Livingston, Montana Logo © Copyright Page Makers, LLC and Yellowstone Media

Livingston, Montana

The coming of the railways to Montana Territory changed the pattern of access to Yellowstone Park from both the west and the north. The Northern Pacific Railroad's tracks were laid to the crossing of Yellowstone River in 1882, and a new town — Livingston — was laid out on railroad property at the edge of Clark City.

There is considerable confusion regarding the name of the railroad's town, and it is variously given as honoring different persons — each reputed to be a director of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Cheney (1971), p. 140, says the official was Crawford Livingston, of St. Paul, Minnesota (but that was obviously taken from an interview with Joe George in 1944). Campbell states that the town “was named in honor of Charles Livingston of New York.” An official publication of the railroad indicates it was neither of those, but Johnston Livingston who was the “original director” of the Northern Pacific.

By the end of November 1882, Livingston consisted of 130 houses and tents, of which ten or twelve were considered to be quite respectable. Among the total there were six hotels and restaurants, four stores, five feed stables, two butcher shops, two wholesale liquor houses, thirty saloons, and a lumber yard; the population of the place was estimated to be six hundred. The town received its post office in December of that year.

Construction of the “Park Branch Line” in 1883 established Livingston's importance to the Park tourist business, and also confirmed it as a market town for the year-round residents — an advantage Livingston still holds even though the railroad lost interest in its dwindling Park business after 1948.

Rudyard Kipling has left us a poignant description of the town of Livingston as he saw it. In the heyday of the “carriage trade,” it was:

    “a town of 2,000 people and a junction for the little sideline that takes you to the Yellowstone National Park. It lies in a fold of the prairie and behind it is the Yellowstone River and the Gate of the Mountains through which the river flows. There is one street in the town where the cowboy's pony, and the little foal of the brood mare in the buggy, rest contentedly in the blinding sunshine while the cowboy gets himself shaved at the only barber shop and swaps lies at the bar.”

Information from: Yellowstone Place Names - Mirrors of History by Aubrey L. Haines pp 258, 259.

Website Under Construction

Yellowstone National Park by Page Makers, LLC © Copyright All Rights Reserved
I n d e x
Accessibility Earthquakes Maps Video Page
Address Email Newspaper Visitor Centers
Adult Programs Entrances Old Faithful Live WebCam Visitor Stats
Amphibians Entrance Fees Pets Volcano Observatory
Animals Fall Closure Phone Numbers Waterfalls
Backcountry Fish Picnic Areas Weather
Bear Management Fishing Fees Ranger Led Activities WebCams
Bear Sightings Fishing Regulations Reptiles Wildflowers
Biking Getting Here Reunions Winter Closing
Boating Hiking Rivers, Creeks & Streams Winter Opening
Books History Roads Winter Weather Reports
Butterflies Junior Ranger Program Schedule Wolf Project
Camping Lakes Search Page Wolf Sightings
Campground Maps Location Spring Opening Wolverine Help
Challenges Lodging Star Talks Yellowstone ~ the Name
Chat Page Lynx Help Trip Planner pdf Young Scientist
Clinics / Medical Mammal List Trip Reports Youth Conservation Corps

Yellowstone National Park WebCams
Old Faithful Live All Old Faithful Old Faithful Static Old Faithful VC North Entrance Mt Washburn Mammoth YVO WebCam

Entrance Cities and Gateway Towns
Gardiner, Montana Silver Gate, Montana West Yellowstone, Montana Cooke City, Montana
Livingston, Montana Cody, Wyoming Jackson Hole, Wyoming Yellowstone National Park

Not all who wander are lost by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien © Page Makers, LLC

The Great Outdoors Net Great Outdoor Recreational Places
Gardiner, Montana World Humanity

Contact Us

by John William Uhler

Back to: Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

Copyright © 1995 - 2015 Page Makers, LLC and Yellowstone Media ~ All Rights Reserved