In 1918, William Carter received the patent for his homestead on a bend of the Snake River just east of the old town of Moran. By 1926 the property was sold to John Hogan who renovated the homestead to act as a summer residence and fox fur farm. He also built a few extra cabins to house guests and overnight travelers. Only the main residence and blacksmith shop remain today. Just four short years later, the Snake River Land Company purchased the property and converted it into use as a headquarters for their operations. Meetings of the board of directors are believed to have taken place here, and it was the early summer residence of Harold Fabian, the company’s lawyer. Fabian later purchased the Geraldine Lucas homestead near Jenny Lake and the old Hogan place was only used for administrative purposes.
Between 1930 and 1945, the Fabians worked to renovate the Hogan residence, creating a more comfortable arrangement. An office, kitchen, front porch and separate garage were added. After their departure for the Geraldine Lucas homestead, Sonny Allen moved into what was now the now Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc building to serve as caretaker. Allen also oversaw the operations down the road at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Park. The property remained under the ownership of the Jackson Hole Preserve until the expansion of Grand Teton National Park in 1950. At this point the building was converted for use as park employee housing. Today the main residence is known as the Buffalo Dorm, and continues to be used for park purposes. While it is not accessible to the public, it is an important piece of the valley’s history.
Text by Samantha Ford, Director of Historical Research and Outreach