Rural Montanans know how great it is to live in small towns. It seems, however, word is getting out and more people are moving in to call this area their home.
One of those is Mandi Henderson, who was born in Kalispell, raised in Browning and then a few years ago, moved to Cut Bank. She decided to make it a “for sure” move when she bought a house here in 2020.
“I moved to Cut Bank because of the accessibility to housing and home ownership,” she explained, “and the ability to still maintain ties to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and be near to Glacier Park.”
She continued, “I stayed in Cut Bank and bought a home here in May of 2020 because Cut Bank Schools are amazing and I want to raise my son with the shared values of this town, Christian faith, hard work, freedom and community. Cut Bank might be a small town, but our educators, small business owners and public servants are world class! I like it here because people in this town care. They care about the jobs they do and they care about each other. I feel like this town is helping me become a more conscientious, responsible and caring person.”
Mandi graduated from Browning High School and received an Associate of Arts degree from Blackfeet Community College. She then went on to study forestry at the University of Montana. She took the knowledge she gained from that study and became a park ranger, working in Glacier National Park, collecting entrance fees at the Two Medicine entrance for six seasons.
In November of 2017, she took a position working at the Glacier County Extension Office as an administrative assistant to Extension Agent Kari Lewis. She also enrolled her son, John Neuhaus, III, in the Cut Bank Schools. He is now in third grade.
“I hope that people continue investing in our community in whatever way they can,” she said. “I am learning that whether it is shopping locally, volunteering at a church or youth sports league, starting a business or even mowing your lawn and tending your garden, it all matters. All of these small investments of time, money or effort go a long way in creating the kind of community that people want to be a part of.”
Shawn Christiaens of DTJ Real Estate pointed out, “We are seeing an increase of clients coming from the larger cities to come to a slower pace and safer community in which to raise their families.”
She added, “In my opinion, some of the rural towns in Montana may just be revived due to people realizing the big cities aren’t everything they are cracked up to be. With COVID and riots and just an air of uncertainty, this may be the silver lining for our small communities.”
According to Julie Troy of Royal Real Estate, “This year we have sold properties in Cut Bank to people from Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon and Alberta, Canada. We have also sold to Montanans from Kalispell, Browning, Missoula, Great Falls and Havre.” Troy added many Cut Bank people have “either down-sized or moved up to a larger home because of growth in their own family.”
She continued, “Some of our clients have stated that Cut Bank has it all with the proximity to Glacier National Park, Canada and Great Falls. Cut Bank has friendly people, services, schools and pride in home ownership.”
Jane Lindberg from Cut Bank Gas Company has seen new customers come through their doors as well. “We have had approximately two to three families new to Cut Bank purchasing homes here each month. And we have had several older business buildings turn gas service back on and new businesses opening up. I feel this is very encouraging for our town as Cut Bank has much to offer and is still such a great place to live, raise families and even start a new business.”
More and more people are learning what many of us already know, this area is a good place to live, work and play.