~ City of Big Timber, Montana ~

Welcome to the official web site for The City Of Big Timber.

Big Timber is located in south central Montana bordered by  the Yellowstone and Boulder Rivers.

Captain William Clark led The Corps of Discovery into what is now Sweet Grass County in 1806, but it wasn’t until 1883, and the Northern Pacific Railroad came through, that Big Timber (formerly named Dornix) was born. A railroad station was constructed at Dornix, a small settlement at the confluence of the Boulder and Yellowstone rivers, whose economy revolved around a saw mill. Within a very short time Dornix moved to higher ground and renamed Big Timber for the large cottonwood trees growing along the rivers. Big Timber was within the Crow Indian reservation lands until 1891, when the Crow Nation ceded their lands west of the Boulder River to the United States Government.

In 1880, two Irishmen, Charles McDonnell and Edward Veasey, drove 3,000 head of sheep from California to Montana, beginning a long history of sheep and cattle ranching in the area. In 1901 the first woolen mill in Montana was built in Big Timber, and at one time Big Timber shipped more wool than any other city in the United States. While farming and ranching are still the backbone of the area, platinum/palladium mining has become a major contributor to the economy.

The City of Big Timber, incorporated on December 10, 1902, is a Class 3 City and the only incorporated City in Sweet Grass County

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View department contact and positions information.

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The City of Big Timber has decided to follow State and Federal Government recommendations on social distancing, we will be closing City Hall to the Public starting Friday, March 20, 2020.

We are requesting that all Utility Payments be made through our drop box on the outside of the building, through the mail, through bill pay from your bank, or by phone.

We will continue to be open and provide whatever services we can through this uncertain and difficult time. Our main concern is our staff and customers. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 932-5610 or 932-5611.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Rolland Karlin,


LATEST NEWS: 3/24/2020

Officials in Sweet Grass County and the City of Big Timber continue to work diligently in responding to the COVID-19 Virus pandemic. This coordinated response is directed by the Unified Command that was organized as set forth in our Emergency Operations Plan. The Unified Command is comprised of County Commissioners, City Council members, Elected Officials, Pioneer Medical Center staff, Public Health Officer, Public Health Nurse and department heads representing various response agencies. The members of the Unified Command meet on a regular basis to discuss changes in this pandemic and to update our response plans.

As of this release, there have been no COVID-19 cases identified in Sweet Grass County. There have been cases identified in the State of Montana. We are asking people to remain vigilant in current efforts to minimize the impact of this spread. It is essential that everyone follow the safety precautions as outlined on the nationwide websites representing the national and local Health Organizations. It is important that our communities remain calm while we face this serious situation.

Our highest priority is the safety of the public and the safety of our staff. We also place a high value on the importance of businesses in our community. We also have identified the importance of ensuring that the public receives accurate and timely information.
We have protocols in place to handle most situations. The following information is important for those that have questions about what they should do in the event they become ill.

      -If you or someone else is suffering from a serious or life-threatening condition, call the emergency number 9-1-1 and explain what is happening. Please do not call 9-1-1 with questions or non-emergencies.
      -If you are experiencing symptoms of an illness, call your medical provider and explain your symptoms. Your medical provider will then give you recommendations as to what you should do next.
      -If you believe you need to go to a clinic or a hospital for treatment, you are asked to call first to receive instructions to ensure the safety of you and the staff.

As we continue to respond to this ever-changing pandemic, we appreciate your efforts to help slow this down. The Governor has limited the activities of certain businesses and clubs. National and Local authorities continue to encourage people to practice social distancing and health practices.

Upcoming City Events

Visit our events page to view all of our great upcoming community goings on.

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City Codes

View all of our city codes and ordinances online at your convenience.

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