by Emily Coombs
on Tuesday, May 12th, 2020 at 5:32pm.
There’s a certain magic about Livingston, Montana. Something that captures the love of writers, artists, musicians, and mountaineers who make this quaint mountain town their home, (think; Thomas McGuane and the latest Jim Harrison and Russell Chatham.) Perhaps it’s the mountain ranges; Crazy, Absarokee, and Bridger, to be exact. Or the magnificent Yellowstone River, which is full of fat trout and is a fisher person’s dream. There’s certainly a vibe, a laid-back yet get-down-to-business kind of attitude that keeps this town full of entrepreneurs and restaurateurs busy year-round. Livingston knows how to work hard, and play hard, creating an environment endearing to both residents and visitors alike.
The population is just over 7,500, a tight-knit community that, when working together, can move mountains. Take the historic Teslow grain elevator, for example. In just over two weeks, the town rallied to raise $60,000, acquiring the elevator and saving it from demolition. Residents care, and it shows.
Established by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1882, Livingston was both a railroad town and a gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Just 55 miles from the Roosevelt Arch, located at the north entrance to the park, many visitors stay in Livingston while exploring the park and the surrounding area.
To get to the park, via U.S. Highway 89, you pass through what is known as Paradise Valley, which is aptly named. The spring brings snowcapped mountains and green rolling fields, and in the fall, the whole valley turns takes on a golden hue. There are two hot springs in the valley, Chico Hot Springs, and Yellowstone Hot Springs, both with lovely facilities and natural spring water.
This little town is safe. People take care of one another literally and figuratively. The school district boasts a low student to teacher ratio with grades K-2 having an average of 19 students per class, and in grades 3-12, there are 26 students per class. There are never more than 30 kids per classroom. Livingston HealthCare recently completed a new state of the art hospital with 25 critical access beds, a level 4 Trauma Center, a multi-specialty physician practice, rehabilitation services, and home-based services.
Tourism is a significant industry with people coming from all over the world to explore Yellowstone, as well as hike, fish, and raft throughout the area. Significant employers include Livingston HealthCare, Livingston School District, City of Livingston, Park County, Printing for Less, and Chico Hot Springs.
The town is quaint, the neighborhoods quiet and the median price of a home in Park County is just $356,281 (as of February, 2020.) It doesn’t get much better than that!