Online Exhibits

President Chester A. Arthur  Photograph by Charles Milton Bell 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_A._A rthur

Jackson Hole & The President Arthur Yellowstone Expedition of 1883

President Chester A. Arthur  Photograph by Charles Milton Bell 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_A._A rthur

By all accounts, Chester Arthur (1829-1886) was an accomplished angler, adept at both bait-casting and fly-fishing. He had tested northern waters in Canada and those of the American South in Florida. Salmon, trout, and bass had all filled his creel. Indeed, throughout most of his life—as lawyer, New York “machine” politician, and President of the […]

A Brief History of Jackson Hole

FORCES THAT SHAPED THE LAND “Over these seemingly changeless mountains, in endless succession, move the ephemeral colors of dawn and sunset and of noon and night, the shadows and sunlight, the garlands of clouds with which storms adorn the peaks, the misty rain-curtains of afternoon showers.” -Fritiof Fryxell, The Tetons: Interpretations of a Mountain Landscape, […]

Betty Woolsey out for a walk with her dog. Courtesy of Trail Creek Ranch

Women’s History Exhibit

Betty Woolsey out for a walk with her dog. Courtesy of Trail Creek Ranch

This exhibit is inspired by the Jackson Hole News & Guide’s annual “Jackson Hole Woman” special edition. It is intended to highlight and celebrate the unique women who called this valley home when all members of the family were considered capable ranch hands. From raising children to cattle, they prided themselves on their self-reliant attitudes and “didn’t give a damn” what the outsiders thought. The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum is proud to share the stories these strong women and plans to update this exhibit annually.

The implement shed was constructed in 1940 by the Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. (formerly the Snake River Land Company). This wood frame building originally had an ell that would have made it L-shaped, but this was removed in 1959. The sliding door that covered this opening is missing. The shed was built during a period of expansion of the Elk Ranch under John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s management. He was providing the ranch with much-needed upgrades, which included the Uhl Reservoir. The reservoir is fed by Spread Creek and provided the ranch with an exceedingly valuable resource. Special note was taken in the next few years that despite having a drought, the reservoir had enough water to continue to irrigate the hay fields. This was important - the fields were supplying both the Elk Refuge in Jackson and Rockefeller’s planned Jackson Hole Wildlife Park near Moran, as well cattle and horses that wintered at the ranch.
	Due to its advantageous location, excellent soil and water sources, the Elk Ranch was allowed to continue operations after its purchase by the Snake River Land Company. The ranch wasn’t considered to be in a prime natural area, or blocking mountain views so it was allowed to stay. An additional reason it was allowed to continue was the fact that the land had already been changed considerable due to the continued ranching activities and irrigation. The State of Wyoming required landowners with water rights to continue to use them or they were considered forfeited. Rockefeller recognized the ranch as a highly valuable economic resource for both the valley and the state and worked to keep it functional.

The Last Homestead

The implement shed was constructed in 1940 by the Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. (formerly the Snake River Land Company). This wood frame building originally had an ell that would have made it L-shaped, but this was removed in 1959. The sliding door that covered this opening is missing. The shed was built during a period of expansion of the Elk Ranch under John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s management. He was providing the ranch with much-needed upgrades, which included the Uhl Reservoir. The reservoir is fed by Spread Creek and provided the ranch with an exceedingly valuable resource. Special note was taken in the next few years that despite having a drought, the reservoir had enough water to continue to irrigate the hay fields. This was important - the fields were supplying both the Elk Refuge in Jackson and Rockefeller’s planned Jackson Hole Wildlife Park near Moran, as well cattle and horses that wintered at the ranch.
	Due to its advantageous location, excellent soil and water sources, the Elk Ranch was allowed to continue operations after its purchase by the Snake River Land Company. The ranch wasn’t considered to be in a prime natural area, or blocking mountain views so it was allowed to stay. An additional reason it was allowed to continue was the fact that the land had already been changed considerable due to the continued ranching activities and irrigation. The State of Wyoming required landowners with water rights to continue to use them or they were considered forfeited. Rockefeller recognized the ranch as a highly valuable economic resource for both the valley and the state and worked to keep it functional.

“Being young and inexperienced in that kind of country precluded any feeling of futility as to my ability to select a good homestead site…at the time the distance from no-where meant nothing. The wilderness fever ran high”.  (Harold McKinstry). THE LAST HOMESTEAD tells the story of Linda and Harold “Mac” McKinstry, a young couple who, […]

El Rancho Motel by Brian Herbel, 2013

On the Trail of Teton County’s Historic Tourist Accommodations

El Rancho Motel by Brian Herbel, 2013

Tourism in Teton County began soon after the first permanent settlement took place around 1883, when early settlers provided overnight accommodations to big game hunters and those curious and hardy enough to explore Yellowstone, the country’s first national park. Tourism gradually increased as roads and other infrastructure made the trip more comfortable in the early […]

1958.2611.001

National Elk Refuge: 1912 – 2012 — by Steve Morriss

1958.2611.001

For thousands of years, Elk herds migrated through Jackson Hole on their way to winter ranges in the Red Desert, Green River drainage, Big Horn Basin and Teton Valley. As settlements in these areas expanded in the late 1800’s, the traditional elk feeding grounds were replaced with cultivated fields and pastures.