JACKSON, Wyo. — This week the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum (JHHSM), with the help of Lemons House Moving Inc. and ACM construction crew members, moved two historic cabins from storage to new, permanent locations on the new History Museum Campus.
“We’re thrilled to be able to be able to incorporate historic Jackson Hole cabins into the History Museum’s new site,” said Executive Director Morgan Jaouen.
The Shane Cabin
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, a historic Shane Cabin was placed on the north side of the History Museum Campus.
The original Shane cabin was built by Luther Taylor in the early 1920s and is still located in Grand Teton National Park. This Shane Cabin was one of several cabins built in 1951 for the movie set of what is still one of the most popular Westerns ever filmed in the area. Shane’s set designers and construction crews were known for their meticulous research into the buildings they depicted, and on the movie set this particular cabin represented a Western saddle and harness shop.
The fully intact and functional Cabin will be a part of the new museum structure and connected to the Museum’s permanent exhibit gallery. In the Shane Cabin, visitors will have a hands-on experience through technology and storytelling that will animate the past.
While the cabin is a re-interpretation of what the old homestead communities looked like, it also tells the story of growing tourism in the valley, sometimes capitalized on and driven by Hollywood.
The Karns Cabin moved to the northeast side of the History Museum Campus on Thursday, Sept. 21. The Karns Cabin will rest next to the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s Greenspace on The Block and Cache Creek, similar to how it might have existed in the Jackson Hole landscape at the end of the 19th century.
Peter Karns, an early Jackson Hole homesteader, constructed this 10-by-15-foot cabin in 1898. Among other callings, Peter was an outfitter, and it appears that he originally used this structure as a tack shed. The cabin’s saddle v-notched joints, where the logs come together, are incredibly unique for this area and indicate expert construction for its day.
The cabin has no windows and a plank door that may have been added at a later date. Given the condition of the door and the cabin’s size, it will be viewed by Museum-goers from the outside. It authentically represents the early wave of homesteading in Jackson Hole and remained on the Karns property until 1984 when Dale Karns donated the building to JHHSM.
The new History Museum Campus will provide engaging exhibit, educational, and community gathering spaces with two exhibition galleries, archive center, education classroom, historic cabins, outdoor programming space, and museum store. This primary, year-round museum will exhibit Jackson Hole’s history from indigenous peoples to the era of exploration, to permanent settlement, tourism, and outdoor recreation. Exhibit development is being co-curated with community partners, including the Eastern Shoshone and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
The history museum campus will be a community-gathering place and will anchor the character of downtown Jackson with authentic stories, objects and structures that define our local identity – past, present, and future.
Thank you to the Jackson Hole Land Trust, Healthy Being Juicery, Berning Project Management, and all project partners and neighbors who helped with this important project milestone! The new campus is currently scheduled to open in early summer 2024. To learn more about the project or get involved, visit jacksonholehistory.org.