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Montana’s Centennial Train
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 39.482 W 111° 05.998
12T E 492074 N 4944968
Quick Description: History sign about about the Montana Centennial Train in West Yellowstone, Montana. The sign is located next to the railcar behind the historic Union Pacific Depot. The railcar was part of the Centennial Trail.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 8/30/2011 6:36:19 PM
Waymark Code: WMCF0Q
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wildwoodke
Views: 11

Long Description:
Text of Sign:
A CELEBRATION THAT ROLLED ON THE RAILS
1964 marked 100 years since Montana was established as a territory. How would the state eclebrate this milestone? The challenge to develop a unique showpiece led to the idea of a train that would tour the state and surrounding region to showcase Montana’s history and resources.
AN IDEA THAT KEPT ON GROWING . . . . UP TO 25 CARS!
Stagecoaches, wagons, 72 horses, exhibits from the Montana State Historical Society, even a display of a million-dollar collection of gold were loaded onto train cars. Over 300 Montana citizens traveled on the train to help promote the state. The 100th Birthday Train grew to over 25 cars.
ALL THE WAY TO NEW YORK CITY!
The Centennial Train left Billings on April 5, 1964 for a tour of 16 cities stretching all the way to the east coast and back. Each stop included a parade, banquet, and other festivities. During the stop in Washington, D.C., a grand dinner was held in honor of President Lyndon Johnson, with Montana native Chet Huntley serving as toastmaster. The train was in New York City for the opening day of the 1964 World’s Fair, and it served as the backdrop for the Montana Pavilion’s pioneer village for two seasons.
DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION
Art panels illustrating the state’s history, wildlife, recreation, and industry decorated the train car exteriors. Some cars displayed Montana ranch brands made from Anaconda copper. Imagine seeing this colorful train as it traveled across the country, painted in colors that evoke images of the Montana countryside and sky, the bedecked with artistic treasures?
A FINAL HOME IN WEST YELLOWSTONE
The train returned to Montana after the close of the World’s Fair in 1965. Seven of the cars were given to gateway communities in the state to serve as visitor centers. West Yellowstone received a “Cow Belle” car embellished with copper brands. When the Chamber of Commerce outgrew the space, the train car was used for retail operations. In 2003, it was donated to the Yellowstone Historic Center by the Povah family to once again serve as a showpiece of Montana’s history.
Describe the area and history:
The sign is located next to the railcar behind the historic Union Pacific Depot.


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