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Old 03-25-2014, 02:09 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,479 times
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My husband and I have been visiting Montana on a regular basis for about 4 years now. We have been researching a move to Montana seriously now for 2 years. We want to retire in the St Regis area within the next year and are looking for some advice about doing so. We want to embrace our new community and fit in. We were both raised in a small town but have lived most of our married life in a small city about the size of Missoula. We would like some advice on ways to make new friends and be contributing members of our new community. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,883 posts, read 5,764,575 times
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I don't live in St Regis, so not familier with any specific people, but most Montanan's are very friendly, if a little reserved.

The best way to meet them is to just walk around the town and talk over the yard fence to folks you meet. I took the dog out last night in my town, met a very nice gentleman that was pitching wood through his basement window.

If you attend a church, that's a great place to meet folks, or sporting events. Small town high school basketball or football takes the place of professional teams.
Go to some of the city events, rodeos, the fair, music festivals etc.

If you have hobbies, local clubs or where you get your supplies are a great place to start.

Many Montanan's come off as reserved or removed, not because they aren't listening or engaged, we just tend to be quieter than a lot of other places. If you are pushy, you'll get a polite smile, and no response, but you will probably be avoided.
Many Montanan's especially in tourist areas will wait to see if you are really committed to staying and being part of the community before they will invite you in because so many have come before and bailed.
Don't run up to someone and say "I'm XXXX and just moved here from XXX", If you start your conversation "I just moved into the old Baxter house on 5th street and I was wondering if you could tell me when the trash pickup is" is a lot better way to get someone to talk around here.

If you offer to help someone with their garden, or fixing a car, those are great ways to meet folks and get a good start with them.

Good people find their own way to fit in. Offering to help, offering extra produce out of your garden, joining local clubs and churches, being willing to volunteer for events, this builds up a history for you and will help you become part of the community.

Don't force it, just let it happen. Be good neighbors, be friendly and open, you should have no problems.

Good Luck.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,479 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you so much for the great advice. Just what I was looking for. Sounds like this will be a perfect fit for us. My hubby can carry on a conversation with a fence post and I fit the Montana personality already. (Quiet, but genuine.) We're very excited about starting this new chapter in our life.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Somewhere gray and damp, close to the West Coast
12,013 posts, read 2,213,307 times
Reputation: 5087
I lived in St. Regis for 6 months and it was the worst place imaginable to me -- LOTS of addiction and entitlement mentality. Meth is a big issue. I met a man whose home had been burned down by meth criminals, who stole his guns. Same man had drunken neighbors living on property adjacent to his who were firing guns at all hours, and one of them actually shot six rounds at my friend's car, in which his family sat. I met no one there who lived a healthy life. The place I lived was on the big aquifer in that town and the water was hideous. I spoke to folks from nearby Superior who lived in subsidized housing where there were always radon monitors, but they could never learn the result of that monitoring. Mineral County has high radon levels.

I admit that I loved being in Montana -- a beautiful, inspiring place. Loved going up to Hot Springs and soaking in the pool at Symes Resort, and being able to count the bald eagles perched in the trees along the highway, on the drive from St. Regis to Superior.

I'd move there if I could, just not to Mineral County. The medical care there, at the Mineral Community Hospital and attached clinic, was a total insult.
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