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Overview

Introduction to Great Falls, Montana

Great Falls is situated next to the Missouri River in Cascade County. The name was given due to the collection of water falls which the members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition encountered. The city is surrounded by mountains on three sides and expansive plains on the north side. Great Falls is also known as the "Electric City" which is attributed to the five hydroelectric dams located along the Missouri River. The nearby Roe River is recognized as the shortest river in the world. Malstrom Air Force Base and the 341 Space Wing are located in the town.

History

Great Falls was founded in 1883 by Paris Gibson and railroad tycoon James J. Hill. The city was established to generate power from the nearby waterfalls. In the early days it was known as a businessman's town. Industries and the supply business were flourishing. The Anaconda Copper Mining Company was the largest employer.

Significant growth occurred with the construction of a military base in the 1940s. However, during the late portion of the century, declines in the rail transportation business and the farming population as well as the shutting down of the smelter reduced the city's population. In 1950 a citizen filmed what he perceived to be a UFO. The claim received national attention and is considered to be one of the first major UFO incidents in the country.

Entertainment and Nightlife

The popular Sip and Dip bar features mermaids that swim around in a see-through pool. Other popular nightspots include Stein Haus, Brick Sports Pub and The Other Place. Sports enthusiasts enjoy the Great Falls Explorers of the Continental Basketball League and the Great Falls Voyagers baseball team.

The Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts is utilized for social events and for a wide variety of entertainment. The building is a national historic landmark. The popular River Fest includes live entertainment, art shows, water sports events and other activities. The PRCA Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo and the Lewis and Clark Festival are noteworthy events. Citizens and visitors enjoy the music concerts of the Great Falls Symphony Association.

Attractions

  • Children's Museum of Montana
  • Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
  • Malstrom Air Force Base Museum
  • C.M. Rusell Museum features the home of Charlie Russell, the renowned cowboy artist
  • First Friday Art Walk
  • The Cowboy Museum is an authentic log cabin and contains a vast number of artifacts
  • Giant Springs Heritage State Park includes one of the biggest natural cold water springs in the entire world
  • The city's water falls are notable attractions
  • Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is an attractive structure made from sandstone and is a National Historic Landmark
  • Cascade County Historical Society Museum features exhibits on the history of the region's cowboys

Outdoor Activities

The region provides opportunities for hunting big game and birds. Hunting guides are available. Fly fishing is popular at the numerous streams and rivers. Golf enthusiasts enjoy the city's golf courses including Emerald Greens Golf Club. Guided tours are available for hiking the Lewis and Clark Trail. Riding the trolley in the historic downtown is popular with tourists. The Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge is situated on a large acreage and is popular for wildlife photography.

Transportation

The city is served by the Great Falls International Airport.

Demographics

People

Total Population59,479
Male Share of the Population49%
Female Share of the Population51%
Senior Citizens17.5%
Employed Population 16+28,186
Age of the Population39

Families

% of people married48.6%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher26%
Median Earnings25+$31,066
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$13,603
Median Earnings With High School Degree$25,036

Wealth

Median Family Income$59,494
% Above Poverty Level83.9%
% Below Poverty Level16.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time14 minutes
% Working from Home2.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work3.6%
% Using Public Transportation0.8%

Housing

People Living Alone33.8%
Median Gross Rent$642
Median House Value$163,700

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)19.2%
Irish13.9%
Norwegian10.5%
English8.9%
Italian3.9%
French Except Basque3.5%
Swedish3.5%
Polish2.5%
Scottish2.3%
Dutch2.1%
Czech1.4%
Welsh1%
Russian0.8%
Finnish0.7%
Danishn0.7%
Canadian0.6%
Croatian0.5%
Slovak0.4%
Hungarian0.4%
Austrian0.4%
Belgian0.3%
Ukrainian0.3%
Swiss0.3%
Greek0.3%
Romanian0.2%
Portuguese0.2%
Slovene0.1%
German0.1%
Arab0.1%
US/American0.1%
Lebanese0.1%
Basque0.1%
Iranian0.1%
Lithuanian0.1%
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Great Falls Almanac

CategoryValue
County Cascade County
Standard Zip Codes59401, 59404, 59405, 59402
P.O. Box Zip Codes59403, 59406
Phone Area Codes406
Time ZoneAmerica/Denver
Approximate Latitude47.51
Approximate Longitude-111.27

