Located in northwestern Montana, Lake County is Montana’s ninth most populous with 26,904 residents, according to the 2001 estimates produced by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Polson, the county seat, is the state’s 18th largest city with a population of 4,041, according to the 2000 Census.
According to the Montana Almanac, by authors Andrea Merrill and Judy Jacobson, the county was established in 1923 and was one of the last counties to be formed in Montana.
The authors add Flathead Lake was the inspiration for Lake county’s name and Polson was named for Mission Valley stockman David Polson. Lake County is home to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation. The Flathead Reservation was established by the Hellgate Treaty of 1855.
In 1845, Father Pierre Jean DeSmet arrived and helped establish the first permanent mission at St. Ignatius in 1854. Lake County is also home to the Mission Valley and Mission Mountain Range, Flathead Lake, the National Bison Range, Bob Marshall Wilderness and close to Glacier National Park.
According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, median income for Lake County households in 2000 was $26,169. The county is 1,653.8 square miles in area; 1,493.8 square miles in land area and 159.9 in inland water area. County residents experience the four distinct seasons.