The purpose of The Polson Business Community (PBC) is to promote the interests of retail and service businesses in downtown Polson, and to enhance goodwill between our downtown and the residents of our community.
A little information about Polson….
Polson Montana is located at the southern end of Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana. The town site of Polson was platted and the first lots were sold in 1909. The federal government appropriated $6,000 for the deepening of the Polson Harbor so ample dock facilities would be available for the new and modern steamboats that were serving growing economic activity on Flathead Lake. In 1909 alone, $250,000 worth of goods had been shipped or received at the harbor offices. Polson voted to incorporate and formed its municipal government on May 12th, 1910.
C.M. Mansur, a local hardware merchant served the city as its first mayor. In September of 1911, the Polson public school opened, serving 143 students. The Polson General Hospital opened its doors two years later. At the same time, a number of businesses were established and Polson became a thriving and growing community.
In 1923, Lake County was created from portions of Missoula and Flathead counties and Polson successfully vied with Ronan to be the new county’s seat. Polson and Lake County grew during the 1930s as dry-land farmers from the plains area settled in the region. While Polson and Lake County experienced steady growth until 1940, population declined between 1940 and 1944 as men and women entered the armed services or migrated to the Pacific coast to work in war-related industries.
Sweet cherries have been grown all along the shores of Flathead Lake for decades, they were not produced commercially until the 1930s and early 1940s. At that time, area growers began experiencing excellent crops. They began planning for the packing and marketing of the crop and created the Flathead Sweet Cherry Association. The association operated as a cooperative and built a cherry warehouse that in turn generated the planting of additional orchards in the 1950s and 1960s. If you are planning a visit be sure to attend the Polson Main Street Flathead Cherry Festival
On May 23rd, 1930, Rocky Mountain Power began construction of Kerr Dam (now known as Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ Dam), located eight miles south of Polson. The dam is 204 feet high, 450 feet long at the top, 100 feet long at the base, and contains 85,000 cubic yards of concrete. The dam storage capacity is 1,217,000 acre/ft and the water is kept at an elevation between 2,883 ft and 2,893 ft above sea level. Its total capacity is 210 mega-watts.
Polson’s transition from a regional commercial and trade center to a resort community occurred primarily during the latter half of the 20th century. The development of lakeshore homes in earnest began in the late 1950s and 1960s, particularly by people from surrounding communities like Missoula and Kalispell.
Today, Polson is growing and establishing itself as a commerce hub as well as a recreational destination in northwest Montana.