No longer just a ‘One Horse’ town
It Was All About the Timber
Head back in time to the 1860’s and you’d find homesteaders like Robert Carlton building Carlton, a small community and trading post near what’s now Florence, MT.
The nearby sawmill was originally called ‘One Horse’ after the local creek that fed the mill.
With the arrival of A.B. Hammond in Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley, the sawmill operation grew substantially.
The railroad was heading west, and Hammond was building it. The Anaconda Mine in Butte needed timbers, and Hammond was providing them. Hammond needed timber, and he needed lots of it.
By 1880, One Horse and Carlton had grown together and Florence was established.
Today, people just love the small town charm, great access to outdoor recreation, and convenient Bitterroot Valley location that Florence has to offer.
Florence, MT Location
Florence is located in Ravalli County, Montana.
The community is located in the northern half of the Bitterroot Valley, midway between Hamilton and Missoula.
US 93 connects Florence to Stevensville, and Florence to Lolo.
A section of the Eastside Highway (MT 203) also connects Florence to Stevensville.
Florence is officially a Census Designated Place (CDP). In other words, Florence is an unincorporated community.
According to Wikipedia, the population of Florence was 821 in the 2020 Census.
This total includes residents living within a 0.77 square mile area surrounding Florence town.
Our Bitterroot Valley population article reports 5,444 residents living in the Florence community.
This estimate includes everyone living within the 59833 Zip Code that serves Florence residents.
Local Services in Florence
Florence is home to Florence-Carlton School District 15-6. The District enrolls just under 800 students per year in grades K-12 . Their team name is the “Falcons”.
Florence Rural Fire District provides fire and EMS services.
Law enforcement is provided by the Ravalli County Sheriff’s office.
Several businesses, including retail, banking, health care, restaurants, gas and groceries are located in the Florence community.
Florence, MT Timeline
Lewis and Clark traveled through the area on their epic journey in 1805 and 1806.
Homesteader Robert Carlton settled near today’s Florence, MT in the early 1860’s.
A.B. Hammond named the community after his wife Florence in 1880.
The railroad arrived in 1887, putting Florence on the map to the rest of the world.
The Florence Post Office was established in 1888.
The Florence Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1947.
Points of Interest in Florence
Threemile Wildlife Management Area is located 9 miles east of Florence and provides wildlife viewing, bird watching, hiking, biking and hunting opportunities.
The popular Florence Bridge Fishing Access Site provides great access to the Bitterroot River for fishing and fun.
That’s a Good Question
821 residents live in the town of Florence. An estimated 5,444 residents live in the 59833 Zip Code.