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Yes, it was named for one of the Ringling Bros. of circus fame. John Ringling was also the president and builder of the Yellowstone Park and White Sulphur Springs Railroad which eventually became a branch of the Milwaukee railroad. The Ringlings at one time owned over 100,000 acres in the area and at one time contemplated establishing a circus headquarters here. At one time it was a bustling little town with several businesses as a junction for White Sulphur Springs transfer customers.

After several devastating fires, the last in 1931 and the demise of the railroads Ringling dwindled to a few people and the surrounding ranches. Today it has a post office, school, and restaurant and bar.

The town was immortalized by Jimmy Buffett when he wrote of the town in his song "Ringling, Ringling" on the "Living and Dying in Three Quarter Time" album. And yes, "Livingston Saturday Night" was about Livingston, Montana down the road a piece.

Excerpted from "The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia".

On This Date in Montana: November 11, 1965

Bill Linderman, the legendary rodeo champion from the Belfry-Bridger area dies in a commercial airplane crash at Salt Lake City. Just hours before the crash, Linderman wrote a counter check for $20 at a friend's tavern. Under his signature, he gave his address as "Heaven." At the time of the crash, his friends speculated as to whether Linderman had a premonition, was referring to his home in Montana, or was just playing one of his pranks.

Excerpted from "The Ultimate Montana Atlas and Travel Encyclopedia".

Copyright © 2003 Michael Dougherty. Use of this material for radio and television programs, printed media, webcasting, and any other source of mass dissemination is prohibited without permission of the publisher.

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