Photo courtesy: Lonie Stimac
Photo courtesy: MTOT
The Kootenais moved to the area between Lake Mary Ronan and Flathead Lake in 1869, prompting the federal government to open a commissary near what later became Proctor. The Kootenai referred to the area as Fish Trap. Clarenece E. Proctor arrived in the area in 1883 and established a ranch and store. Originally called Dayton, the town prospered, but in 1910, with the opening of the Flathead Indian Reservation to non-Indian homesteaders, the residents realized a location on Flathead Lake would be better for business and moved the town 2 miles to the lakeshore. With it went the name of the town. Residents of the old town petitioned and received approval to open a new post office and rename their town Proctor, after its most prominent citizen.(Copyright 2009, Montana Historical Society: Montana Place Names from Alzada to Zortman, Montana Historical Society Research Center Staff)
Big Arm Bay, of Flathead Lake is a popular jump-off point to Wild Horse Island. Big Arm's long pebble beach is popular with sunbathers and swimmers. Camping under a stand of mature ponderosa pine and juniper is a major attraction.
Lake Mary Ronan State Park offers camping, swimming, fishing, and boating with boating ramp. Just seven miles west of Flathead Lake off the beaten path and shaded by Douglas-fir and western larch, this park provides a quiet opportunity to pick huckleberries, hunt mushrooms, and spot interesting birds. Trails lead into the surrounding area which abounds in wildflowers and wildlife.
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