoula
The Stoverud’s clock began its work of marking time on the sidewalk in front of the Florence building more than a century ago. The original owner of this piece was Herman Kohn who opened Missoula’s first jewelry store in 1883.
The Kohn name was on the clock’s face until 1997 even though the store had already been sold to Stoverud in 1955. The clock by then was revered by the residents of the city and also the expatriates. In 2009, the clock was put on the market after the Stoverud’s jewelers closed.
When a campaign was announced to save the clock and raise $14000 to buy it and place it into the ownership of the city, people came all out. They gave donations in $5 and $10 at the time, and it only took a week to collect all the funds.
This icon is one that the city hold dearly. It makes people feel connected to the place and is their pride.
Waterworks Hill Peace Sign Lives On
The Waterworks Hill peace sign still lives on even after the tower came down. It was Missoula’s most dubious icon for twenty years.
It was painted on a telephone relay tower that was atop the Waterworks Hill. The tower was declared obsolete by Qwest in 2001 and was dismantled.
The sign endured years later after its dismantling, in photographs, coffee cups, clocks, and even bumper stickers. Nine Missoula residents volunteered to be the caretakers of the peace sign.
They agreed to take care of the assigned panel too.
It Hosts An International Choral Festival
Montana has an art and culture scene that cannot be ignored. The International Choral Festival started in the year 1987.
It now draws choirs from Finland, Austria, Malaysia, and Peru to Missoula. It is an event that one should make the purpose of attending at least once in their lifetime.
Bears Are The Norm Here
People and animals live together in most parts of Montana, and Missoula is no different. There are around 13,000 black bears in the state and about 800 grizzlies.
The people of Missoula know the ins and outs of living in a bear country and even have a website to give tips to new people living there or just visiting.
Some of the things one should do are to secure their food in a bear-proof container. One should also not leave wildlife attractants around.
You Can Go For Surfing Downtown
There is Brennan’s Wave downtown, that is man-made, and a place built in the middle of the city for the locals and visitors to go for surfing or watch surfers.
It is in the gentle Clark Fork River. It is interesting to watch as surfers ride the waves if you do not want to join them.
Missoula is a place with amazing people and also attraction features. It has many historical sites and places where you will enjoy the culture of the people there.
Do not forget about Gritz football in the region. It is a religion here. Be ready to cheer them on. With the above facts, one can conclude that it is a city with lots to offer.