Railroads and Electricity
The Northern Pacific Railroad, the first to reach
this part of the northwest, arrived in Bozeman, March 21, 1883, and
the arrival was celebrated as an important event in the history of
the city. In the parade from the court house to the depot during the
afternoon of that day, C. P. Blakely was grand marshal, and his
aides were followed by Company D, second cavalry from Fort Ellis;
saluting party with gun; Bozeman Board of Trade represented by
Walter Cooper, president; J. V. Bogert, secretary; Peter Koch,
treasurer; C. W. Hoffman, J. Ellis and J. S. Mendenhall; survivors
of the Yellowstone expedition of 1874 with the Big Horn gun band;
invited guests; H. N. Maguire, orator of the day; delegation of
oldest citizens; societies in regalia and other citizens of the
county and of the territory.
Among the distinguished citizens of the United
States on the train which later passed through Bozeman for the
driving of the golden spike at Gold Creek, marking the completion of
the Northern Pacific Railroad across Montana, September 23, 1883,
was General Northern Pacific train on way to Bozeman, after coming
out of Rocky Canyon, west end of the Bozeman Pass.
U. S. Grant, former president of the United States, and Henry
Villard, then president of the road. Bozeman citizens greeted them
at the depot, and some of the local citizens went on the train to
Gold Creek for the celebration.
When the Bozeman tunnel was built through mountains
between Livingston and Bozeman, an early pioneer of Montana, John F.
Work, who came west in 1862, and during the later years of his life
resided in Bozeman, had the contract for the excavation and the
tunnel was completed by eastern engineers.
The use of electric power for lighting in Bozeman
and Gallatin County was inaugurated in February 1887, when a
franchise was granted to the Bozeman Electric Company, incorporated
by George W. Wakefield, W. W. Livingston and others. A machine of
thirty arc lights capacity, purchased from the General Electric
Company, was installed in the old McAdow Mill in the eastern part of
Bozeman, using waterpower, which served the purpose until the plant
passed into other hands, when a larger ditch was built and an
alternating machine was installed in 1890. Two years later, the
Gallatin Light, Power and Railway Company was organized and took
over the plant, adding additional machinery to furnish power for the
street railway that ran from the Northern Pacific depot to Montana
State College for several years.
The plant was enlarged again in 1904, and in 1906,
the Madison River Power Company completed their transmission line
from the Madison Canyon Station, and with the gradual improvements
to the line, the use of electricity was extended for lighting,
cooking and for power for mills, elevators and other machinery, not
only in Bozeman, but throughout Gallatin County, not only in the
towns or cities but in many rural districts. The local plant was
finally taken over by the Montana Power Company.
Suburban Electric Train
The Suburban car established by the Chicago,
Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad in 1909, from Bozeman to Bozeman Hot
Springs and to Salesville, later called Gallatin Gateway, was
electrified. This service was discontinued in 1930. The Milwaukee
road which has electric service from Three Forks over part of the
road on the regular train service in Montana, has a branch road from
Three Forks to Bozeman, especially for freight service, with limited
accommodations for passengers, and during the Yellowstone Park
season runs limited Pullman trains from the through trains at Three
Forks to Gallatin Gateway, where coaches from the Park
Transportation Company take passengers on the trips through
Yellowstone Park, from the Milwaukee's fine hotel, the Gallatin
Early History of Gallatin County,
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