Thompson Falls, Montana

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Thompson Falls is a city in and the county seat of Sanders County, Montana, United States.[1] The population was 1,321 at the 2000 census.



Thompson Falls is named for the British explorer, geographer and fur trader David Thompson, who in 1809 founded Saleesh House, a North West Company fur trading post.[2] The arrival of the railroad in 1881 brought the first real activity to the area, two years later when the gold rush hit nearby Cœur d'Alene the town grew to accommodate the men going over the Murray trail to the mines. In 1885 John Russell bought 40 acres (160,000 m2) and plotted the town site.

Geography and ecology

Thompson Falls is located at 47°35′48″N 115°20′37″W / 47.59667°N 115.34361°W / 47.59667; -115.34361 (47.596587, -115.343730)[3] in the Clark Fork Valley at an elevation of 2,419 feet (737 m).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.8 km²), all of it land.

An amphibian, the rough-skinned Newt, has a population at Thompson Falls which is noncontiguous with the remainder of the Western US population of the species.[4]

Prospect Creek is an uninhabited land and river area in Thompson Falls. While no one lives along the river it is a popular destination for campers.[5]


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 1,321 people, 549 households, and 357 families residing in the city. The population density was 708.5 people per square mile (274.2/km²). There were 619 housing units at an average density of 332.0/sq mi (128.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.74% White, 0.23% African American, 1.44% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.98% of the population.

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