Northern Pacific Railroad Depot, Fromberg

The Gebo Mine, founded in the Clarks Fork Valley in the late 1890s, brought the tracks of the Northern Pacific to this area. The railroad, however, bypassed the coal mine and the town of Gebo that flourished near it because of difficult accessibility. A spur line to the mine was constructed in 1898, and by early 1899, a small wood-frame depot stood ready north of where the Gebo spur left the main tracks. The railroad named the station “Fromberg” after Northern Pacific stockholder Conrad Fromberg, and it immediately provided local ranchers with a link to distant markets. William Swallow recognized that his land near the depot offered potential for a new townsite. The original six-block townsite of Fromberg was platted in “T-town” form, with the main street perpendicular to the tracks. The depot, constructed by the railroad from standardized plans for “fourth class combination stations,” originally included a ticket office and waiting room on one end, freight room on the other end, and central living quarters for the agent. Remodeling in 1909 expanded the waiting area into the central apartment, and clapboard siding was applied over the board-and-batten walls. The depot served passengers and freight until 1970. Later moved seventy-five feet to its present location, the building today is the only remaining Northern Pacific depot along the historic Clarks Fork branch line and the last railroad building in Fromberg. In its new function as the Clarks Fork Valley Museum, this railroad veteran is an appropriate ambassador of the region’s rich history and a significant reflection of Fromberg’s roots.



101 East River Street, Fromberg, Montana ~ Private