The Rocky Fork & Cooke City Railway Depot
Red Lodge Commercial Historic District
Coal was discovered in the upper Rock Creek Valley in 1866. The Rocky Fork Development Company purchased the mines in 1887 and actively lobbied the Northern Pacific Railway for a branch line to carry the coal to markets throughout Montana. In 1889, the Rocky Fork & Cooke City Railway reached Red Lodge, causing a boom in the population and fortunes of the new community. The Northern Pacific formally acquired the line in 1890 and abandoned it after World War II. Built in 1889 and expanded in 1904, this classic Craftsman style depot provided, for many, their first glimpse of Red Lodge and the Beartooth Mountains. The flared eaves, eave brackets, shiplap siding, and irregular configuration of the building were hallmarks of Northern Pacific depots along the railroad’s main and branch lines. At one time, this building sported a second floor which served as the living quarters for the railroad’s agent in Red Lodge. Since 1982, the old depot has been the home of the Carbon County Arts Guild.