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Some projects are already underway—and several are about to begin—at the Mormon Row Historic District in Grand Teton National Park. These projects will launch a 'summer of preserving the past' throughout an important cultural area located near Antelope Flats Road. This series of projects will stabilize historic structures, upgrade visitor services through parking improvements and the addition of a vault toilet, and provide new interpretive information about the significance of this historic district. Some project work will require a temporary closure and limited public access around the T.A .Moulton barn and also the John Moulton "pink house" and other historic structures that lie north of the Antelope Flats Road.
Work on the historic structures will be partially financed through private funds provided by Grand Teton National Park Foundation donors, and a matching grant awarded through the National Park Service Centennial Initiative.
In early June, a five-person crew from the Western Center for Historic Preservation started preservation and stabilization work on the exterior of several historic buildings located within the Mormon Row district, and their activities will continue through September 30. Under direction from the staff of the Western Center for Historic Preservation, a Student Conservation Association crew will complete preservation maintenance projects from mid-July through early August.
From late July through late August, two separate volunteer groups will conduct stabilization and restoration work, with a primary focus on the T.A. Moulton barn. One of the groups—the Michigan Volunteers—will be working from August 1-15 under the guidance of renowned historic preservationist, Harrison Goodall. This group will mark their 20th anniversary of volunteerism at Grand Teton National Park, which includes substantial labor completed during 2013. That year, park staff joined members of the Moulton family, the Michigan Volunteers, and many Jackson Hole residents for a public event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the T.A. Moulton barn. From late August through early September, a contracted crew will repair the steeply pitched Moulton barn roof.
In addition to the preservation work on historic buildings, other project work will include: construction of an interpretive trail that will run parallel to Mormon Row Road from the Antelope Flats Road to the Andy Chambers homestead cabin—a distance of .5 mile; construction of a southern parking area near the T.A. Moulton barn; installation of a vault toilet near the southern parking area; formalization of the parking area at the junction of Antelope Flat Road and Mormon Row Road; and construction of a bus turnaround spot on the Antelope Flats Road adjacent to the northern parking area. These infrastructure projects will require temporary closures and prevent public access for brief periods of time between mid-July and mid-August.
The Mormon Row Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The Chambers Homestead was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, and included as part of the larger Mormon Row district in 1997. Several picturesque barns located in the Mormon Row Historic District attract visitors and photographers from around the world. These and other historic structures at Mormon Row were built by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) who settled this area of Jackson Hole, east of Blacktail Butte, in the 1890s. Settlers established 27 homesteads in the area because of the relatively fertile soil, shelter from winds, and access to the Gros Ventre River for irrigation and other water needs. For park visitors, the Mormon Row buildings serve as reminders of the pioneer life in Jackson Hole.
The most extensive historic complex remaining on Mormon Row is the Andy Chambers homestead. Andy Chambers claimed land in 1912 and secured the title under the Homestead Act by building a log cabin and stable and clearing ground to grow grain. He also built a windmill to produce electricity, which still stands on the homestead.
For information about Mormon Row Historic District and the Moulton barns or Andy Chambers homestead, go to https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/historyculture/index.htm and use the cultural history link for additional topics.