Early on, the people who lived in Jackson Hole had to be strong, not afraid of hard work, and resourceful. Why? The isolation of the high-altitude, mountain-ringed valley made getting here and staying here difficult.
A community like no other
The growing season is short and the snow is deep. People had to be creative to bring in the cash they needed to buy things they couldn’t grow or make themselves. Their ingenuity made them fascinating people and their stories, interesting.
There were early-day characters who defined the Town of Jackson. John and Jess Wort who built their father’s dream hotel, The Wort Hotel, in 1941. Far from the arm of the law, they reaped profits from Jackson’s isolation by offering open gambling in the hotel to locals and visitors for many years even though it wasn’t legal. Rose Crabtree was known for her generosity, hospitality, and good cooking at her and her husband’s Crabtree Hotel beginning in 1917. But first, she had to pay off debts that her boss, Ma Reed—a real character—had accumulated before she skipped town. Rose was a member of the forward-thinking female town council in 1920 and 1921 that made aesthetic and practical improvements to the town. Diminutive Pearl Williams Hupp was the town marshal in 1920 when women of Jackson reigned as the All-Woman Town Council, requiring gumption and the ability to get cooperation.