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About Montana

“Welcome to a very special place. Montana is the nation’s fourth largest state – 148,000 square miles of mountains and prairies, farms and forests, cities and towns, rivers and streams and wild areas whose beauty and history will make you stop and think. Scattered about this vast state are uncounted wild creatures and nearly 900,000 neighbors. We still talk to each other here, not at each other… …At some point, everyone needs a Montana in their life.”
– Marc Racicot, Former Governor of Montana

Montana’s nickname is “Big Sky Country.” Once you’ve visited, you’ll know why. Jagged mountains of granite. Rolling green plains. Crystal-clear lakes and refreshing streams. They are all here in Montana. Add teeming populations of wildlife and you complete the picture of Big Sky Country, a landscape rich in scenes of natural wonder. Montana is filled with fun things to do and friendly people to meet. Hike, bike, raft, watch wildlife, take photos, ride horses or spend time in our great indoors. Shopping, museums, galleries, dining and theater are always enjoyable.


Population: 1,023,579 (2014 est.)
Density: 6 people per square mile
Largest City: Billings (86,578)
Capitol: Helena
Highest point: Granite Peak, near Red Lodge, MT – 12,799 feet
Lowest point: Kootenai River – 1,800 feet


About Bozeman

Bozeman, Montana prides itself in offering small town atomosphere with big city amenities to residents and visitors alike. Nestled in the Gallatin Valley, encompassed by the majestic Rocky Mountains, Bozeman is considered to be the prime spot of Montana. The city sits in a high mountain valley at an elevation of 4,795 feet and is surrounded on three sides by the Bridger, Gallatin and Tobacco Root mountains. Home of Montana State University, Bozeman is a community of friendly people, and a center for recreation throughout the year. Agriculture continues to be the number one industry for our area, and wheat and barley fields dot the landscape.

Bozeman was established in 1863, in Gallatin County which is 2,517 square miles in size. To put this in perspective, Gallatin County is larger than the states of Rhode Island or Delaware. Much of the county is fertile farm fields, and over 40% is managed by the U.S. Forest Service which provides excellent recreational use.

Outside Magazine has rated Bozeman on of the 15 best sport cities in the U.S. The community recieved this recognition because of outstanding opportunities for fly fishing, downhill skiing, hunting, hiking, camping, climbing, canoeing and kayaking. Bozeman is an angler’s paradise with several outstanding streams and rivers within an hour’s drive.

The mountains offer an escape from “city life,” and with a short drive, you will find yourself in a whole new world. Camping, hiking, fishing, and biking are common weekend activites, with families and individuals taking advantage of our close proximity to the mountains and camping areas. In the Spring and Summer, wildflowers accentuate the beautiful landscape along numerous trails, and these same areas offer miles of cross country skiing in the winter.

Sources: Bozeman Chamber of Commerce, Gallatin Development Corporation

Town History

Images of Cowboys, Indians, open spaces, pioneer trails and wild and rowdy miners are still part of the mystique associated with our area. But there is more than this and more than most people imagine for a city of our size. History is alive and abundant in Bozeman. Evidence of Bozeman’s unique local heritage can be found throughout the city. Bozeman now has eight historical districts and more than 40 individual properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bozeman is an area that was once home to very early native peoples dating back thousands of years. Tribal bands including the Shoshone, Nez Perce, Blackfeet, Flathead and Sioux, date back several hundred years. The area was rich with game, water and plants used by the natives.

Lewis and Clark

Europeans may have entered the valley in the late 1700s as they searched and trapped for beaver pelts to send back East for hats and coats. The Lewis and Clark party left the first written description of the valley in both 1805 and 1806 during its epic journey.

Gold & the Bozeman Trail

When gold was discovered 60 and 80 miles to the west, the rush was on over the new Bozeman Trail, established by John Bozeman, a Georgian also looking for gold. The trail formed the northern spur off of the Oregon Trail. This trail began at Landrock and ended at Virginia City, Montana. John Bozeman began to lead new settlers over this trail in 1864. it was open for three years until it was closed by the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians who wanted to stop the immigration of new setters into the area. Many who followed this trail for gold returned to the valley to take up farming and business.

A Town is Born

On July 7, 1864, Daniel E. Rouse and William J. Beall drafted plans for the townsite. The name of Bozeman was chosen August 9, 1864, and named the Gallatin County seat in 1867.

Jim Bridger came to Bozeman in 1864. A well known frontiersman, Bridger brought the first wagon train through the canyon north of town now known as Bridger Canyon. The mountain range north of town is known as the Bridger Range.

Nelson Story settled in Bozeman in the mid-1800s. He drove 3,000 head of cattle from Texas to Bozeman against the wishes of the US Army which feared for his safety. Because the army did not want Nelson to continue, much of the drive was done in the night when Story was able to sneak the cattle through. These cattle formed the beginnings of Montana’s strong cattle industry. He was a strong supporter of the beginnings of Montana State College, now MSU, and the historical Ellen Theater, in downtown Bozeman.

