CLUB NOTES: Park County Historical Society

The Park County Historical Society met Nov. 16 at the Livingston-Park County Public Library. Ten members were present.

Patricia Grabow is attempting to compile a master list of all current and former members so that they can be contacted for meeting attendance.  

The annual Christmas party will be Dec. 14 at the Grabow Hotel at noon.  Members are asked to bring a potluck dish and an inexpensive “white elephant” gift for our entertaining gift exchange.

Paul Shea, Director of the Yellowstone Gateway Museum gave the second part of his talk on the Cultural History of Yellowstone Park.  His talk was about the influence of the various railroads on the development of the park and the facilities in it.  

One hundred thirty-three years ago five railroads began to offer visitors, primarily from the east coast of the U.S., vacation tours to Yellowstone National Park. These railroads were:  the Northern Pacific through Livingston to Cinnabar; the Union Pacific going to Monida, Idaho with specials to West Yellowstone; The Burlington to Cody, Wyoming, then by bus to the Park; the Chicago Northwestern to Lander, Wyoming, then by bus to the Park; and the Milwaukee to Three Forks, then by bus to Gallatin Gateway.  The railroads actually operated and encouraged tourist visits to Yellowstone by building luxury hotels and publishing travel brochures. This was a boon to the Park Service as it didn’t have the money to promote park travel.

After World War II automobile travel gradually took over as a means to see Yellowstone and the trains discontinued scheduled trips to the Park.