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Jackson Hole Airport Board Special Meeting - June 19, 2024
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Airport Art Collection

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Art at Jackson Hole Airport

The Jackson Hole Airport is home to an impressive art exhibit, with multiple pieces distributed throughout the airport. To learn more about the Jackson Hole Airport and its beautiful art collection as well as the surrounding area, download the TravelStorysGPS app from Apple’s AppStore or Google Play.

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Branded Benches

Historic Ranch Brands at Jackson Hole Airport

By Aidan Kim-Miller

Cattle brands are a traditional, standard way of showing ownership. Branding livestock can be traced back to ancient times, but its main association comes from the Old West when cattle owners branded cattle to indicate ownership and protect the herd from cattle thieves.

Brands that are used on livestock must be registered with the state.  Livestock brands must be placed on a specific part of the animal, like the left shoulder or right hindquarter, as approved by the state.

But in towns like Jackson, it used to be fashionable for residents to come up with a brand design and use it on their gates and property as decoration.  Such brands do not need to be registered and are still used as a design element today.

Each symbol on a brand has a specific meaning.  For example, if a symbol lies on its side, it is referred to as “lazy.”  A symbol beneath an arc is “swinging,” and a symbol above an arc is “rocking.”

The brands on the Jackson Hole Airport benches belong to ranching families that have been in Jackson Hole for many generations from as early as the late 1890s and early 1900s, when people came to the area to establish homesteads and ranches.  Some of the ranches continue today as working cattle ranches and dude or guest ranches.  But some have been preserved and converted to historic sites, become part of Grand Teton National Park, donated to the Jackson Hole Land Trust, or have been developed as part of the growing Jackson Hole community.

About the Historic Brands on the Jackson Hole Airport Benches

1. JY Ranch (JY Quarter circle) was established in 1906 as a dude ranch by Louis Joy (JY) and is now the Laurance S. Rockefeller (LSR) Preserve located 14 miles north of Jackson at the southern end of Phelps Lake. This 1106 acre refuge was purchased in 1932 by John D Rockefeller, Jr. as a family retreat but was later donated to the Grand Teton National Park to expand the national park and preserve its natural beauty.

2. Snake River Ranch (Lazy RR) is now 470 acres of scenic agricultural land along the corridor from the town of Jackson to Teton Village/Jackson Hole Mountain Resort that was acquired by the Jackson Hole Land Trust in 1980.

3. Jim & Diana Brown Ranch (Bar Y) was once a 900 acre cattle ranch on the south side of Highway 22 that Jim’s family worked for generations. But in 1984, the Jim and Diana kept 45 acres for growing hay and sold the rest of the land to another rancher, who continues to raise cattle there.  Diana Brown and her siblings also donated part of Karns Meadow to the town of Jackson for preservation.

4. Moose Head Ranch (MH Bar) was homesteaded in 1925 and was sold to John Mettler in 1967 to become the family’s dude ranch. Surrounded by the Grand Tetons, it continues as a family-owned and operated dude ranch in the town of Moose, Wyoming.

5. Trail Creek Ranch (EW) was established by Elizabeth “Betty” Woolsey, an Olympic skier, in 1942 so that she could ski the powdery slopes of Jackson but quickly expanded the ranch property beyond the Main Lodge to the 270 acre dude ranch it is today. Upon her death in 1997, she placed the ranch in a conservation easement to protect it from development.

6. J.H. Rodeo (Lazy JR). Rodeo has been a part of Jackson Hole’s cowboy culture for over 100 years and continues this vibrant tradition with events throughout the summer in Jackson.

7. Rod Lucas Ranch (Box L T Lazy T) is a large ranch along Spring Gulch Rd in Jackson that was started by Lee Lucas in 1896. The Lucas family continues to raise cattle in Jackson, and every summer, they truck their Jackson Hole-born beef cows to graze at Ramshorn Ranch near Dubois, Wyoming.

8. Hereford Ranch (OVO) was started in the late 1920s by Robert Bruce Porter. His family, the Gills, have continued the tradition of raising grass-fed cattle under the shadows of the Grand Tetons.

