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Old Faithful, Livingston, Montana




 5 tokens of Old Faithful club bar, Livingston, Montana, 1920's


 I recently (2006) got these embossed chips.  They are a nice size (1-9/16") and thickness, makes a nice thud sound when clicked or dropped even though they are mostly plastic. Note all the fractional chips: $0.05, $0.10, $0.25, and $0.50.  I am told by the seller, an old Montana resident, that these were used for gambling in the old days. They say "Good For ... In Trade" so that if the place was raided (gambling illegal then), the chips would be less incriminating than regular club poker chips -- they could be called commercial tokens for change or promotions. That was a common practice in illegal games across the US for many years. Also, the playing card "club" symbol on all the chips indicates gambling chips in a gambling club; so does the cigarette burns on some of the chips, especially the red chips.

 They all say "Old Faithful Livingston Mont." w/ the club symbol on one side. The other side says "Good For ... ... In Trade" w/ the denomination -- 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ (red), 25¢ (brown), and 50¢  in the middle.   

I  got the following  info from the old timer in Montana who lived in the area and sold me the chips:
"This was one of the oldest bars in Livingston. It had to be from
the early 20s or before. It was an old cowboy and ranchers hangout when they came to town. They had some round tables covered with black oilcloth. [Gambling there was technically illegal, but] I do not think the place was ever raided;  they tolerated  the games as the old boys had nothing else to do. Players would buy chips from the bartender and cash them in there. It was a typical old Western bar where a farmer or rancher or anyone could lean back in an old type captains chair and go to sleep.  In the late 20s and early 30s no one had any money so most of the bets were nickels and dimes. "

LIVINGSTON, MT, BRIEF HISTORY: The Club, of course, got its name from the near-by famous Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park, about 25 miles away.  Per the Wikipedia:
"In 1806 Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped on the town's present outskirts returning east prior to rejoining the Lewis party.....  Livingston came into being in 1882 in consequence of planning by the Northern Pacific Railway, which deemed it a good location for railroad shops to service its steam trains before their ascent over the Bozeman Pass, the highest point on the line (approx. 5600 feet). Originally named Clark City, it took its present name after an NP executive. In addition Livingston became the original gateway to Yellowstone National Park, which the NP began promoting heavily to visitors from the East, by way of a branch running some sixty miles south to first the Cinnabar station and later Gardiner, as well as headquarters for the NP's Central Division.... .....
Livingston is situated on the Yellowstone River, just off of Route I-90. ..... .
Though a small town, Livingston is home to a number of popular tourist points. The Livingston Depot, built in 1902 after two predecessors, is a beautifully restored rail station with ornate NP yin-yang monad logos on its exterior, that today houses a railroad museum from approximately May through September. The Yellowstone Gateway Museum documents regional history from one of the oldest North American archaeological sites to Wild Western and Yellowstone history. The International Fly Fishing Federation's museum is an extensive introduction to a popular game sport and hosts annual enthusiasts meetings. The town was inhabited for two decades by Calamity Jane and visited by adventurous traveling members of European royalty. Today it is a small art haven, filming location ... ....., fishing destination, railroad town, and writers' and actors' colony. Actors Peter Fonda, Margot Kidder, as well as Saturday Night Live alumnus Rich Hall and musician Ron Strykert call the town home. Jimmy Buffett mentions Livingston in multiple songs.... .... Its economy is booming."

 


 
 


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