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St. Regis is named for the St. Regis River, which flows in from the west to join the Clark Fork here. The St. Regis was named by Fr. DeSmet in 1842 in honor of St. Regis de Borgia, who belonged to the same Jesuit order as DeSmet. St. Regis is a shipping point for lumber industry products. The center of town is a bridge over the Clark Fork River. (from Cheney's
Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company) Situated at the confluence of the St. Regis and Clark Fork rivers, as well as Highway 135, the shortcut to
Glacier National Park. St. Regis is ideally located en route to the splendors of
Flathead Lake, Glacier/Waterton Parks, the
National Bison Range and the
Flathead Indian Reservation. The town is nestled in mountains abundant with lakes, forests, hiking trails, ski slopes, snowmobile runs, game and wildlife, fishing, whitewater rafting, and thousands of miles of creeks and rivers. In the 1850s, Congress appropriated money to open a road in the Northwest for wagons from Walla Walla, Washington to
Fort Benton, Montana. The leader of this expedition was Captain John Mullan. It was mountainous, covered with huge trees, and not even Indians used the area so there were no trails. It was a monumental task to create a road through these rugged mountains. Once Captain Mullan established the road route, it provided access to settlers, prospectors, frontiersmen and adventurers. Here and there, families traveling westward settled along the passage. Once a well-established mining and lumber town, a fire destroyed a great part of it in 1910 and it was never rebuilt. Now the community is primarily tourist related and offers a golf course, a large community park and
St. Regis Visitor Information Center. St. Regis also hosts the
Largest Flea Market in Montana every Memorial Day weekend. The geography of the town provides some of the most moderate temperatures in Montana, both summer and winter. The scenic beauty of the town nestled in the mountains is right out of a picture book.
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