Livingston Chamber of Commerce

303 E. Park Street • Livingston, MT 59047
Phone: 406-222-0850
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Livingston MT Chamber building

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Original Gateway to Yellowstone Park

Experience Paradise! 

Located between the Gallatin and Crazy Mountain ranges and surrounded by the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area, the town of Livingston was established by the Northern Pacific Railroad in the 1880s.  But even before the white settlers and the railroad arrived, the Crow Indians occupied this beautiful land along the legendary Yellowstone River for thousands of years.

The change all started in 1882 with a man named Joseph McBride was sent to find a location to open a store that would supply workers on the new railroad.  He chose the site of present day Livingston, bypassing the settlement of Benson’s Landing, just a few miles downstream on the river. The store started out as tents, but it was not long until the downtown began to develop. Originally named Clark City after Captain William Clark, the city was now named after a railroad executive.

Soon, Livingston was a thriving community, complete with 30 saloons, six general stores, two hotels, two restaurants and a thriving red light district.  No longer just a trading post for trappers and gold miners, Livingston was slowly becoming “civilized”.   Over the decades, Livingston certainly had its fair share of famous and infamous characters including Calamity Jane who lived in Livingston and Park County for about 17 years.

Today, the historic Main Street is a reminder of Livingston’s proud Western past with over 400 grand old buildings listed on the National Historic Register.  These classic structures give Livingston that special turn-of-the-century charm.  Many were used as hotels for the tourists who came through Livingston on their way to Yellowstone National Park.  

Once they arrived here, travelers had to change trains to get to Corwin Springs or Gardiner to enter the park.   But after days on a train with no running water to bathe, many of these tourists were grateful to take a soak and refresh themselves with an overnight in town before traveling on.  So too, today's vacationers still enjoy taking in our history, art and fine dining in Livingston’s scenic setting along the Yellowstone River.  It was this incredible setting that helped land Livingston one of its biggest movie parts ever in “A River Runs Through It”.

Though, the historic Livingston Depot Center ended its service as an active passenger railway station in the 1970s, it still opens its doors each summer to welcome the public to view its railroad museum displays.  During the off season, locals and visitors can attend a blues concert, dance party, conference or other special event at the depot.

Other must-see points of interest are the Yellowstone Gateway Museum, a treasure trove of artifacts and relics from Park County’s early history, or stop by the  Federation of Flyfishers Discovery Center.  Downtown offers a cornucopia of  emporiums and shops of all kinds including the Cowboy Connection, a shop full of western collectibles.  Also visit Sax & Fryers, Livingston’s oldest and longest running business originally established in 1883.

Today, Livingston is an eclectic blend of artists, writers, flyfishers, travelers, second home owners, outdoor enthusiasts, ranchers and local folks all striving for that certain Rocky Mountain lifestyle.  Promoted by the Livingston Gallery Association as “the heart of Art in Montana”,  Livingston offers over 15 art galleries, 2 live-theater playhouses, 3 museums, many unique downtown shops, and great restaurants.  And for rodeo excitement, nothing beats the Livingston Roundup Rodeo held every July 2, 3, & 4. 

So whether you want to kick up your heels or just kick back, Livingston is the place to be.  For more information, contact the Livingston Area Chamber and Visitor Center on the web at www.livingston-chamber.com or call 406-222-0850

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