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Moose Head Ranch

In 1927, Eva Sanford became one of the last individuals to file for a homestead on Spread Creek. Later that same year Calvin Coolidge signed Executive Order #4685 removing over 1,280 acres of public land from homestead claims. In 1930 the Sanford’s homestead was contested by the General Land Office, believing it to have been […]

Wolff Ranch

In 1870, Emile Wolff emigrated from his native Belgium to the United States. He enlisted in the Army, and was stationed at Fort Hall in Idaho. During his service he ventured into Jackson Hole to deliver supplies to the doomed Lt. Gustavus C. Doane* expedition. Despite the foul winter weather, Wolff was impressed by the […]

Triangle X Ranch

Triangle X Ranch

In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order that expanded the Teton National Forest and eliminated the Yellowstone National Forest. As a result, lands in the eastern half of the valley that had been previously part of the Yellowstone National Forest were open for homesteading. In the next year there was a small land […]

The Elk Ranch

The Elk Ranch

Josiah David “Si” Ferrin first arrived in Jackson Hole in 1900 from Ogden Valley, Utah. He had been in the valley previously, during work as a cattle driver. His work took him through most of western Wyoming, but Jackson Hole had made an impression. He settled on land near Twin Creek on today’s Elk Refuge. […]

Hatchet Ranch

Hatchet Ranch

John “Jack” Shive was discharged from his post at Fort Yellowstone in 1889, made his way south and claimed a homestead along the Buffalo Fork with squatter’s rights. Shive had originally joined the army in New York City when he was assigned to Fort Yellowstone. The land he was squatting on along the Buffalo Fork […]

Elk, Wyoming

Located in the northeastern portion of the valley, the Elk post office was created to service the families living in the Buffalo Fork and Spread Creek areas. The post office first opened on the Cunningham Ranch in 1899. In rural Jackson Hole, “communities” were loosely based around which post office was closest, or the easiest […]

Cunningham Ranch

John Pierce Cunningham was one of the first homesteaders in Jackson Hole, arriving in 1885 from New York. Reports vary, but most claim that he hunted and trapped for a few years before finding a wife and settling down in 1888. In 1888-1889 John and his wife Margaret built a modest cabin, which still stands […]