The Garfield County Court House burned to the ground in 1997. County offices were moved to this structure, originally the county hospital.
Garfield County, bordered on the north by the Missouri River and on the west by the Musselshell River, is often called the Big Dry, so named because Big Dry Creek flows across the county roughly parallel to Montana highway 200. The county was created on April 1, 1919, and the 1920 census showed a county population of 5,368. As harsh weather and persistent dust storms dashed the dreams of the early settlers, folk moved out of eastern Montana in droves in the 1920s and 30s. Even today this depopulation continues. The 2000 census showed 1,279 people living in Garfield County, and by 2008 the estimated population had decreased an additional 7.4% to 1,184.
The County Seat is Jordan, located roughly in the center of this large (4,668 square miles) and sparsely populated (.3 people/square mile in 2000) county. It is the third least densely populated county in the 48 contiguous states. Garfield County High School had the last public high school dormitory in Montana—deemed necessary as winter storms would keep students from getting home during the week.
Garfield County is notable mainly for being the place where approximately 1/3 of the existing T. Rex skeletons have been found.
Garfield County is number 50 on Montana license plates.
Taken March 26, 2010 in Jordan, Montana.
Nikon D80 DSLR, Nikkor 16-85 mm wide angle/tele/zoom lens set at 24 mm.
ISO 125, f /9.5, 1/30 second.