Although the big rail shops were busy, the town was rather quiet. I had to kill the time between getting off No. 3 and boarding the park train to Gardiner, 54 miles to the south through Paradise Valley. I did it in the grand Livingston depot, the beanery when it opened and/or the hotel across the street. in those early hours the depot quickly became quiet when No. 3 departed for the West. I still remember the incessant clickity-clack of the telegraph instruments, which was about the only sign of activity in the depot.
In early June I was usually the only passenger waiting for the southbound park train, so I had the depot all to myself most of the time. I always walked out on the lawn court on the track side of the depot and studied the Yellowstone horse-drawn tallyho.
The Northern Pacific advertising in those early depression days promoted the idea of a 'dude ranch vacation,' so pictures in the depot showed dudes on a horseback pack trip winding through the picturesque Montana mountains, camping above the timber line, and a nice shot of the many saddles in a dude ranch tack room. In addition, the famous Haynes photo of a mama bear nursing twin cubs was also prominently displayed along with the backlit photo of Old Faithful erupting steam and water into the sky.
Author: Craig D. Reese. Title: Park Branch Operations.
© March 20, 2002