NP Montana Postcards

Although Yellowstone Park is mostly in Wyoming, the Gardiner Entrance to the park, along with the Cook City and West Yellowstone entrances, were all in Montana. So visitors to Yellowstone taking the Northern Pacific would likely see some of these other Montana sights as well. Click any image to download a PDF of the postcard.

This doesn’t appear to be issued by the railroad, but it shows the Northern Pacific train station in Missoula. There’s no date on the card, but the cars in the driveway look like they are from around 1930.

Here’s the exact same photo, but the colorist has updated the cars to look more like they are from the late 1930s to 1940s. This card was postmarked 1950.

This card was definitely issued by the railroad and it is from the vista-dome era so is probably around 1955 to 1960. The train station shown in the previous cards is barely visible at the end of the street in the upper left of this card.

The Mission Mountains are north of Missoula and are supposed to be visible from the Northern Pacific main line. This card mentions the streamlined North Coast Limited, so is from around 1948-1953.

This card shows a different view of the same mountains. It is from the vista-dome era, or 1955-1960 or so.

This could be the Blackfoot River, the river featured in the book, A River Runs Through It, or any of several other rivers in western Montana. Though a linen card, it mentions the vista-dome North Coast Limited, so it was probably issued in 1954 or 1955.

Here’s another in the series of cowboy postcards issued by the NP in the era of the air-conditioned North Coast Limited–in other words, 1935 to 1940. “You’ll know America when you add to your other travels the Northern Pacific West,” says the back, “smell the sagebrush, ‘eat after a Chuck wagon’ and see ‘Slim’ ride a ‘bucker.'”


NP Montana Postcards — 1 Comment

  1. It wasn’t just then colorist updating cars in the Missoula downtown scene. The Florence Hotel seen on the left was an ultramodern hotel opened in 1941, so the cars had to date from then or later. I’d guess it was a little postwar by the number of cars on the street and the older cars mixed in with the newer ones. Unfortunately, the Florence Hotel had outlived its usefulness by 1975 and was converted to office and retail use. At least it’s still standing, more than can be said for many downtown hotels.

    Regards, Jim

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