The Area We Live In
The Community of Glastonbury is located in the Paradise Valley and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Montana in the southern half of Park County. It is approximately 25 miles south of Livingston and 30 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. The famous Yellowstone River meanders through the center of the valley providing a serene foreground to the dramatic backdrop of the Absaroka Range to the east and the Gallatin Range to the west.
As early as the 1820’s fur trappers came trap beaver in what was then the country of the Shoshone and Crow. When the area was trapped out, gold prospectors started arriving in the mid-1800’s. The first groups of permanent settlers arrived in Park County to prospect for gold in the 1860’s. Once the mining in the mountains east of the Yellowstone river did not pan out as hoped, many of the emigrants to the area stayed to ranch and farm in the fertile valley. The timber industry was started to service the mines, the railroad and to build boats for river traffic.
The Northern Pacific Railroad ran a spur from Livingston down to Yellowstone National Park, finishing the line in 1902. The line ended its passenger service in 1948 due to the increasing use of automobiles to visit the Park.
Agriculture and timber continue to be major livelihoods in Park County. The rest of the economic base is from the railroad, light industry, dude ranches, tourist trades of rafting, hunting and fishing, and community services.
The only five star dude ranch in Montana is located in Paradise Valley. Livingston is also an art center with several art galleries showing the work of internationally known artists. A new and growing segment of Park County’s economy is telecommuting businesses.
The town of Emigrant has several restaurants, a fly fishing store, a grocery store, gas station, laundromat, bank, community meeting hall, St. John’s Church and a post office. Fire protection is provided by Paradise Valley Volunteer Fire Department located one mile east of Emigrant. Police protection is provided by the Park County Sheriff’s Department.
Livingston is the nearest town with a hospital and a high school. It also has grade schools, retail stores, a bus depot and motels. The town of Gardiner, with many motels, stores, gas stations and restaurants is located 30 miles south of Emigrant, at the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The nearest airport, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, is located just west of Bozeman, approximately 60 miles northwest of Emigrant.
There are several schools in the local area. The closest public elementary school, Arrowhead School, is located 10 miles north on East River Road.
This area of Montana is a recreation paradise. It is world famous for its trout fishing, big game hunting, and wildlife viewing. The Yellowstone River offers diversified rafting experiences from the rapids of Yankee Jim Canyon, north of Gardiner, to a sedate float through the center of the valley.
The nearby Forest Service lands and Yellowstone National Park offer many opportunities for hiking, camping and cross-country skiing. Bridger Bowl in Bozeman and the Big Sky Resort in Big Sky and recently opened Moonlight Basin are nearby downhill world class ski meccas. Historic Chico Hot Springs Resort, at the base of Emigrant Mountain approximately 5 miles east of Emigrant, offers a nice soak in the hot pool or a regular swimming pool with warm water piped in from a natural hot spring. Also in the area are the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and numerous bed and breakfast accommodations.