Livingston Tourism

Livingston is a city and the county seat of Park County, Montana, United States. Livingston is located in southwestern Montana, on the Yellowstone River, north of Yellowstone National Park. The population was 7,044 at the 2010 census. The founding of the small historical railroad and ranching town of Livingston, Montana is a direct result of the Northern Pacific Railroad (NPR). This site became a centralized point in the Rockies and the NPR's location for railroad shops to service NPR steam trains before their ascent over the Bozeman Pass, the highest point on the line. Livingston also became the first gateway town to America's first national park, Yellowstone National Park. This is to where the NPR began promoting heavily to visitors from the East. The NPR operated a branch line running some fifty miles south through Paradise Valley to, first the Cinnabar station and later to Gardiner, Montana. Downstream (the Yellowstone River), approximately 3 miles from present day Livingston, was where an old fisherman named Amos Benson built a log cabin in 1872. This is where a ferry, a trading post and a small community called Benson's Landing was. Across the river from Benson's Landing in June of 1882 was the camp of about 40 tents of the Northern Pacific survey crew.This is where they thought that the supply store site they were looking for should be. On July 14, 1882, a man who worked for the Northern Pacific named Joseph J. McBride arrived with orders to find another site to build the store. Two days later on July 16, 1882 George H. Carver, a man who would become a major local businessman and local political leader, arrived at the site of present-day Livingston. Carver and McBride became the first local residents when they pitched their tents on the 16th. Also on the 16th arrived 30 freight wagons drawn by 140 head of oxen, carrying 140,000 lbs. of merchandise. The supply store was to be of Bruns and Kruntz, contractors. Eventually the tents gave away to log cabins. All of Benson's Landing encampment moved up the river to Carver and McBride's camp within 10 days of freight train's arrival. This new settlement was called "Clark City" after Heman Clark, the principal contractor for the Northern Pacific from the Missouri westward. By fall the town was well established and an election poll in November 1882 counted 348 votes for delegates to congress. Clark City was on the southeast side at the East end of Lewis St. just southwest of the KPRK, and is now part of Livingston. B.F. Downen built the first permanent residence (out of wood) and Frank White owned the first saloon. Clark City eventually had 6 general stores, 2 hotels, 2 restaurants, 2 watchmakers, 2 wholesale liquor dealers, 2 meat markets, 3 blacksmiths, 1 hardware store, 30 saloons and a population of 500 people. As Clark City was growing nobody realized that the Northern Pacific had marked on their maps a town called Livingston at the same place. The railroad had officially reached Clark City on November 22, 1882. In October of 1882 a post office was chartered for Clark City. In November, Livingston received its charter. That was when they decided that Livingston be located a short distance away, and there established a profit of $200,000 for the ones who invested in the surveyed property - those in knowledge of Northern Pacific doings. Then Clark City residents bought lots to the northwest, in Livingston and moved. The birth of Livingston was the death of Clark City. The walking distance between was considerable and Clark City became stream-and-bog urban wildland. Very few buildings still remain. On December 21, 1882 Livingston was incorporated and originally renamed in honor of Johnston Livingston, pioneer Northern Pacific Railway stockholder, director and friend of Northern Pacific Railroad President Henry Villard. Johnston Livingston was director from 1875–1881 and 1884–1887. Crawford Livingston Jr., Johnston's nephew is who the name Livingston is more commonly credited to. Crawford bought heavily of real estate after the survey, and who on July 17, 1883, established the First National Bank in the city. Often he spoke of Livingston as "his town," and he apparently enjoyed the publicity of supposedly having a city named for him. However the name Livingston has always stood out in the Northern Pacific official family. Livingston is along the Yellowstone River where it bends from north to east towards Billings and in proximity to Interstate 90. In July 1806 Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped on the city's present outskirts on the return trip east preparing to descend the Yellowstone River. Clark's party rejoined the Lewis party at the confluence with the Missouri River, near Williston, North Dakota. Although a small city, Livingston has a number of popular tourist attractions. The Livingston Depot, built in 1902 after two predecessors, is a restored rail station that today houses a railroad museum open from May through September. The Yellowstone Gateway Museum documents regional history from one of the oldest North American archaeological sites to Wild Western and Yellowstone history. The International Fly Fishing Federation's museum is an extensive introduction to a popular game sport and hosts annual enthusiasts meetings. The city was inhabited for two decades by Calamity Jane and visited by a number of traveling members of European royalty. It had been used as a filming location for A River Runs Through It, The Horse Whisperer, Rancho Deluxe, Livingston (film) and others. In 1938, Dan Bailey, an eastern fly-fisherman, established his Dan Bailey's Fly Shop and mail order fly tying business on Park Street where it still resides today. In Livingston is the Fly Fishing Discovery Center, a museum operated by the Federation of Fly Fishers. Actors Peter Fonda, Margot Kidder, as well as Saturday Night Live alumnus Rich Hall, musician Ron Strykert, novelist Walter Kirn, and poet Jim Harrison live in the city. Jimmy Buffett mentions Livingston in multiple songs. Its economy is flat, and like the rest of the state, the unemployment rate is below the national average. Almost 50% its workforce commutes to Bozeman, as well as the destination resort Chico Hot Springs twenty-five miles south, and various campsites and ranches in Paradise Valley. Recently, the city has invested in creating attractions and accommodation for tourists visiting during the Lewis and Clark bicentennial years. It has a sister-city relationship with Naganohara, Japan.


Looking for travel information about Livingston? Explore the best travel advice on Livingston, United States. A gripping city on its own right, Yellowstone National Park also deserves a visit. Add Yellowstone National Park to your vacation plan, it has an interesting bunch of activities to do on your visit like Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone, Old Faithful, Lamar Valley. To explore Livingston, set aside 1 to 2 number of your days. You'll be coming back for more!

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