Mineral County is located on the western edge of Montana on the border of Idaho. Long inhabited by aboriginal peoples—including the Salish and Pend d’Oreille—Mineral County became a major transportation route with the construction of John Mullan’s military wagon road, which opened the county to gold-seekers and settlers in 1859. As railroads connected Mineral County with far-flung places, more settlers arrived and made Mineral County their home.
Because the vast majority of the county is National Forest land, the U.S. Forest Service has played a critical role in shaping its development. Communities built around timber and mining have thrived here despite major forest fires, heavy snows, and a rugged landscape.
This website is dedicated to the rich natural and cultural heritage of Mineral County, with sponsorship from the Mineral County Historical Society and Museum. It offers a portal for exploring the history of the land, people, and places that make the region unique. To fully experience the history of Mineral County, download the Next Exit History mobile app and begin exploring.