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at it's best

in the rolling plains of north central Montana

About Havre, Montana

Located in the rolling plains of north central Montana, Havre began over 100 years ago as the first trains forged across the Great Plains. Havre quickly became the transportation hub of the area, providing goods and supplies to the area trappers, miners and military stationed at Fort Assinniboine, six miles southwest of town.


It's the people.

They are people of vision and foresight who strive to maintain a quality of life unequaled.  This community of 10,000 is known for its steadfastness, deep rooted family values and its small town ideals.  Our friendly community prides itself as an ideal place to raise a family, start a business or retire.  Besides being a great location nestled in the Milk River Valley along Montana’s Hi-Line, where blue skies, and wide-open spaces abound, Havre is life at its best.

The focal point of commercial activity in the area.

As the largest city on the Hi-Line and the county seat of Hill County, it serves as a wholesale distribution and retail center for communities within 150 miles.  The diverse geography of the Milk River, golden wheat fields and the rising peaks of the Bears Paw Mountains, towering several thousand feet above the plains surround the city of Havre.

Education that works.

Havre is home to Montana State University-Northern providing academic excellence for over 75 years. Havre Public Schools tradition of Excellence continues at Havre High School, Havre Middle School  and 3 elementary schools. Private school education is also available at St. Jude’s Thaddeus School.

Providing Quality Health Care

Northern Montana Health Care is one of Havre’s largest employers.  NMHC is the center of a comprehensive system of medical services staffed with health care professionals who meet the growing need of our Hi-Line communities.

Easy pace of life.

Those who enjoy a slower pace of life and open spaces along with cultural history, feel right at home in Havre.  A low crime rate, a well maintained park system, city recreation programs, solid financial and commercial institutions, an award winning health care system, education systems that stand on excellence, shopping, dining and warm friendly people make this agricultural community a great place to live, work and raise a family. 

Unbeatable recreation.

The four seasons provide year-round outdoor recreation.  Fishing, camping and boating takes place at Fresno Reservoir a few minutes west of Havre.  A short 20-minute drive south is Beaver Creek Park, in the Bear Paw Mountains where summer and winter recreation abound.  The splendid fall colors combined with the changing Aspens creates the perfect backdrop for a relaxing fall picnic.


A step back in time.

In the mid 1800’s, the Milk River country of northern Montana was part of an Indian Reservation for the Gros Ventre, Piegan, Blood, Blackfoot and River Crow.

Prior to the construction of Fort Assinniboine in 1879, the only white man seen in the area of Montana were the fur traders, operating out of the American Fur Company post at Fort Benton; the missionaries, and the teamsters bringing supplies to Fort Benton from river ports to the east when the Missouri River was low.  After the 1885 (Metis) North West Rebellion in the North West Territories, several Plains Cree and Metis peoples settled in the area.

The opening of the land occurred when the Great Northern Railroad was built, heading west to Seattle.  The fort trader’s store personnel became the core of the business district, which served the soldiers, cowboys, ranchers, teamsters, coal miners and railroad workers, et al.  By 1910, with the Homestead Act of 1862 expanded to 320 acres, and encouragement from the railroad, the area experienced a large influx of settlers who plowed up the land and founded many homesteader communities.

With the advent of the railroad, Tycoon James Hill felt the name Bullhook could be improved.  He asked the town’s founding fathers to select a new name.  The first meeting ended in a brawl.  A second meeting was held later:  it was agreed only the original homesteaders Gus Descelles, Exor Pepin, Tom McDevitt, Joe Demars and Charles Gouthchie were to vote.  Joe Demars suggested France since most were Frenchmen.  No one agreed.  Gus Descelles suggested [Le] Havre after his parents’ hometown.  The motion carried.  Havre celebrated its 100th birthday in 1993.  Hill County named for James Hill was established in 1912.

Raising sheep, cattle and horses was the primary activity early on.  Ranches soon became lesser in numbers however, as farms started to produce some of the world’s greatest spring and winter wheat.  Although agriculture is the undisputed financial mainstay in the area, the economy is diversified with farming, ranching, hospital and health services, education, professional and retail business, manufacturing, railroad industries, and National Historic Register tourist attractions and historic districts.