Florence was named for Florence Abbott Hammond, wife of A. B. Hammond, prominent Missoula resident. The settlement was first called One Horse and was settled in 1889 by Irish immigrants; later, German settlers joined them. Florence in the early days had a good general store, a blacksmith shop, post office, railroad station, greenhouse, saloon, and cheese factory. At one time as many as 100 carloads of wheat a day were shipped out during the harvest season. The first schoolhouse, built in 1889, was made of hand-hewn logs. The first church was also built that year. (from Cheney's
Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company) Nine miles east of Florence is
Threemile Wildlife Management Area, which encompasses 6,059 acres. The area is great for hunting, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and mountain biking during the summer. Here you are most likely to observe songbirds and raptors commonly found in upland grasslands and ponderosa pine forests, but visitor sometimes spot elk here as well.