History

About Jackson & Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole refers to the geographical feature of the valley beside the Teton Mountain Range. The valley is about 60 miles long and Jackson is the Town on its southern end.

Indigenous Tribes & This Valley

The earliest archeological evidence of people in and around the Town of Jackson dates back about 11,000 years. For thousands of years after that, different indigenous groups set-up seasonal camps and traveled routes around and across the valley. This includes American Indian members of the Bannock, Blackfoot, Crow, Eastern Shoshone, Gros Ventre, Mountain Shoshone, Nez Perce, and Northern Arapaho Tribes. Traces of their camps and trails are still visible on the valley floor and high in the Tetons. These groups were the first human inhabitants of this area. They utilized this valley to gather, trade, and sustain themselves. They hunted elk and bison and gathered berries, pine nuts, and obsidian here. In 2023, the Town Council adopted a Land Acknowledgement to recognize the earliest stewards of this valley. 

A Horse Tied to a Wagon in a Farm near Mountains

Trappers & Ranchers  

Familiar names in the area including Davey Jackson, John Colter, Jedediah Smith and William Sublette came to this valley in the early 1800s. In 1811, Wilson Price Hunt led a group of trappers up Wyoming's Wind River and back down the Hoback River to its confluence with the snake. In 1884 the first two homesteads in our area were filed at the south end of today's National Eld Refuge. By 1900, there was a population of 640 homesteaders. By 1920, there were 1,400 residents who elected an entirely female Town Council.  

National Parks

As part of the Hayden Expedition of 1871, William Henry Jackson took the first photographs of the Teton Mountains and Yellowstone. His photographs, along with sketches by Tom Moran, were important evidence to convince Congress to protect Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone became the first National Park in the country in 1872. Grand Teton National Park was created in 1920 and greatly expanded in 1950 through the generous efforts of John D. Rockefeller, who purchased and donated over 30,000 acres.

Town of Jackson

The Town of Jackson was named in 1894 and incorporated as a municipality in 1914. It continues to be the only incorporated municipality in Teton County and it was the first Town to elect an all-female Council in 1920. 

Town Logo 

The Town's logo was designed by John Thomas Ferguson and picked as our official logo through a contest in 1987. Ferguson deeply loved Jackson and was inspired to create art and spend time in nature. He spent his nights grooming ski trails and days perfecting his art, whether maneuvering a crane or a paintbrush, he did everything with care and precision. John passed in 2015. His final painting was of Mount Moran. Since then, the Town has kept his logo design and refreshed the seal with new colors.

Ski Areas

The first ski hill was built at Teton Pass in 1937 and Snow King was established in 1939. Teton County now boasts three excellent ski areas including Snow King located in the Town of Jackson, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village, and Grand Targhee Ski and Summer Resort located on the West slope of the Tetons.  

Land 

The Town of Jackson is located in Teton County as the only incorporated municipality in the region. Less than 3% of land in Teton County is privately owned, 97% of the 2,700,000 acres in Teton County is federal or state land.

Additional Information

For more info about the history of Jackson and Jackson Hole, please visit the Jackson Hole Historical Society.