Lakeside and Somers are neighboring communities that encompass 13 miles of lake frontage on Flathead Lake, 100 miles north of Missoula, and minutes south of Kalispell, the valley's regional business center.
Prior to the 1900's the town of Lakeside was called "Stoner," after John Stoner, the first postmaster, who built and operated a hotel where the creek that still bears his name flows into Flathead Lake. The name was later changed to "Chautauqua," then "Lacon," and finally, in 1920 to "Lakeside."
In the early years, Flathead Lake was an important part of the trade route from Missoula to Canada, and steamers made regular stops here with passengers and freight. Somers owes it's existence to the Great Northern Railway. Railroad ties were needed for the extension of tracks throughout the west, and the ready supply of timber surrounding Flathead Lake made the north end of the lake an ideal mill site. From 1900 to 1949 the Somers Lumber Company produced thousands of ties. The first general store, built in 1900, and other historic buildings, are still in use by Sliters Lumber Company.