Broadwater County, Montana

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Broadwater County, Montana
Broadwater county courthouse.jpg
The Broadwater County Courthouse in Townsend
Map of Montana highlighting Broadwater County
Location in the state of Montana
Map of the United States highlighting Montana
Montana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1897
Named for Charles Arthur Broadwater
Seat Townsend
Largest city Townsend
 • Total 1,239 sq mi (3,209 km2)
 • Land 1,191 sq mi (3,085 km2)
 • Water 48 sq mi (124 km2), 3.84%
 • (2010) 5,612
 • Density 4/sq mi (1.7/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6

Broadwater County is a county located in the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,612.[1] Its county seat is Townsend.[2] The county was named for Charles Arthur Broadwater, a noted Montana railroad, real estate, and banking magnate.[3]


"The Silos" are a major Broadwater County landmark

The Lewis and Clark Expedition travelled through what is now Broadwater County as they traced the Missouri River. Gold was discovered in the Big Belt Mountains in 1864 which brought several mining towns. In 1881 the Northern Pacific Railway with a stop in what is now Townsend.[4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,239 square miles (3,209.0 km2), of which 1,191 square miles (3,084.7 km2) is land and 48 square miles (124.3 km2) (3.84%) is water.[5]

The boundaries of the county are roughly formed by the Big Belt Mountains to the east and north, the Elkhorn Mountains to the west, and the Horseshoe Hills to the south.

Broadwater County is perhaps best known as the home of Canyon Ferry Lake, the third largest body of water in Montana. The lake provides essential irrigation to local farms, and serves as a recreation destination for the region. Visitors seek out Canyon Ferry for its excellent fishing, boating, swimming, camping, and wildlife viewing opportunities.[6]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Agriculture is one of the primary industries in Broadwater County. RY Timber and Wheat Montana Bakery were the largest private employers according to the 2000 Census.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 2,641
1910 3,491 32.2%
1920 3,239 −7.2%
1930 2,738 −15.5%
1940 3,451 26.0%
1950 2,922 −15.3%
1960 2,804 −4.0%
1970 2,526 −9.9%
1980 3,267 29.3%
1990 3,318 1.6%
2000 4,385 32.2%
2010 5,612 28.0%
Est. 2012 5,756 2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 4,385 people, 1,752 households, and 1,270 families residing in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 2,002 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.04% White, 0.27% Black or African American, 1.16% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 1.32% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.5% were of German, 14.5% English, 12.9% Irish, 9.9% Norwegian and 6.3% French ancestry according to Census 2000. 98.0% spoke English and 1.3% German as their first language.

There were 1,752 households out of which 30.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.40% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 24.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.20% under the age of 18, 4.80% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 27.40% from 45 to 64, and 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 104.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,689, and the median income for a family was $36,524. Males had a median income of $28,495 versus $19,500 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,237. About 7.60% of families and 10.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.70% of those under age 18 and 7.90% of those age 65 or over.


Canyon Ferry Reservoir and the Big Belt Mountains outside of Townsend, Montana


Census-designated places[edit]

Other community[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Merrill, Andrea; Judy Jacobson (1997). Montana almanac. Helena, Montana: Falcon Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 1-56044-493-2. 
  4. ^ Broadwater County Planning Board (July 2003). "Broadwater County Growth Policy Plan". Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b State of Montana (2006). "Demographic & economic information for Broadwater County". Internet Archive. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°20′N 111°30′W / 46.33°N 111.50°W / 46.33; -111.50