|• Type||Montana Incorporated City, Elected Mayor and City Council|
|• Mayor||Sean Gifford|
|• Total||1.50 sq mi (3.88 km2)|
|• Land||1.44 sq mi (3.73 km2)|
|• Water||0.06 sq mi (0.15 km2)|
|Elevation||4,075 ft (1,242 m)|
|• Density||1,382.21/sq mi (533.74/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-6 (MDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0777603|
Three Forks is a city in Gallatin County, Montana, United States and is located within the watershed valley system of both the Missouri and Mississippi rivers drainage basins — and is historically considered the birthplace or start of the Missouri River. The population was 1,989 at the 2020 census.The city of Three Forks is named so because it lies geographically near the point, in nearby Missouri Headwaters State Park, where the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers converge to form the Missouri River — the longest single river in North America, as well as the major portion of the Missouri–Mississippi River System from the headwaters near Three Forks to its discharge into the Gulf of Mexico. Three Forks is part of the Bozeman, MT Micropolitan Statistical Area of approximately 100,000 people and located thirty miles west of Bozeman.
The three rivers, west to east, were named by Meriwether Lewis in late July 1805 for President Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State James Madison, and Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin which was in the times the genesis of a mild controversy and eventually spawned a modern-day geographical controversy—in both cases regarding length comparisons between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Today the two confluences are incorporated inside Missouri Headwaters State Park, which is also a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
The Lewis and Clark expedition visited the site on July 28, 1805. Meriwether Lewis in his journal entry wrote:
One consequence of their decision to designate, map and name the Jefferson—the largest— as a separate tributary river, is that today the Mississippi River can arguably be called longer than the Missouri River because extensive re-channelization of the streambed for hydroelectric power projects has shortened the river while the Mississippi Delta has grown, lengthening the rival river.
Honored in Three Forks, the Indian woman Sacagawea is best known as the interpreter and guide for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In 1800, she was captured by the Mennetaree tribe near the present site of Three Forks. She later returned to this area with Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. A statue of Sacagawea now sits in a park off Main Street.
The present-day city of Three Forks was founded September 17, 1908 by John Q. Adams, a Milwaukee Road land agent.The Milwaukee (Railroad) Land Co., platted the town and held a lot sale that day. Some buildings were moved to the present city from "Old Town Three Forks", a mile to the northeast. The city became a division point on the Milwaukee Road's Rocky Mountain Division and was an important hub for the railroad during the existence of the Milwaukee in Montana (1908-1980).
Two banks for the town were chartered in 1909 and 1910; John Q. Adams financed construction of the latter one, the Three Valleys State Bank, whose building survives, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and serves as a local history museum. The town's early growth prospects foundered from the effects of economic depression, crop failures, and an earthquake that hit the town on June 27, 1925, damaging all of its brick buildings.The town's population never reached the 10,000 level that some once hoped for, and dropped to about 1,000. Some prosperity returned during and after World War II, and population has grown modestly since.
Three Forks is located at(45.891334, -111.551532).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.50 square miles (3.88 km2), of which 1.44 square miles (3.73 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census 1,297.9 inhabitants per square mile (501.1/km2). There were 850 housing units at an average density of 590.3 per square mile (227.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.1% White, 0.2% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.of 2010, there were 1,869 people, 785 households, and 524 families residing in the city. The population density was
There were 785 households, of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.2% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.90.
The median age in the city was 40.8 years. 24.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.5% were from 25 to 44; 28.4% were from 45 to 64; and 15.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.9% male and 50.1% female.
As of the census 1,360.7 inhabitants per square mile (525.4/km2). There were 726 housing units at an average density of 571.7 per square mile (220.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.57% White, 1.10% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.33% of the population.of 2000, there were 1,728 people, 686 households, and 469 families residing in the city. The population density was
There were 686 households, out of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 28.4% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 102.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,212, and the median income for a family was $39,938. Males had a median income of $30,086 versus $19,196 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,362. About 5.5% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Three Forks is a Mayor–council government form of government in which the City Council is chaired by an elected Mayor. These two entities form the legislative and executive branches of the government. There are six elected City Council members.
Three Forks Airport is a public use airport located 1 mile southeast of town.
Three Forks Schools educates students from kindergarten through 12th grade.Three Forks High School's team name is the Wolves.
The Three Forks Community Library is a public library.
Area attractions such as Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park have made Three Forks and the surrounding area a hub for tourism. Three Forks is at the cross-roads of Interstate 90 and U.S. Route 287.
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Lewis County is a county located in the northeastern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 10,032. Its county seat is Monticello. The county was organized January 2, 1833 and named for Meriwether Lewis, the explorer and Governor of the Louisiana Territory.
Gallatin County is located in the U.S. state of Montana. With its county seat in Bozeman, it is the second-most populous county in Montana, with a population of 118,960 in the 2020 Census.
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Missouri Headwaters State Park is a public recreation area occupying 535 acres (217 ha) at the site of the official start of the Missouri River. The park offers camping, hiking trails, hunting, and water-related activities. It is located on Trident Road northeast of Three Forks, Montana at an elevation of 4,045 feet (1,233 m). The park includes the Three Forks of the Missouri National Historic Landmark, designated in 1960 because the site is one where the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped in 1805.