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049 Grand Teton National Park 1949

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Grand Teton National Park 1949

Grand Teton National Park is known for its beautiful scenery. Developed with the Teton Mountain Range as its base, it is a tourist destination that garners both national and international acclaim. Yet, if maps could talk, this 1949 map of Teton National Park would have quite a tale to tell. Distinguished, it would be the world's first National Park, full of lush forest and gorgeous mountain scenery; however, getting that distinction would take quite a bit of doing.
In fact, it would entail three separate acts passed by the United States government, as well as a string of other compromises made by locals who lived in the area. It was not yet known as the tourist destination we know and love today. What you see here began in 1929 when Congress set aside land for the park. 
However, at the time it only included the Teton Mountain Range, as well as six glacial lakes at the base of the mountain range. In 1943, the forest around the Teton mountains was added when Franklin Roosevelt decreed the Jackson Hole National Monument. There was also a more than generous donation by none other than John D Rockefeller, Jr. His 35,000 acre tract of land added quite a bit more 
sprawl to the area. However, this land would not be added until the year this map was made, December 16th, to be precise. Up until then, there was an impasse of sorts between the Rockefeller's, and park development, regarding the donation. There were other fights for park development along the way as well. 
Most of the stopping points surrounding development swirled around Idaho sheep ranchers. They were afraid that expansion would infringe on these lands, making it difficult to maintain a herd. This, along with concerns by local dude ranchers against things such as hotel construction, improve roads, and the creation of monopolies, made for quite a bumpy road towards development. The opposition to park development was so strong that when Horace Albright, the Yellowstone superintendent, came to the area in 1919 to promote Park enlargement, he was literally run out of town. The beginning of the fabulous fifties would see the completion of Grand Teton National Park in all of its glory. In September 14th of that year, the park added the Rockefeller land to create what we know as Grand Teton National Park. Millions of people since I've enjoyed this area for its rugged natural beauty, and local culinary delights.

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