Great Falls Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

StationGREAT FALLS INTL AP
Distance4.5 miles
Jan Temp11 to 32 F
Apr Temp30 to 56 F
Jul Temp50 to 82 F
Oct Temp33 to 58 F
Annual Precip14.8 inches
StationSUN RIVER 4 S
Distance20.3 miles
Jan Temp12 to 34 F
Apr Temp30 to 57 F
Jul Temp50 to 82 F
Oct Temp33 to 60 F
Annual Precip12.7 inches
StationCARTER 14 W
Distance21.1 miles
Jan Temp7 to 30 F
Apr Temp30 to 56 F
Jul Temp51 to 83 F
Oct Temp32 to 59 F
Annual Precip12.4 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Belt652$52,083
Cascade710$47,500

Great Falls Public Libraries

Great Falls Public Library
301 2ND AVE NORTH
Great Falls, Montana
(406) 453-0349

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More Information for Librarians

Great Falls Hospitals

Great Falls Clinic Medical Center
(Proprietary)
1411 9th St South
(406) 216-8000
Benefis Health Care (west Campus)
(Non-profit)
500 15th Ave S
(406) 455-5003
Benefis Health Care (east Campus)
(Non-profit)
1101 26th St S
(406) 455-5000

Great Falls Public Schools

Morningside School
4119 7th Avenue North
ZIP: 59401
(406) 268-6960
Primary
Total Enrollment 317
Roosevelt School
2501 2nd Avenue North
ZIP: 59401
(406) 268-7045
Primary
Total Enrollment 318
Whittier School
305 8th Street North
ZIP: 59401
(406) 268-7230
Primary
Total Enrollment 267
C M Russell High School
228 17th Avenue Nw
ZIP: 59404
(406) 268-6100
High
Total Enrollment 1498
Meadow Lark School
2204 Fox Farm Road
ZIP: 59404
(406) 268-7300
Primary
Total Enrollment 483
North Middle School
2601 8th Street Ne
ZIP: 59404
(406) 268-6525
Middle
Total Enrollment 754
Riverview School
100 Smelter Avenue
ZIP: 59404
(406) 268-7015
Primary
Total Enrollment 449
Sacajawea School
630 Sacajawea Drive
ZIP: 59404
(406) 268-7080
Primary
Total Enrollment 439
Valley View School
900 Avenue A Nw
ZIP: 59404
(406) 268-7145
Primary
Total Enrollment 395
West Elementary
1205 1st Avenue Nw
ZIP: 59404
(406) 268-7180
Primary
Total Enrollment 506
Chief Joseph School
5305 3rd Avenue South
ZIP: 59405
(406) 268-6675
Primary
Total Enrollment 321
Deep Creek School
1508 Millegan Road
ZIP: 59405
(406) 866-3381
East Middle School
4040 Central Avenue
ZIP: 59405
(406) 268-6500
Middle
Total Enrollment 726
Great Falls High School
1900 2nd Avenue South
ZIP: 59405
(406) 268-6250
High
Total Enrollment 1484
Lewis & Clark School
3800 1st Avenue South
ZIP: 59405
(406) 268-6705
Primary
Total Enrollment 411
Lincoln School
624 27th Street South
ZIP: 59405
(406) 268-6800
Primary
Total Enrollment 435
Longfellow School
1100 6th Ave So
ZIP: 59405
(406) 268-6845
Primary
Total Enrollment 324
Loy School
501 57th Street North
ZIP: 59405
(406) 268-6885
Primary
Total Enrollment 378
Mountain View School
3420 15th Avenue South
ZIP: 59405
(406) 268-7305
Primary
Total Enrollment 375
Mt Sch For Deaf & Blnd El
3911 Central Ave
ZIP: 59405
(406) 771-6017
Primary
Total Enrollment 17
Mt Sch For Deaf & Blnd Hs
3911 Central Ave
ZIP: 59405
(406) 771-6017
High
Total Enrollment 13
Sunnyside School
1800 19th Street South
ZIP: 59405
(406) 268-7115
Primary
Total Enrollment 456

Great Falls Private Schools

Foothills Community Christian School
2210 5th Ave N
ZIP: 59401
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 149
Holy Spirit Catholic School
2820 Central Ave
ZIP: 59401
Elementary
Total Enrollment 153
Five Falls Christian School
2930 Flood Rd
ZIP: 59404
Elementary
Total Enrollment 20
Great Falls Central Catholic High School
2800 18th Ave S
ZIP: 59405
Secondary
Total Enrollment 102
Our Lady Of Lourdes School
1305 5th Ave S
ZIP: 59405
Elementary
Total Enrollment 194
Treasure State Academy
100 46th St N
ZIP: 59405
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 20
Sources :
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