The resort town of Jackson, Wyoming is the land of chic shops and luxurious homes. Yet just a few miles up the road are the remains of homesteads from the early 1900s whose owners battled the elements and the land in order to make this place their home.
The Homestead Act of 1862 enabled the Mormon Row Settlement to come together. The Act promised 160 acres to any person willing to build a home and work the land for a minimum of five years. Over a dozen families signed up for the dream in beautiful Jackson Hole. Verdant sagebrush indicated healthy soil, so along with the settlers came cattle, rolling hayfields, and miles of irrigation ditches to bring water from the nearby Gros Ventre River.
The settlers were dispersed in the mid-1900s when their land was acquired to expand Grand Teton National Park. But many of their buildings still stand today in picturesque celebration of the life they left behind. A church, school and over a dozen homesteads were located along the three-mile stretch of road known today as the Mormon Row Historic District. Six homesteads still stand, and can be visited along a rough stretch of dirt road within Grand Teton National Park.
The wooden barns, log cabins and tumbledown fences are a photographer’s dream. The major peaks of the Teton range form an ever-changing backdrop, and herds of bison and pronghorn roam the surrounding sagebrush flats.
Mormon Row Historic District is located off Antelope Flats Road due east of the Blacktail Ponds Overlook in Grand Teton National Park.