Colstrip is known as the ""energy capital of Montana"" and was born in 1924 when the Northern Pacific Railroad started mining coal nearby to fuel their steam locomotives. During this time Colstrip consisted of 63 homes, a schoolhouse (now a museum and visitor center), two churches, a mess hall, and a boarding house. But once the railroads switched from coal to diesel fuel, the mine closed and Colstrip was left nearly abandoned. But when Montana Power Company purchased the mine as well as the town site of Colstrip things turned around! In 1968, a subsidiary of MPC, Western Energy Company, started to mine and just a few years later construction on the power plant began.
""Construction Days"" of the power plant brought thousands of people to a once dying community. Many of these people lived in travel trailers and campers with their entire families! Once all four units were completed in 1983, the population leveled off and in 1999 Colstrip became a city, complete with mayor and City Council. Colstrip settled into a quiet family community.
Today, Colstrip is a quiet community with just under 2,000 citizens and 22 parks. A waterslide at the Community Center entertains kids (and adults) of all ages Memorial Day through Labor Day. And don't forget The Schoolhouse History & Art Center, the original schoolhouse built in 1924. This old building now serves as the visitor center, an art gallery, and also provides tours of the coal mine from May to October. One the edge of town is Castle Rock Lake, where fishermen from across the state flock to catch wall-eye and bass. The lake is surrounded by bike paths and picnic areas for more summer fun.
Thinking of visiting our charming town' There are a number of places to stay including Lake View B&B, Fort Union Inn, and a Super 8 Motel. And don't forget to feed your appetite at one of our local restaurants! Choose from Mulligan's on the gold course, Culver's for a buffalo burger and beer battered fries, The Coal Bowl from dining with a frame of bowling, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, or Subway.
Colstrip is located in southeastern Montana, approximately 30 miles south of Forsyth on Montana Highway 39.