Seeley Lake

Mr. Jasper B. (Jesse) Seely came to the Blackfoot-Clearwater in 1881 as a timber cruiser, and he and brother Elmer Seely built a cabin on the shores of what was then called Clearwater Lake. In the process of recording an 1890 survey of the lake for J.B. Seely the survey crew mistakenly added an extra letter "e" and thus Seeley Lake officially came into being. The community of Seeley Lake itself began to take shape in the late 1890s, roughly twenty years after the first settlers arrived.

In 1897 Seely became Seeley Lake's first Forest Ranger, and continued with the Forest Service until his retirement in 1927. The first Forest Service timber sale of 1905 brought more lumberjacks and logging camps, and the Seely holdings were sold to the Big Blackfoot Milling Company in 1906, when the homestead became the site of a logging camp.

Over the next several decades the logging operations brought in a constant stream of new arrivals, and the community continued to grow.