Homesteaders / Dude Ranching 1880-1922
|1883||President Chester A. Arthur travels through Jackson Hole on the way to Yellowstone NP.|
|1884||John Holland, John Carnes and Millie Sorelle are the first to settle in Jackson Hole.|
|1885||Robert E. Miller brings the first wagon into Jackson Hole via Teton Pass.|
|1886||The murder at Deadman’s Bar.|
|1886||J. P. Cunningham and wife Margaret build a cabin and homestead South of Spread Creek.|
|1886-1889||Early settlers establish themselves in Jackson Hole.|
|1890||Wyoming becomes a state.|
|1891||US Forest Service and first timber reserve established.|
|1891-1920||Jackson Hole pioneers increasingly settle in Jackson Hole.|
|1894||William Menor established a homestead on the Snake River and built Menor’s Ferry.|
|1897||President Grover Cleveland creates the Teton Forest Reserve.|
|1898||First undisputed ascent of the Grand Teton.|
|1901||Map of Jackson Hole.|
|1901||The town of Jackson platted.|
|1906-1907||U. S. Reclamation Service constructs a log crib dam on Jackson Lake.|
|1908||The first dude ranch in Jackson Hole, the JY Ranch, is established.|
|1908||Teton National Forest established. First automobile enters Jackson Hole.|
|1910||The area east of Blacktail Butte becomes known as Mormon Row.|
|1912||National Elk Refuge created.|
|1912||Bar BC Dude Ranch established.|
|1916||National Park Service created.|
|1919||White Grass Dude Ranch established.|
|1920||An agricultural depression which began in 1919 continued though most of the decade.|
|1920||Ole Warner starts a fishing camp that later becomes Signal Mountain Lodge.|
|1921||Town of Jackson becomes the county seat of the newly formed Teton County.|
|1922||Buster Estes establishes the STS Ranch which later becomes the Murie Ranch.|
|1922||Tony Grace establishes the Danny Ranch which later becomes the Jenny Lake Lodge.|
President Chester A. Arthur travels through Jackson Hole on the way to Yellowstone NP.
John Holland, John Carnes and Millie Sorelle are the first to settle in Jackson Hole.
These first homesteaders are followed by others, including J. P. Cunningham, Stephen N. Leek, Robert E. Miller, Dick Turpin, Emile Wolff, Sylvester and Mary Wilson, Elijah N. “Uncle Nick” Wilson and Selar Cheney.
Robert E. Miller brings the first wagon into Jackson Hole via Teton Pass.
The murder at Deadman’s Bar.
Miners Henry Welter, T H. Tiggerman and August Kellenberger are found murdered on what is later named Deadman’s Bar. John Tonnar is charged with the murders, claims self-defense and is acquitted.
J. P. Cunningham and wife Margaret build a cabin and homestead South of Spread Creek.
The Cunningham's Cabin stands as one of the valley’s few structures remaining from an era when settlers filed nearly 400 homestead claims. Cunningham ran a profitable operation until drought ruined his crops and cattle prices fell.
Early settlers establish themselves in Jackson Hole.
Wyoming becomes a state.
US Forest Service and first timber reserve established.
Land is set aside as the Yellowstone Park Timber Reserve. This land becomes the first national forest later expanding to become the Teton National Forest (and later the Bridger-Teton National Forest). A new agency, the US Forest Service, administers these lands.
Jackson Hole pioneers increasingly settle in Jackson Hole.
Settlers continue to homestead in Jackson Hole from the 1890s into the 1920s. Most homesteads in the valley were established between 1900 and 1920. Early residents included J. P. Cunningham, Fred White, Adolf Miller, Emile Wolff, John Pierce, John Cherry and Stephen Leek.
William Menor established a homestead on the Snake River and built Menor’s Ferry.
Menor’s Ferry becomes a major crossing of the Snake River between the outlet of Jackson Lake and the base of Teton Pass. It becomes one of the few safe crossing points along the Snake River. The ferry operated until 1927 when a bridge was built over the Snake River.
President Grover Cleveland creates the Teton Forest Reserve.
First undisputed ascent of the Grand Teton.
William Owen, Frank Peterson, John Shive and Franklin Spalding document the first ascent with photographs.
The town of Jackson platted.
U. S. Reclamation Service constructs a log crib dam on Jackson Lake.
This dam fails in 1910 and work begins on the present concrete dam and earthen dike later completed in 1916. The men in the photograph are surveying for the dam location. (Photo credit: USGS)
The first dude ranch in Jackson Hole, the JY Ranch, is established.
Louis Joy and partner Struthers Burt build the JY Ranch. The Ranch operates until 1932 when John D. Rockefeller, Jr. purchases it. Rockefeller’s son Laurance later donates the ranch to Grand Teton National Park in 2001.
Teton National Forest established. First automobile enters Jackson Hole.
The area east of Blacktail Butte becomes known as Mormon Row.
The name evolves sometime after 1910 because of the number of Mormons who settle there. They cluster their farms to share labor and a sense of community, a stark contrast with the isolation typical of many western homesteads. At one time, the community was known as Grovont.
National Elk Refuge created.
Public interest in the survival of the Jackson elk herd instigates the creation of the National Elk Refuge. Today the refuge continues to preserve most of the remaining elk winter range in the valley, approximately one-quarter of the original Jackson Hole winter range.
Bar BC Dude Ranch established.
Struthers Burt and Dr. Horace Carncross open Jackson Hole’s second dude ranch in 1912, the Bar BC Ranch. Burt describes dude ranching as cattle ranching modified to care for “dudes”—visitors willing to pay handsomely for a quaint cowboy experience. A writer, Struthers Burt publishes "The Diary of a Dude Wrangler" in 1924.
National Park Service created.
By 1916, the Interior Department was responsible for 14 national parks and 21 national monuments without a system to manage them. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act of Congress into law establishing the National Park Service.
White Grass Dude Ranch established.
Initially Harold Hammond intended to establish a cattle ranch on his property below Buck Mountain, but later partnered with George Tucker Bispham to start the White Grass Ranch. The White Grass became Jackson Hole’s third and longest running dude ranch. The White Grass Ranch operated until 1985.
An agricultural depression which began in 1919 continued though most of the decade.
Cattle ranching becomes increasingly important to settlers in Jackson Hole from the 1900s through 1919. An agricultural depression begins in 1919 causing many settlers to think about selling their land or finding ways to supplement their income from cattle ranching.
Ole Warner starts a fishing camp that later becomes Signal Mountain Lodge.
Town of Jackson becomes the county seat of the newly formed Teton County.
Buster Estes establishes the STS Ranch which later becomes the Murie Ranch.
Buster and his wife Frances Mears Estes run the STS Ranch as a dude ranch until the early 1940s. In 1945, the Murie family– Olaus and Mardy Murie, and Adolph and Louise Murie purchase the ranch. Mardy Murie lives at the ranch until her death in 2003.
Tony Grace establishes the Danny Ranch which later becomes the Jenny Lake Lodge.
During the 1920s and 30s, Eastern “dudes” seek Western ranches with the comforts of home. Tony Grace capitalizes on this demand by establishing the Danny Ranch. The Snake River Land Company purchases the ranch in 1930 and it eventually becomes the Jenny Lake Lodge.