Trego, which has never really been a town or even a village, blossomed when the Great Northern Railroad pushed through in 1905 and built a depotalongside the tracks. There was enough flat or somewhat flat ground to attract a few homesteaders, but hay is the only reliable crop that has ever grown in the area. The mainstay for jobs has always been timber related, either working in the woods, at a nearby sawmill, or for the U.S. Forest Service.
There was one exception, during the 1960s, as a result to the Great Northern RR having to reroute its tracks to make way for Libby Dam and the resulting Lake Koocanusa, hundreds of jobs were created laying new track and boring a seven-mile tunnel through Elk Mountain. As a result, a couple of bars and trailer courts popped up and the locals got a new school and post office.
Today, there may be as many as 100 people living within a mile of the school, post office, and more recently the Trego Pub.The remainder live around Dickey Lake or are scattered along roughly twentymiles of Fortine Creek and seven miles of Edna Creek. One link to the past which still thrives is the venerable Trego Community Hall which has been lovingly preserved as a place to hold wedding receptions, memorial services, a Christmas bazaar, potluck suppers, and various musical events.
As mills closed, logging waned, and the Forest Service consolidated jobs into Eureka, people began to commute into Eureka and even the Flathead Valley for jobs, or they come to the small rural community with a fixed retirement income.
Coming south on 93 from Eureka, turn right on Ant Flat Road, passing by Country Bloom’s Greenhouse. Coming north from Whitefish, turn left on Trego Road. Where these two roads meet, continue west on Fortine Creek Road, where you will find the recently opened Trego Pub and General Store.
The store is open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm on Saturday, and noon to 7:00 pm on Sunday. The Pub is open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday through Thursday, 11:00 am to 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 7:00 pm on Sunday. The views are spectacular.
This area includes Cripple Creek Horse Ranch, which specializes in horse-drawn carriage rides in the summer and horse-drawn sleigh rides in the winter. Optional three-course dinner. Also here is Sherweld (Montana-made furniture), Glacier Ridge Ranch (guest ranch), Montana Farmacy (herbal and natural products), and Carylon’s Creations. What is now the unincorporated community of Trego was initially part of the Lewis and Clark Forest Reserve, one of the oldest reserves in America.TravelMT.com has a short write-up on Trego, including local resources.
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