Filed Under Livingston

Northside School

Expansion of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the early 1900s assured Livingston a bright future, and civic building of this period reflects the high economic and cultural levels achieved by the community. The North Side School, built in 1907 in simplified Renaissance Revival style, is a splendid example of that prosperous era. Built for $12,940 of concrete block simulating rusticated stone, the stately new school replaced an 1892 frame building two blocks distant. Its rusticated finish, quoins accentuating the building’s corners, and a decorative frieze delineating first and second stories are hallmarks of the Renaissance Revival style. Four classrooms and a small library room accommodated grades one through four while the basement featured two playrooms and restroom facilities, boys on one side and girls on the other. Ella Smith was North Side’s principal when the new facility welcomed its first students in the fall of 1908. She and three other teachers managed the four grades. School district policy at this time in Livingston and elsewhere on the western frontier dictated that only single women could be hired as elementary teachers; the local school board finally set that policy aside in 1942. Although North Side was the smallest of Livingston’s three earliest elementary schools, it had served area children for more than sixty years when it closed in 1971. Home of the Park County Museum since 1976, it is appropriate that the classrooms, which saw several generations of Livingston’s children, now house artifacts and memorabilia of local history.


North Side School
North Side School North Side School, facing north on West Chinook Street, front view of building. Source: Creator: Date: July 2008


118 West Chinook Street, Livingston, Montana | Public


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Northside School,” Historic Montana, accessed July 13, 2024,