Belgrade's founder, Thomas B. Quaw, arrived in the Gallatin valley from Wisconsin in 1882. The Northern Pacific Railroad completed its line in 1883, and within 10 years, Belgrade (promoted as the "Princess of the Prairies") claimed to be the largest grain-receiving area between Seattle and St. Paul, due in part to the building of the Belgrade Grain and Produce Company by Quaw and William O. Tracy, and investment by both T.C. Power and Nelson Story in grain storage and elevator construction by 1891. Stories vary as to the origin of the town's name, but most certainly the name is linked to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Quaw's version of the story ties it to Serbian financiers who invested in the Northern Pacific and accompanied Henry Villard to the golden spike ceremony in 1883. The Bozeman regional airport at Belgrade began as a 1940s federal investment to develop Belgrade Field.(Copyright 2009, Montana Historical Society: Montana Place Names from Alzada to Zortman, Montana Historical Society Research Center Staff)
From the turn of the century through the 1930s, Belgrade continued to expand, gaining businesses, professionals and the trappings of an established community. However, speculation in Belgrade slowed, the depression took its toll, and Belgrade settled into the quiet farming community it was to remain for some time.
Today, Belgrade has established itself as an independent community with excellent services and the unbeatable experience of a small town. Located in the center of the Gallatin Valley, Belgrade is just minutes away from many of Montana's major attractions including Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin, Yellowstone National Park, and many, many more!
Gallatin Field Airport