Columbia Falls has a rich history that dates back to 1891 when the area was first settled in anticipation of the arrival of the Great Northern Railway. The city was officially incorporated on April 26, 1909, and its name was chosen to avoid confusion with another Montana city called Columbus. The first residents requested the name "Columbia" for the U.S. Post Office, but the element "Falls" was ultimately added to the name.
The Montana Veterans Home has served veterans in Columbia Falls since 1896, and its current housing facility was opened by Montana Governor Forrest H. Anderson in 1970. The E. M. Viquesney statue of a World War I doughboy was moved to the front of the Veterans' Home in 1972, after originally standing in Kalispell in front of the Flathead County Courthouse.
Located about a mile from the Flathead National Forest boundary, Columbia Falls is just 15 miles from Kalispell and 17 miles from Glacier National Park. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.05 square miles, all of which is land.
Heritage Days is an annual celebration of Columbia Falls' history and heritage that takes place on the last weekend of July. This event includes activities such as Boogie to the Bank, Wildcat Endowment Auction, a parade and carnival, a basketball tournament, a barn dance, a car show, a rodeo, and the running of wild horses through town on Highway 2.
The Night of Lights Parade is another annual event that takes place in December and is a holiday parade. Columbia Falls has a public library, a branch of the Flathead County Library, and a farmers market called the Columbia Falls Community Market, which is held weekly every Thursday from 5 PM to 8 PM from the second Thursday in May until the last Thursday in September.
For those who love the great outdoors, Columbia Falls has a lot to offer. River's Edge Park has over 900 ft of river frontage on Flathead River and covers 28 acres. The park has paved walking trails, open meadows, bathroom facilities, and a family fly fishing pond. Pinewood Park Aquatic Center is a public swimming facility that also has a basketball court, children's play area, picnic tables, and swings.
Columbia Falls School District Six includes Columbia Falls High School, Columbia Falls Junior High School, Glacier Gateway Elementary School, and Ruder Elementary School. The district has approximately 2,400 students and in 2019, voters approved a $37 million school bond that will fund a new Glacier Gateway Elementary School, a 25,000 square foot addition to the Ruder Elementary School, a security upgrade for the Junior High School, and new multi-use sports fields. Columbia Falls High School's mascot is the Wildcats
In conclusion, Columbia Falls, Montana is a beautiful and historical city that offers its residents and visitors a range of activities and amenities. From its rich heritage, diverse arts, and cultural events, to its pristine parks and recreational facilities, Columbia Falls has something for everyone. Whether you are a veteran seeking a peaceful home or a family looking for a great place to raise children, Columbia Falls is a perfect choice. With its well-maintained infrastructure, excellent schools, and safe environment, Columbia Falls is one of the best and safest places to live in Montana.
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