The Yellowstone Gateway Museum of Park County, formerly the Park County Museum, was founded in 1977 by a group of interested citizens. The historic North Side School was purchased with funds from the community and Park County. Since that time it has collected archives and objects pertaining to the history of Park County.
These collections cover a human time range of over 12,000 years as well as our local geology. There are approximately 50,000 items in the collections. The museum exhibits cover four interpretive categories: Pioneers, Transportation, Expeditions, and Native Cultures. Through these four exhibit halls the museum interprets the fascinating and broad history of Park County and the surrounding area, including its connection to Yellowstone National Park.
The museum also houses an archives and research room. The museum’s archives include voting registers for the entire county from 1887 through 1940; City of Livingston business registers; the Polk Directories; indexes of names from the Park County newspapers (micro-film of the Park County newspapers can be accessed at the Livingston- Park County Public Library) and much more. The museum’s photo collection has some 10,000 photos pertaining to Park County history; the Bill and Doris Whithorn collection is available to view online.
Utilizing its collections and research materials, the museum strives to provide an exciting interpretive view of Park County through ever-changing exhibits. The museum also provides teaching materials for school groups to use either here at the museum or through outreach programs.
The museum functions with two paid staff members, a Park County Board of Directors (link), and a Friends of YGM Board of Trustees (link). We also have a great corps of volunteers. There are volunteer activities for all ages from 18 through 100 such as front desk greeters, docents, data input, collections care, interpretive development, exhibit fabrication, and more.