Jackson Hole Wyoming Logo ~ The Grand Tetons or Les Trois Tetons (French for the three breasts) named by trappers. This photograph was taken from the west or Idaho side by Bob Bielski © Copyright All Rights Reserved

Jackson Hole, Wyoming


The present-day metropolis of Jackson Hole had as much trouble finding a satisfactory name as West Yellowstone, but the problem was not related to the Park; in fact, the town had no direct access to Yellowstone until the nineteenth century was nearly over.

The first post office in “Jackson's Hole,” the great mountain-girt valley named for fur trapper David E. Jackson, was Marysvalle, established March 25, 1892. There are local residents who believe that this original settlement was not made where the town of Jackson now stands, but at a point a few miles to the north. Postal records, however, do not reflect that; merely that the name of the post office was changed to Grosventre on January 18, 1893. The name was changed again three years later, on January 22, to the present usage — Jackson, Wyoming.

Originally, vehicular access to Jackson Hole was difficult. The first twelve wagons were brought in over Teton Pass in 1889 by skidding them down the precipitous east side with wheels rough-locked and treetops dragging behind. A rough freight road opened from Marysville, a former settlement a few miles east of present Ashton, Idaho, in 1894, by way of the Fall River Basin and Grassy Lake provided the first practical route into that isolated area. There was no road into the Park proper until 1896, when work on the road from West Thumb down the Snake River to the south boundary of the Yellowstone Park Timberland Reserve (established by presidential order March 30 and September 10, 1891, and patrolled by solders of the Fort Yellowstone garrison) finally made it passable for wagons.

But it was construction of the Fort Washakie Military Road in 1899, from the Wind River Valley across Togwotee Pass to the mouth of Buffalo Fork — and a junction with Jackson Hole roads — that first opened the Park's Southern Entrance to other than local people. Visitation by way of Yellowstone's south gate remained slight until after the creation of Grand Teton National Park on February 26, 1929, and it is only during post - World War II years that Jackson has prospered as a gateway town for the sister parks to its north.

Information from: Yellowstone Place Names - Mirrors of History by Aubrey L. Haines pp 264, 265.



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