Havre is a town located in Hill County, Montana, named after the city of Le Havre in France. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 9,621. It is the county seat of Hill County.
Located in north central Montana, it was incorporated in 1893. It was founded primarily to serve as a major railroad service center with its location midway between Seattle and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
It is the largest city on the Hi-Line and the eighth largest city in Montana. With the nearest major city, Great Falls, about 100 miles to the south, Havre serves as a medical and business center for the Hi Line. U.S. Highway 87 has its northern terminus at Havre. U.S. Highway 2, running east-west, is the city's main street. The largest employers are Northern Montana Hospital (http://www.nmhcare.org/), Montana State University Northern (http://www.msun.edu/index.htm), and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (http://www.bnsf.com/about_bnsf/html/division_maps.html). The Milk River (tributary of the Missouri River) runs through the town, and the Bears Paw Mountains can be seen to the South.
Walking around the streets of Havre one may see a few small grids of purple colored squares on the sidewalk. These are from a sort of underground "mall" built in the city at least a hundred years ago (the squares let in sunlight). Throughout its history, "Havre Underground" has been host to a brothel, a Chinese laundromat, a saloon, a drugstore, at least three opium dens, and rooms used for smuggling alcohol during Prohibition.
At the bluffs behind the Holiday Village shopping mall in Havre, is the Wahkpa Chu'gn bison kill. Over 2,000 years old, it is one of the largest and best preserved bison kills anywhere.
Also near Havre is the Bears Paw Battlefield site of the Battle of Bearpaw Mountain, where the Nez Perce were treasonously attacked by the U.S. Cavalry. Chief Joseph eventually surrendered to the Cavalry and making a famous speech ending with the line, “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”
Web Sites and Links
Havre Family CampgroundOffers RV or tent camping at location 8 miles east of Havre and 12 miles west of Chinook, on U.S. 2.
Northern Montana Health CareComprehensive medical facility offering hospital services, assisted living, and hospice programs for the region. Includes details of services offered and job opportunities.
The Havre Daily NewsA Monday through Friday publication in Havre, Montana.