Located in northwestern Montana, Lake County is
Montana's ninth most populated with 29,099 residents, according to the 2014
estimates produced by the U.S. Census Bureau,
median income for Lake County households in 2012 were $38,268.
Polson, the county seat, is the state's 18th largest city with a population of 4,488 according to the 2010 Census.
Flathead Lake, located in Polson, is the
largest natural fresh water lake west of the Mississippi River in
the United States it stretches 27.3 miles long, 15.5 miles wide
and a maximum depth of 370.7 feet.
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The county is 1,654 square miles in area; 1,490 square miles in
land area and 164 in inland water area.
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,
Ninepipe- Swan- and Pablo National Wildlife Refuge.