You won’t be able to find it on any modern map, but Demersville was the heart of early Flathead Valley settlement.

Today, Montana’s Flathead Valley is widely acknowledged as one of the Last Best Places in the United States, or even the world. Brimming with natural beauty, the Flathead has been attracting visitors and residents alike for well over a century. Likewise, the cities in the Flathead Valley have something to offer for everyone. Bustling Kalispell, the largest city, serves as the center of commerce; quaint Whitefish is an ideal, picturesque ski town; and historic Columbia Falls is the gateway to the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park.

But before that, there was Demersville. A city unlike any other at its time, Demersville was once the premier destination in the Flathead Valley. The once-active community is now a deserted stretch of rural road. But Demersville has not disappeared completely; all over Kalispell, there are dozens of reminders of the community if you know where to look. So what happened to Demersville?

Our display chronicles Demersville downtown and historic buildings, the Cliff House Hotel, the early lake steamboats, the military post and the Buffalo Soldiers, and Demersville pioneers and personalities.