The community of Dornix began like most Western towns, with the arrival of the railroad in 1883.
Dornix Park encompasses portions of the original Dornix townsite. Dornix is Gaelic for “smooth, flat stones.” Using the Boulder River to transport timber, Dornix residents helped to build the trestle that still spans the river today. The town existed at this site for a year before its relocation and later renaming to Big Timber.
Since the 1800s the parkland has had many agricultural uses. In the 1890s Big Timber was a significant sheep ranching community, shipping more wool than any other town in the world. Sheep grazed in Dornix Park’s meadows until very recently. Past owners of the Homestead truck-farmed and planted apple trees that are still producing fruit.
The City of Big Timber acquired the Homestead property with its historic log cabin (1895) and barn in 1999. This, along with a recent 5-acre riparian easement called “Cookie’s Island,” brings Dornix Park to approximately 55 acres.