Back in 1805, Lewis and Clark spent a few weeks portgaging around the Great Falls of the Missouri. It was here where they had a frightening encounter with a grizzly bear on what they named "White Bear Island". It was also where they drank the last of their whiskey before heading off for points west.
Fast-forward to 1880 when Paris Gibson arrived at the site and immediately began to dream of a great city here. He and railroad magnate James Hill planned the city carefully, laying out streets in an orderly fashion and not in the haphazard manner so common in the boom and bust mining towns of the era.
With the growing reliance of society on electricity, Great Falls saw the construction of several dams to harness the power of the mighty Missouri, and became known as the Electric City, joining the Mining City, the Garden City, the Magic City and the Queen City as a great Montana city.
Great Falls today is the commercial hub of Northcentral Montana. With its airbase providing steady employment, and service industries supporting the vast surrounding agricultural base, the city continues to be a thriving concern.