9. Jackson Hole Airport (JH) was established at its present location in the 1930’s and is the only commercial airport in the United States located inside a National Park. The Airport underwent a major terminal remodel and expansion in 2009 and 2013 and continues to work with the Grand Teton National Park, Teton County and the Town of Jackson to support the local community and protect the environment.

10. Lost Creek Ranch (C Reverse L) was originally homesteaded in the late 1800s and was purchased in 1968 by the Halpin family. It continues as a family-owned guest ranch surrounded by the Grand Teton National Park with the Teton range as its backdrop.

11. Gerrit & LaMar Hardeman Ranch (Spear Two Spear) started as a 160 acre farm in the east portion of today’s Grand Teton National Park by Gerrit Hardeman in 1919 that grew to a 640 acre cattle ranch by 1943. In 1955, the Hardemans sold their ranch to the Grand Teton National Park and moved their operation to a ranch in Wilson, Wyoming, where their sons raised Hereford cattle into the 1990s.  The Hardeman Barns in Wilson still serve as icons of America’s early ranching history to locals and visitors to the valley.

12 .Triangle X Ranch (Triangle X2) continues to operate as a historic dude ranch located inside Grand Teton National Park 26 miles north of Jackson with stunning views of the Tetons. It has been a family business for five generations of Turners since 1926.

13. Four Lazy F Ranch (4 Lazy F) is located on the west bank of the Snake River near the park headquarters of Grand Teton National Park in Moose, Wyoming. It began has a homestead and was later developed into a summer retreat for the Frew family, or “Four Lazy Frews.” It was converted into a dude ranch in 1950 but was sold to the federal government in 1967.  The property is still managed by the Grand Teton National Park

14. Teton Valley Ranch (TV) was established in the 1930 in Kelly by Weenie Wilson and still operates as a summer camp for running horses.  There have been a handful of famous campers at the camp through the years, including a son of Charles Lindberg, actor Bill Paxton, and a son of the King of Jordan.

15. Moulton Ranch (Quarter circle UU) is a historic homestead on Mormon Row that was anonymously donated to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation. It is considered one of Jackson Hole’s oldest and most recognized historic treasures.

16. Hansen Ranch (Slash K Bar) in Spring Gulch lies between East and West Gros Ventre Buttes with Spring Creek running through it. The Hansen family started buying land in Jackson after 1900 and built up their ranch to more than 3,500 acres by the 1940s.  Currently, over 200 acres along Highway 22 of their 1,500-acre ranch is easement-protected by the Hansen family and the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

17. Mead Ranch (Double T) started over 100 years ago as a homestead and continues as a working ranch raising grass-fed cattle in Jackson Hole. The Meads purchased the double T brand along with cattle from Robert Miller in the late 1800s.

18. Virgil & Judy Lowder (VJ Quarter circle) married in 1958 and moved to Jackson in 1962. In 1975, the Lowder family moved to the Walton Ranch, where he was foreman for 10 years.  The 1848 acre ranch lies just east of the Snake River and stretches from Highway 22 north to the Gros Ventre River with views of the Teton range.  Part of the ranch is protected by a conservation easement with the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

How did the benches get their brands?

This  project was completed by Aidan Kim-Miller and his Boy Scout Troop from Jackson, WY during the fall of 2020. Aidan selected this project to help him complete his Eagle Scout ranking.

Eagle Scout by itself means to be a great Scout. It means you have achieved Scouting’s toughest
challenge of the advancement program. Scouting’s goal is to develop each and every Scout into three
basic aims, physically fit, good Citizens and good personal character. To advance through the system,
strengthens each of these skills, with Eagle being the culmination of it all. Eagle means you have finished
21 or more merit badges, been a leader of your Troop, and know what it means to be of service to
others. When you are an Eagle Scout, you are what Scouting would be considered to be the best.

The true essence of this project captured everything Eagle Scout stands for: “Showing character through actions”.


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