Northern Pacific Railroad

In 1883 the Northern Pacific Railway finished its pathway to Bozeman through what is now known as the Bozeman Pass. This route paralleled the Bozeman Trail which is now Interstate 90. The town grew slowly, reaching a population of barely 3,500 by 1900.

Sources: Bozeman Chamber of Commerce.


Bozeman Public Schools

At first glance, the Bozeman Public Schools might appear to be a typical small school district. Once you walk inside one of the Bozeman schools you will instantly feel the energy and enthusiasm that the teachers, students and administrators have for learning.

The Bozeman Public school system covers an area larger than the city of Bozeman. The school involves two districts, Elementary District Number 7 and the Bozeman High School District. The school system is a public entity under the authority of the State.

In Bozeman, there are eight elementary schools, (K – 6), two middle schools, (6 – 8), a high school (9 – 12) and an alternative high school. There are about 5,100 students and 328 teachers. The outlying elementary schools include Cottonwood, LaMotte, Monforton, Gallatin Gateway, Anderson, Malmborg and Ophir (Big Sky).

The schools are governed by 7 elected Board of Trustees, and 2 trustees at large who are elected by citizens of the rural elementary districts.

The public schools in town are in selected areas of the town, and to meet the demands of a growing community, 2 new elementary schools opened in the fall of 1992. Each school prepares our young people with high quality education and several optional programs to highlight their growth, both academically and socially.

Bozeman High School has an average enrollment of 1,600. The school was twice named as one of the outstanding schools in America by the U.S. Department of Education, and is accredited by the Northwest Accrediting Association and the Montana office of Public Instruction.

Two diploma degrees are offered at Bozeman, a General Diploma requiring 21 credits and a College Prep, requiring a total of 23 credits. Most BHS students choose the College Prep diploma and approximately 65% go on to college. Students from the distict have gone on to participate in many successful careers as adults including playing in the NFL, Rhodes Scholars and news anchors for national television.

Our high school marching band was chosen to be one of the bands marching in the 1999 Tournatnent of Roses Parade. This distinguished honor was a sweet reward for the high quality performance band.

All schools in the district offer the students extra circular activities to choose from. Our competing sports teams did extremely well in the 1998-99 school year, bringing home several state championships. In addition, the district offers intramural, debate, speech, music and other fine activities.

You will find pride of participating in the families and students attending the Bozeman Public School System.

Source: September 1996 Bozeman Public Scbools District Performance summary.

Home Schooling

Gallatin Valley home Educators: There are support opportunities offered to families who choose to home school their children in the Gallatin Valley, including a home school band, social clubs for boys and girls, educational support, a sports association, and an information newsletter for parents and networking. Call Jeanne Johnson for more information: 406-763-4697.

Area Private Schools

Several choices are available for alternative educational plans for students in the Gallatin Valley:

Bozeman Christian (K-12)

Childrens House (preschool-5)
1405 Bridger Drive, Bozeman, MT 59715

Great Beginnings Montessori (preschool-K)
P.O. 1794, Bozeman, MT 59771

Headwaters Academy (6-12)
418 W. Garfield, Bozeman, MT 59715
(Candidates for state accreditation)

Heritage Christian (K-8)
4310 Durston Road, Bozeman, MT 59718
(Accredited by Association of Christian Schools International; state certified teachers and administrators)

Learning Circle Montessori (preschool-5)
516 W. Cleveland, Bozeman, MT 59715
(Affiliate of American Montessori Society)

Manhattan Christian (preschool-12)
8000 Churchill Road, Manhattan, MT 59741
(State accredited and members of Christian Schools International)

Mount Ellis Academy (9-12, 7th Day Adventist)
406-587-5178, 3641
Bozeman Trail Road, Bozeman, MT 59715
(Accredited by National Council for Private Schools and state)

Petra Academy (4-12)
301 S. 19th Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715
(Members & Candidates for Association of Christian Schools International)

Montana State University

Over 11,000 students from all 50 states and 75 foreign countries attend Montana State University, Bozeman. MSU offers bachelor degrees in 47 different fields covering more than 120 separate majors. A Masters degree is offered in 39 fields and a Doctorate in 13. MSU Bozeman employs 5,735 faculty and students and another 200 professionals are engaged in academic, research and extension activities. The approximate student – faculty ratio is 19 to 1. The 1,170 acre campus boosts unparalleled scenic grandeur. Montana State University has two semesters during the academic year and a two-part, twelve-week summer session.Headcount enrollment in fall of 1998 was 11,746 students. Of these, 9,760 (83%) attended full time and 1986 (17%) attended part time. Summer school of 1998 was attended by 2698 students.

