Harlowton, MT lives today because of railroads. Before the railroads, Harlowton was known as Merino. It was a one building shack that held a post office, a general store, a saloon, a grocery store and the owner’s residence (and a stable as well). In short, Harlowton was just a stop in the Judith Gap to Big Timber stage line.
By comparison, Martinsdale was a thriving community. Martinsdale, for example, had a post office several years before Harlowton did. Railroads changed all of that. Richard Harlow platted Harlowton in 1900 and sold lots to create Harlowton. The Milwaukee Road really put Harlowton on the map. We hope you find Harlowton’s history in these pages of interest.