Livingston was founded just over 100 years ago by the Northern Pacific Railroad for workers who operated the railways and the maintenance shops in the region. The railroad completed the grand, Italianate-style passenger depot in 1902 and it was rapidly welcoming passengers bound for Yellowstone.
The elaborate three-building Depot complex was designed to draw and welcome tourists traveling to Yellowstone National Park, just 50 miles south of town. The Depot also administered for the shops and served as the NP's Central Division headquarters.
Since the museum's opening in 1987, the Depot Center has continued in the same historic tradition of welcoming visitors with exhibits and programs highlighting the region's rich history.
"Rails Across the Rockies: A Century of People and Places," along with our other exhibits described on this site, tells the story, through objects and photographs, of the building of the rails and Montana's colorful history. Differently-themed subexhibits introduce the visitor to everything from the big picture to the earliest Yellowstone tourism, wrecks, dining service, construction, and the people who made it all happen.