Area of Mormon Row to be closed through mid-summer for preservation efforts

JACKSON, Wyo. — The National Park Service (NPS) and Grand Teton National Park Foundation (GTNPF) are working in partnership to preserve and stabilize the historic John Moulton property, including the Pink House, on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. The area will be closed to the public now through mid-summer for preservation activities.

The project will include structural foundation work to stabilize the Pink House and its iconic stucco, serving to improve the visitor experience through the preservation of this important historic landscape. Preservation and conservation professionals completed analyses of the building’s condition and recent monitoring efforts indicated that the implementation of preservation actions should be completed soon.

Specialists with the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center will be responsible for the temporary removal, documentation, and storage of the stucco skirt and brick chimney. A contractor will move the building off the existing foundation, remove the existing foundation, pour a new foundation, and reattach the structure. Additional preservation on the homestead, including a full stucco preservation project, roof replacement, and rebuilding of the chimney, will occur within the next several years.

The Pink House is a 1.5-story historic home constructed in 1938. It retains a high level of historic integrity with original doors, windows, cabinetry, wallpaper, flooring, and woodwork. The house is surrounded by a historic barn, bunkhouse, several other outbuildings, and cultural landscape elements including irrigation ditches, corrals, and fencing.

Work at the Pink House marks the beginning of a multi-year public-private partnership project between the National Park Service and Grand Teton National Park Foundation that will preserve the entire Mormon Row Historic District. The multi-million-dollar effort will, for the first time, holistically address preservation needs and improve the ways visitors learn about and experience the remarkable legacy of the district, bringing the history of this place to life.

In 2018 the Foundation was instrumental in the National Park Service acquiring a 1-acre parcel, the last privately held land along Mormon Row. The structures on the property are being used for park seasonal employee housing. Improved visitor access such as a pedestrian connection between properties on Mormon Row, walkway, toilet, and additional parking was constructed in 2016.

The Mormon Row Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. It offers visitors an opportunity to connect with the history of the park and understand the difficulty and isolation associated with historic settlement in Jackson Hole, as well as experience the scenic beauty of the Tetons.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, established homesteads east of Blacktail Butte beginning in the 1890s. The community of Grovont was created, today known as Mormon Row. The homesteaders clustered their farms to share labor and build community, a stark contrast with isolation typical of many western homesteads.

The Historic Preservation Training Center is located in Frederick, Maryland, and dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of national parks or partner facilities by demonstrating outstanding leadership, delivering quality preservation services, and developing educational courses that fulfill the competency requirements of National Park Service employees in the career fields of historic preservation skills, risk management, maintenance, and planning, design and construction.

The Center utilizes historic preservation projects as the main vehicle for teaching preservation philosophy and building crafts, technology and project management skills. The experiential learning approach emphasizes flexibility in addressing the unknown conditions encountered during the project and ensures that the goals of preservation are met.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Jacob

Jacob Gore was born and raised in Cheyenne, the capital city of Wyoming. As a proud Wyomingite, he loves to share his home with visitors from around the world. Spending years in Jackson and Alaska as an interpretive nature guide, he remains a photographer, traveler, storyteller, and avid hobbyist of all-things outdoors. Jacob enjoys bridging the connection between Jackson and the rest of the state.

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