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Livingston, Montana

Livingston, Montana
Downtown Livingston
Downtown Livingston
Location of Livingston, Montana
Location of Livingston, Montana
Country United States
State Montana
County Park
 • Total 6.03 sq mi (15.62 km2)
 • Land 6.02 sq mi (15.59 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 4,501 ft (1,372 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 7,044
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 7,053
 • Density 1,170.1/sq mi (451.8/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 59047
Area code(s) 406
FIPS code 30-43975
GNIS feature ID 0773511
Website .org.livingstonmontanawww

Livingston is a city and the county seat of Park County, Montana, United States.[4] Livingston is located in southwestern Montana, on the Yellowstone River, north of Yellowstone National Park. The population was 7,044 at the 2010 census.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Economy 4
    • Top employers 4.1
  • Media 5
    • Newspapers 5.1
    • AM radio 5.2
    • FM radio 5.3
    • Television 5.4
    • Bozeman Market 5.5
    • Billings Market 5.6
  • Notable natives and residents 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Livingston evolved from a trading post on the Yellowstone River called Benson’s Landing which was approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) downstream from present day Livingston. In July 1882, when Northern Pacific Railway (NPR) contractors arrived, the trading post was renamed Clark City for contractor Heman Clark. The railroad officially reached Clark City on November 22, 1882. At that time, the community moved to its present location upstream from the trading post and was renamed Livingston in honor of a Northern Pacific Railway stockholder and director, Johnston Livingston (1875–81 and 1884–87).[5] Livingston became the first gateway town to Yellowstone National Park, which the NPR began promoting heavily to visitors from the East. The NPR operated a branch line running some sixty miles south to first the Cinnabar station and later Gardiner, Montana. Livingston was also headquarters for the NPR's Central Division and location for railroad shops to service NPR steam trains before their ascent over the Bozeman Pass, the highest point on the line 5,702 feet (1,738 m).[6]

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.

Though a small city, Livingston is home to a number of popular tourist points. 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 adventurous traveling members of European royalty. Today it is a small art haven, filming location (A River Runs Through It, The Horse Whisperer, Rancho Deluxe, and others), fishing destination, railroad town, and writers' and actors' colony. 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.[7] Livingston is also the home of the Fly Fishing Discovery Center, a museum operated by the Federation of Fly Fishers.[8] 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.

Like many rural areas, its economy is flat but steady, and like the rest of the state, the unemployment rate is below the national average. A significant proportion of its workforce, approaching half, commutes to Bozeman, as well as the destination resort Chico Hot Springs some twenty-five miles south, and various campsites and ranches in the high-value area of Paradise Valley. Recently, the city has invested much time and money into creating attractions and accommodations for tourists visiting during the Lewis and Clark bicentennial years. It has a sister-city relationship with Naganohara, Japan.

Images of Livingston, Montana
Plat of Livingston, 1883 
Gateway to Yellowstone, Frank Jay Haynes photo, 1884 
Original NPRR Depot, 1894 
Dan Bailey's Fly Shop in Livingston 


Panoramic view, Livingston, 1922

Livingston is located at (45.658840, -110.563718),[9] at an elevation of 4,501 feet (1372 m).[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.03 square miles (15.62 km2), of which, 6.02 square miles (15.59 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[1]


Climate data for Livingston, Montana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 67
Average high °F (°C) 35
Average low °F (°C) 16
Record low °F (°C) −32
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.64
Source: [11]

Livingston has some of the warmest winters in the state, but the temperature can feel cold because Livingston is also one of the windiest places in the United States, having the 2nd highest average wind speed among airport/AMOS stations from 2000 to 2010.[12]


2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 7,044 people, 3,356 households, and 1,744 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,170.1 inhabitants per square mile (451.8/km2). There were 3,779 housing units at an average density of 627.7 per square mile (242.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.2% White, 0.1% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.

There were 3,356 households of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 48.0% were non-families. 40.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.81.

The median age in the city was 41.1 years. 21% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.3% were from 25 to 44; 28.9% were from 45 to 64; and 16.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.

2000 census

At the 2000 census,[15] there were 6,851 people, 3,084 households and 1,751 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,601.3 per square mile (1,005.8/km²). There were 3,360 housing units at an average density of 1,275.8 per square mile (493.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.39% White, 0.31% African American, 0.98% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.60% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.16% of the population.

There were 3,084 households of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.2% were non-families. 37.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.86.

Age distribution was 22.7% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

The median household income was $28,980, and the median family income was $40,505. Males had a median income of $26,619 versus $18,684 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,636. About 5.6% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.


Historically a railroad city until the mid-1980s, the city today depends significantly on tourism. The Federation of Fly Fishers is based in Livingston.

Top employers

According to Livingston's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[16] the top private employers in the area (the city's website refers to approximately a hundred public employees) are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Livingston HealthCare 250–499
2 Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa 100–249
3 PrintingForLess 100–249
4 Albertsons 50–99
5 Best Western Mammoth Hot Springs 50–99
6 Church Universal and Triumphant 50–99
7 Community Health Partners 50–99
8 Livingston Health and Rehabilitation Center 50–99
9 Town & Country Foods 50–99
10 The Livingston Enterprise 20–49


Empire Theater downtown


Livingston Enterprise is a local daily newspaper, and the Livingston Current (preceded by the Park County Press and Park County Weekly) is a weekly newspaper. The monthly Montana Pioneer and bimonthly Atlantis Rising are also Livingston-based.

AM radio

FM radio


Bozeman Market

Billings Market

Notable natives and residents


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Aarstad, Rich; Arguimbau, Ellie; Baumler, Ellen; Porsild, Charlene; Shovers, Brian (2009). Montana Place Names. Helena, Montana: Montana Historical Society Press. p. 157.  
  6. ^ "Bozeman Pass".  
  7. ^ Berryman, Jack W. (2006). Fly-Fishing Pioneers and Legends of the Northwest. Seattle, WA: Northwest Fly Fishing LLC. pp. 101–107.  
  8. ^ Fly Fishing Discovery Center website
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  10. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Livingston, Montana
  11. ^ "Average Weather for Livingston, MT - Temperature and Precipitation". Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  16. ^ City of Livingston CAFR
  17. ^ "Arthur Blank’s Spirit of Giving Knows No Season-Paradise Valley Pop Stand Owner and Home Depot Co-Founder Makes More to Give More". The Montana Pioneer. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  18. ^ Whithorn, Doris; Bill Whithorn (1979). Calamity's In Town-The Town Was Livingston, Montana. Pray, Montana: Wan-I-Gan. 
  19. ^ Cohen, Stan (2004). "The Murray Hotel". Montana's Grandest-Historic Hotels and Resorts of the Treasure State. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company. pp. 77–80.  

External links

  • Livingston Chamber of Commerce - Information about the Livingston area
  • City of Livingston
  • The Livingston Enterprise - Daily newspaper
  • The Livingston Current - Weekly newspaper
  • The Montana Pioneer - Monthly newspaper
  • Arts Montana - Community cultural links and arts events

Livingston travel guide from Wikivoyage

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