Livingston Commercial Historic District

As the Northern Pacific Railroad pushed its tracks westward in 1882, representatives arrived at this bend in the Yellowstone River to open a company store. They pitched a tent, stocking it with 140,000 pounds of goods hauled by ox-drawn wagons. Other merchants set up shop as track-laying crews spilled into Clark City. By 1883, Northern Pacific surveyors had platted a townsite nearby for their division headquarters, and Clark City's tents moved to the new town of Livingston. Named after a company director, Livingston's early Main Street was a muddy track bordered by wooden sidewalks, and the false-fronted wooden stores, offices, and many saloons did a lucrative business. Madame Bulldog's Bucket of Blood Saloon served a rowdy and transient clientele, among them the notorious Martha "Calamity Jane" Cannary. In 1885-86, fires destroyed much of downtown prompting reconstruction of more substantial, permanent brick buildings. Advertising painted on downtown buildings boasted all manner of goods and services while local cigar factories, mills, brickyards, and breweries further assured Livingston's survival. By the 1890s, the town had become essential to tourists as the departure point for Yellowstone Park. Finally, the construction of the grand Northern Pacific depot in 1901-02 displayed the railroad's promotion of Park tourism and commitment to Livingston's future.

Livingston First National Bank / Masonic Building

The solid massing of this building follows a long Masonic tradition of erecting lodges whose size and bulk symbolize the permanency and stability of Masonry itself. Seemingly a colossal white stucco box, the building is actually comprised of three…

Donnelly-Van Brocklin Block

St. Paul, Minnesota, architect E. P. Bassford designed three buildings side by side in 1884: The First National Bank Building on the corner, then two identical business blocks. The twin commercial buildings were constructed for members of the bank’s…

108 North Main Street

By 1884, a barbershop and restaurant occupied a one-story frame building on this lot. Fire destroyed much of Main Street in 1886, but owner Frederick Wright quickly rebuilt, again of wood. Saloons, restaurants, and barbershops remained the primary…

Pape Building

In 1883, Wetzstein Hall, a two-story wooden building with a liquor wholesale operation on the first floor and a public hall on the second, stood on this site. In 1902, Fred Pape opened the National Park Steam Laundry here. He purchased the building…

Miles Hall

Entrepreneur brothers Tommy and Billy Miles constructed this dignified building in 1903 strategically located across from the Northern Pacific’s new passenger depot. The first floor of the masonry business block provided the booming community with…

112 North Main Street

Fire destroyed the first commercial building on this lot in 1886, but owner Walter Ayrault quickly invested $1,000 to replace it. In 1901, the Northern Pacific Railroad expanded its repair shops, ensuring Livingston’s growth; the next year, C. H.…

Danforth Block

A wood-frame cigar factory and shooting gallery stood here in 1884. After fire destroyed the buildings in 1886, owner J. A. Danforth quickly rebuilt in brick. Four years later, he added a second story, but the addition was so heavy it damaged the…

Auditorium Block

Montana State Senator Charles S. Hefferlin was Park County’s wealthiest resident and a prolific investor in numerous local building projects. He financed the first local flour mill, a hotel at Corwin Hot Springs, and numerous business blocks,…

Grabow Hotel

German immigrant William Grabow settled in the Livingston area in the early 1880s. There he established a flour mill and helped introduce the manufacture of brick. Between 1908 and 1911, William built this prominent corner building, where he and his…

Hefferlin Mercantile

The look of Livingston’s Main Street can be traced to Charles S. Hefferlin, who built at least twelve stores at different times along this thoroughfare. Friendly rivalry between Hefferlin and fellow developer A. W. Miles, who vied for similar…

Livingston City Hall and Fire Station

The territorial legislature created Park County with Livingston as county seat in 1887. By the mid-1890s city officials needed office space and a firehouse was even more critical. Fiery disasters had long plagued the community, and destruction of the…

The Mayne Store

Historic maps of Main Street show that a vendor’s stand occupied this lot in 1891. By 1896, this small but very fashionable commercial building added to Livingston’s stylish downtown streetscape. The building is a fine example of the Western…

Murray Hotel

Antique furniture, red oak doors, a towering lobby, and 700 square feet of marble make this historic hotel a timeless ambassador of the “real West.” Built circa 1904, the Murray began as the Elite Hotel (locally pronounced EE-light) when Livingston…

I. Orschel & Bro.

The intersection of Main and Park was the heart of Livingston’s compact commercial core, convenient to both railway passengers and local customers. Here in the mid 1880s brothers Isaac and Herman Orschel, who also had a store in Miles City, did a…

Winslow Mercantile Company

George Winslow came to Livingston in the 1880s, secured employment at the Blue Front Grocery Store, and eventually bought the business. By 1903, Winslow had expanded his business in this commercial building. The two storefronts were long connected;…

Frank Block

A Jewish immigrant from Poland, tailor Henry Frank first arrived in Montana in 1867. He and his wife Barbara followed the Northern Pacific Railroad to Livingston, where they built the city’s first brick business block in 1883 on East Park. In 1890,…

Callender Block

Made with a hand-operated press, cast concrete block was virtually unheard of in 1900. By 1906, however, when developer Charles Hefferlin contracted architect F. H. Palmer to design this two-story commercial block, over a thousand companies…