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Red Lodge, Montana

Red Lodge, Montana

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Red Lodge is a city in and the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Carbon County
Carbon County, Montana
-National protected areas:* Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area * Custer National Forest * Gallatin National Forest -Economy:During the early history of Carbon County, coal mining was the predominant industry...

, Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, United States. It is part of the Billings, Montana
Billings, Montana
Billings is the largest city in the U.S. state of Montana, and is the principal city of the Billings Metropolitan Area, the largest metropolitan area in over...

 Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,177 at the 2000 census
United States Census, 2000
The Twenty-second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census...



Red Lodge is located at 45°11′15"N 109°14′55"W (45.187515, -109.248475).

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km²), all of it land.


On September 17, 1851, the United States government signed a treaty with the Crow Nation
Crow Nation
The Crow, also called the Absaroka or Apsáalooke, are a Siouan people of Native Americans who historically lived in the Yellowstone River valley, which extends from present-day Wyoming, through Montana and into North Dakota. They now live on a reservation south of Billings, Montana and in several...

, ceding the area which now contains Red Lodge to the Crow Indians. Rich coal deposits were found there in 1866, and gold was discovered nearby in 1870. An 1880 treaty between the U.S. government and the Crow allowed the area to be settled starting April 11, 1882.

The Red Lodge post office was established on Dec 9, 1884 with Postmaster Ezra L. Benton. A rail line was constructed into town, and coal shipments began in June 1889. The boundaries of the Crow Reservation were redrawn October 15, 1892, opening the whole area to settlement. From then until the 1930s, coal mining defined the town.

In the late 19th century, many new settlers came to Red Lodge. The majority came from Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, England, Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Germany, and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

. By the mid 1880s, migrants were still outnumbered by large numbers of Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. By 1892 the population reached 1,180.

In 1896, Red Lodge had twenty saloons and, as the library records show, riotous and violent living was characteristic of the town. By 1906 the population had grown to 4,000 and by 1911 this had increased to 5,000.

Red Lodge suffered in the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, which forced many mines to close. To offset this downturn, the manufacture of illegal bootleg liquor, labeled syrup, became an economic mainstay and was sold as far away as Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 and San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...


In 1931 work began on the Beartooth Highway
Beartooth Highway
The Beartooth Highway is an All-American Road that has been called "the most beautiful drive in America," by late CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt...

linking Red Lodge to Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho...

; it was officially opened in 1936.

Outdoor recreation

Red Lodge is well known for many outdoor recreation opportunities: skiing, mountain biking, and backpacking are nearby. In April it is host to a popular triathlon called the Peaks to Prairie.

Educational institutions

The Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association's Geology Field Station is located south of Red Lodge.



Red Lodge experiences a continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dfb) with cold, somewhat dry winters and warm, wetter summers.

Notable residents

  • John "Liver-Eating" Johnston
    Liver-Eating Johnson
    John "Liver-Eating" Johnson was a mountain man of the American Old West.- Biography :Johnson is said to have been born near Little York, New Jersey, with the last name Garrison. Some accounts say that he joined the United States Navy in 1846...

     was elected the first marshal in Red Lodge in 1888.
  • Laurie Niemi
    Laurie Niemi
    Laurie Jack Niemi was an American football offensive and defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins. He played college football at Washington State University and was drafted in the second round of the 1949 NFL Draft....

    , Washington Redskins
    Washington Redskins
    The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team and members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, while its headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn,...

     offensive tackle
  • K. Ross Toole
    K. Ross Toole
    Kenneth Ross Toole was an American historian, author, and educator who specialized in the history of Montana...

    , noted Montana historian
  • Brady Canfield
    Brady Canfield
    Brady Canfield is an American skeleton racer who competed from 1997 to 2004. He won a bronze medal in the men's skeleton event at the 2003 FIBT World Championships in Nagano....

    , Bronze medal
    Bronze medal
    A bronze medal is a medal awarded to the third place finisher of contests such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, etc. The practice of awarding bronze third place medals began at the 1904 Olympic Games in St...

     winner in the 2003 FIBT World Championships
    FIBT World Championships 2003
    The FIBT World Championships 2003 took place in Lake Placid, New York, United States , Winterberg, Germany , and Nagano, Japan . Lake Placid hosted the championship event for the eighth time, doing so previously in 1949, 1961, 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983, and 1997...

     in skeleton racing
    Skeleton (sport)
    Skeleton is a fast winter sliding sport in which an individual person rides a small sled down a frozen track while lying face down, during which athletes experience forces up to 5g. It originated in St. Moritz, Switzerland as a spin-off from the popular British sport of Cresta Sledding...

Smith Mine disaster

In 1943 tragedy
Tragedy (event)
A tragedy is an event in which one or more losses, usually of human life, occurs that is viewed as mournful. Such an event is said to be tragic....

 hit Smith Mine #3
Smith Mine disaster
The Smith Mine disaster was the worst coal mining disaster in the State of Montana, and the 43rd worst in the United States, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ....

 near Bearcreek
Bearcreek, Montana
Bearcreek is a town in Carbon County, Montana, United States. It is part of the Billings, Montana Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 83 at the 2000 census.The town of Bearcreek was named for Bear Creek, which runs through the middle of town...

, the area's largest remaining mine. An explosion trapped and killed 74 men - only three of the workers that were in the mine that day escaped. This was the worst coal mine disaster in Montana's history. The mines were shut down forever shortly thereafter. The Red Lodge cemetery contains a memorial.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 2,177 people, 1,020 households, and 528 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 846.0 people per square mile (327.1/km²). There were 1,415 housing units at an average density of 549.9 per square mile (212.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.14% White, 0.41% African American, 1.10% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.46% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 1.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.98% of the population.

There were 1,020 households out of which 22.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.2% were non-families. 39.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.76.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.2% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,750, and the median income for a family was $40,260. Males had a median income of $30,250 versus $20,208 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $19,090. About 6.9% of families and 9.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.4% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.


Red Lodge is served by three schools: Mountain View Elementary School, Roosevelt Middle School, and Red Lodge High School
Red Lodge High School
Red Lodge High School serves several towns in Carbon County, Montana, including Red Lodge, Luther, and Washoe. As of the 2006-2007 school year, approximately 200 students attend the school....


External links