Student Achievement

  • With 31 recipients, MSU is among the nation’s leaders in Goldwater Scholarships, America’s premier science award established by Congress in 1986 to encourage young science talent.
  • MSU undergraduate accounting students consistently lead students from all colleges and universities in the country in overall passing percentage on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. MSU ranked number one in the nation in 1997, 1996, 1995, 1991 and 1983 and has been ranked among the top ten undergraduate schools in the nation for CPA passing percentage 12 of the past 13 years.
  • MSU is among the leaders in the nation for the number of students receiving Truman Fellowships in the Arts.
  • Twelve students have been selected to the USA Today All-USA Academic team, placing MSU among the top schools in the nation with multiple academic all-American selections. Four MSU students have also received honorable mentions.
  • MSU leads the nation for Phi Kappa Phi graduate fellowships with 14 awards in 15 years.
  • The average pass rate for MSU College of Nursing graduates taking the National Licensing Exam has been above 90 percent for the past 12 years.
  • MSU’s engineering graduates have a pass rate of 95 percent on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam compared to a national average of approximately 70 percent.
  • MSU applicants for dietetic internships have a 92 percent success rate compared to a national internship placement average of 48-52 percent. For the past 15 years, all MSU students taking the national Registration Examination for Dieticians have passed the test.
  • Graduates in architecture have annually demonstrated a high success rate in passing the professional licensing examination. MSU is among the few universities in the country offering a five-year Master of Architecture degree.

Health Services

Gallatin County offers a wide spectrum of traditional health care services including approximately 100 physicians, 35 dentists, 20 eye care professionals, several clinics (including a low-income clinic staffed by volunteer medical professionals), and a modern acute care hospital. Bozeman is still a fee-for-service health care market.

As a not-for-profit health care organization, Bozeman Health owns and operates Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital and Hillcrest Retirement Community, as well as three medical office buildings. All are situated upon a hill in east Bozeman, with spectacular mountain views in all directions.

The Bozeman Health medical campus consists of Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital and Highland Park 1, 2, and 3 medical office buildings. The medical office buildings are attached to the hospital, allowing for convenient access to both physician offices and hospital services.

Approximately 85 physicians practice on-site. Local specialties include: anesthesiology, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, emergency medicine, family practice, gastroenterology, general diatric medicine, radiation oncology, radiology and urology.

Highland Park 3 was completed in early 1998 and includes not only additional medical offices, but also a new cancer treatment center with state-of-the-art radiation oncology equipment, a local outpatient dialysis center, outpatient nutrition counseling and more. Recent additions predicted to be finished in early 2000 will include an all new emergency room, Deaconess Day Surgery recovery rooms and endoscopy. This addition will provide the hospital two additional operating suites.

Bozeman Area Health Services

One of the most important parts of moving your family is to be sure you can find the best in medical care. Besides the hospital, Bozeman offers other outstanding health care facilities staffed by skilled and caring health professionals.

The Same Day Surgery Center is designed to serve patients who require surgical treatment exceeding the capability of the doctor’s office, but do not require a hospital stay. Bozeman Urgent Care Center offers residents emergency and same day care.

Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital is licensed for 86 acute care beds and has eight ICU beds. In addition, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital operates a certified Level III Trauma Center emergency room, and a Level 11 neonatal nursery.

The hospital provides acute medical, surgical, pediatric, obstetrical, gynecological, and newborn nursery inpatient services. Bozeman Deaconess Hospital also provides a wide range of diagnostic, surgical and therapeutic outpatient services. Home care and hospice services are also offered.

As one of the county’s largest employers, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital employs a combined staff of over 550 full-time, part-time and casual call employees. The hospital takes great pride in its ability to provide quality health care while maintaining rates which are among the lowest in the state. in addition, there are several other physicians, vision care providers, dentists and other health care professionals.

Aerobics work-out opportunities and other cardiovascular activities are offered through classes at the university, private fitness centers, and instructors. Alternative styles of medicine and treatment are offered by chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, Naturopaths, health stores and herbalists.

Non-profit Health Services

Alcoholics Anonymous: 406-586-2909
Alzheimers Support: 406-587-4062
American Cancer Association: 406-587-2645
American Heart Association: 406-256-3855
American Red Cross: 406-587-4611
Association for the Blind: 406-587-3729
Big Sky Kids: 406-586-1781
Bozeman Deaconess Foundation for Gifting: 406-585-1085
Diabetic Support Group: 406-585-5037
For One Another: 406-587-8080
MT Multiple Sclerosis: 406-763-3010
Parkinson Disease: 406-585-2722

Handicap Services

REACH: 406-587-1271
Eagle Mount: 406-586-1781

Sources: Bozeman Chamber of Commerce.

Tax Information

Individual Income Taxes
Montana’s individual income tax is a progressive income tax, similar to the federal personal income tax. This is based on the net income of resident and non-resident individuals, fiduciaries and beneficiaries of estates and trusts. Residents of Montana are taxed on income from all sources, regardless of where earned. Non-residents are taxed on income earned from any Montana source. For complete information contact the Department of Revenue.

Property Taxes
All property, except agricultural land, has an assessed value that is equal to its market value.

For additional Montana tax information, call:
Montana Department of Revenue: 406-444-3494
Gallatin County Assessor’s Office: 406-582-3400