|Hamilton, perhaps the fastest growing city in Montana, is centrally located in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley along US Highway 93 and the Bitterroot River approximately 45 miles south of Missoula and 47 miles north of the Idaho border at Lost Trail Pass.
Hamilton offers the traveler just about all the necessities, if not the amenities, of a large metropolitan city plus easy access to millions of acres of heavily forested public lands and mountains that support almost any form of outdoor recreation that one can imagine.
The city was founded in 1890 by Irish immigrant and copper magnate Marcus Daly. Daly bought his 22,000-acre Bitterroot Stock Farm in the area in 1889 and then decided it would be a good idea to have a town nearby. So, Daly brought in planners and laid out and built his city with plots for churches, schools, parks and businesses.
Daly later decided his family needed a summer home so he built "Riverside", a mansion and estate that were once a part of the Bitterroot Stock Farm. Today, the Mansion and the fifty acres of grounds surrounding it are owned by the State of Montana, managed by the Daly Mansion Preservation Trust, and recognized as a National Historic Site.
Hamilton features a number of other handsome old homes and public buildings including the Ravalli County Museum, which is housed in the Old Ravalli County Court House, and the City Hall.