Townsend, Montana

Townsend is located in Broadwater County, Montana. It is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and has a population of 1,082 people. The geography of Townsend consists of rolling hills and grasslands surrounded by mountains. The climate is dry with low humidity and cold winters. Summers are mild with temperatures ranging from 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Check ehangzhou for best time to travel to Montana.

The town was established in 1882 as a railroad stop between Helena and Butte, Montana. It was named after Townsend Jernigan, an early settler in the area. Today, Townsend is a small rural community with a strong sense of community pride and connection to its roots. Politically, Townsend is part of the Republican Party stronghold on the state level but leans more towards Democratic candidates on national issues.

Townsend’s economy relies heavily on agriculture and tourism as well as small-scale manufacturing businesses that provide employment for local residents. The town also boasts several popular tourist attractions including the historic mining town of Bannack State Park and Missouri Headwaters State Park which offers camping, fishing, boating, hiking, biking, and more outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.

Schools in Townsend are highly rated by parents and students alike with an excellent academic program that emphasizes core subjects such as math, science, reading/language arts and social studies while also offering art classes as well as physical education courses for student enrichment and development.

The most recognizable landmark in Townsend is the Old Hotel Meade located at Main Street & Railroad Avenue which dates back to 1884 when it was first built by former U.S Senator Thomas H Meade who was also instrumental in helping establish what would become Montana’s first railroad line connecting Butte to Helena via Townsend. This iconic building still stands today serving as a reminder of this small town’s rich history while also providing lodging for visitors who come to explore all that this charming mountain town has to offer!

Townsend, Montana

Population: 1,867. Estimated population in July 2020: 1,950 (+4.4% change)
Males: 934 (50.0%), Females: 933 (50.0%)

Broadwater County

Zip code: 59644

Median resident age: 42.8 years
Median household income: $26,820
Median house value: $77,100

Races in Townsend:

  • White Non-Hispanic (96.3%)
  • American Indian (1.8%)
  • Hispanic (1.8%)

Ancestries: German (30.6%), Irish (16.9%), English (15.4%), Norwegian (10.8%), French (4.7%), United States (3.9%).

Elevation: 3848 feet

Land area: 1.6 square miles


Townsend, Montana is a small town with a population of just under 3,000 people. Located in the southwestern part of the state, Townsend is known for its rural setting and friendly atmosphere. The town has a few small businesses and some agricultural production, but mostly serves as a great place for people to enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, camping and hiking.

The cost of living in Townsend is relatively low compared to other parts of the state. Housing costs are quite affordable with the median home price being around $170,000. Renters can expect to pay around $650 per month for a two bedroom apartment. Utilities are also reasonably priced with an average cost for electricity, gas, water and internet coming in at about $130 each month. Food costs are fairly low as well with groceries costing about 10% less than the national average. In addition to these lower costs of living, there are no state income taxes in Montana which helps make it an attractive place to live.

For population 25 years and over in Townsend

  • High school or higher: 82.2%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 11.8%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 2.7%
  • Unemployed: 6.4%
  • Mean travel time to work: 20.8 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Townsend city

  • Never married: 18.0%
  • Now married: 58.3%
  • Separated: 1.8%
  • Widowed: 9.3%
  • Divorced: 12.5%

1.9% Foreign born

Population change in the 1990s: +261 (+16.3%).


Hospital/medical center in Townsend:


Other hospitals/medical centers near Townsend:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Townsend:

  • HELENA REGIONAL (about 37 miles; HELENA, MT; Abbreviation: HLN)
  • GALLATIN FIELD (about 46 miles; BOZEMAN, MT; Abbreviation: BZN)
  • BERT MOONEY (about 72 miles; BUTTE, MT; Abbreviation: BTM)

Other public-use airports nearest to Townsend:

  • TOWNSEND (about 4 miles; TOWNSEND, MT; Abbreviation: 8U8)
  • CANYON FERRY (about 8 miles; TOWNSEND, MT; Abbreviation: 8U9)
  • MOUNTAIN LAKES FIELD (about 29 miles; HELENA, MT; Abbreviation: 5M7)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Townsend:

  • MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY-BOZEMAN (about 64 miles; BOZEMAN, MT; Full-time enrollment: 10,380)
  • RICKS COLLEGE (about 176 miles; REXBURG, ID; Full-time enrollment: 8,670)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA-MISSOULA (about 184 miles; MISSOULA, MT; Full-time enrollment: 11,112)
  • MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY-BILLINGS (about 214 miles; BILLINGS, MT; Full-time enrollment: 3,105)
  • IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY (about 259 miles; POCATELLO, ID; Full-time enrollment: 10,057)
  • UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY (about 323 miles; LOGAN, UT; Full-time enrollment: 16,384)
  • COLLEGE OF SOUTHERN IDAHO (about 332 miles; TWIN FALLS, ID; Full-time enrollment: 3,433)


Public high school in Townsend:

  • BROADWATER HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 233; Location: 201 N SPRUCE; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Townsend:

  • CECELIA HAZELTON SCHOOL (Students: 389; Location: 201 N SPRUCE; Grades: PK – 06)
  • TOWNSEND 7-8 (Students: 123; Location: 201 N SPRUCE; Grades: 07 – 08)


Library in Townsend:

  • BROADWATER SCHOOL & COMMUNITY LIBRARY (Operating income: $34,762; Location: 201 N SPRUCE ST; 34,963 books; 274 audio materials; 422 video materials; 85 serial subscriptions)

About the author