Jackson Wyoming

At times I have people say to me, “Jackson, that’s not even Wyoming, I hate it when people come to Wyoming and only visit Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and the Tetons.” Or something similar to that. I could not agree less. Jackson is Wyoming through and through. Cowboys, wildlife, horses,  mountains, rushing rivers and hard working people, sure reminds me a lot of Wyoming.
Still some Grizzlies around the Jackson Area. Stay far back

David Edward Jackson - So, who was this Jackson fella, the town was named after? He was David Edward Jackson and reportedly his friends called him Davy. He was one of the first white men to visit the area, a trapper, and partner with the firm Smith, Jackson, and Sublette. This Sublette was William, responsible for building Fort William, later to become Fort Laramie, and about as far from the Jackson area as one can get in Wyoming. Jackson after John Colter and perhaps one or two others, spent an entire year, including one of Jackson’s, legendary winters, in the area.

The story of David Edward Jackson is one that would make a terrific mini-series. It is one of those rags to riches family stories. Although I have spent all of my Wyoming years on the eastern side of the state, this story is one I told in my history classes for years.

Jackson's grandparents John Jackson and Elizabeth Cummins were convicted of crimes in London and sentenced to serve seven-year indentures in America. The two met on the ship and were married six years after arriving in what would become the United States. By 1778 the couple migrated west and by 1770 they lived in western Virgina and were acquiring large tracts of good farm land. The couple had eight children, the second was Edward Jackson, who became the father of six children, three of them boys, the second being, David, the namesake for Jackson and Jackson Hole. Their third son was Jonathan, the father of Civil War legend Thomas (Stonewall), Jackson.

Shenandoah – Yep, just like the song - David Jackson was born in the Shenandoah Mountains in what is today West Virginia. Jackson moved with his young wife, west to Missouri for cheap and good land to take up farming in the early 1820s. But then everything changed when he saw Colonel Ashley’s newspaper add. He joined the Ashley-Henery party and headed west. And the rest, they say, is history. Jackson went on to work as a businessman in the West for nearly twenty years traveling into New Mexico and as far west as California, before failing health sent him home to Missouri where he died in 1837 at age 49.

Beauty and History Too - Next time you visit, Yellowstone, The Tetons, or the Jackson Hole area, remember, there is also a lot of history to explore in the area.

How Hot Was It?

Remember any of these old jokes?

How Hot Is it or Was It?
ü Chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs
ü I saw a dog chasing a cat, both were walking
ü Hot water now comes out of both taps
ü Cows are giving evaporated milk
ü Today I bought stock in Gatorade, Powerade, and three Ice Companies
ü My pickup overheated before I started it
ü Hot water now comes out of both taps
ü The temperature dropped to 90, and I thought I felt a chill in the air.
ü I spit out the back door, and before it hit the ground it froze – oh, never mind, that was a winter joke, but it sure helped me cool off.
A Nice Cooling Photo

For Informational Use Only – Hottest day in Wyoming History-115 In Basin Wyoming. At one time today, my weather app had 111. That is a record for me, highest on my phone app. The phone was so hot I nearly dropped it. 
Tomorrow I Will Try Flapping My Wings to Cool Off

Wyoming-the West-and Daniel Webster

As early Wyoming started to grow,  slowly, a few visionaries saw all of the west as a part of the United States one day. Trappers were working the area by 1820, and traders were not far behind. We were only a few years away from the mass movement west on the Oregon and Morman Trails. But not everyone in power was for westward expansion. The Whigs, led by two of the most powerful men in the United States political history, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster like Abraham Lincoln a few years later, wanted to deepen the economy, not expand it with the addition of new states. Daniel Webster famously said on the floor of the Senate.

What do we want with this vast, worthless area? This region of savages and wild beasts, of deserts of shifting sands and whirlwinds of dust, of cactus and prairie dogs? To what use could we ever hope to put these great deserts, or those endless mountain ranges, impenetrable and covered to their very base with eternal snow? What can we ever hope to do with the western coast, a coast of three thousand miles, rock-bound, cheerless, uninviting, and not a harbor on it? What use have we for this country?  
I Like It In The West - Lots of Places To Go and Things to See

Years later the quote found in many high school history books changed somewhat, tacking onto the end -

Mr. President, I will never vote one cent from the public treasury to place the Pacific coast one inch nearer to Boston than it is now.
Maybe Those Opposed to Westward Expansion Should Have Taken a Look at a Wyoming,
 North Platte River Valley, Sunset

From reading the Webster sentiment, it is hard to believe that Wyoming and all of the west, ever became part of America.

Oh, I forgot to mention, he never said it. The quote, one of the most famous in opposition to westward expansion, was made up. By who? No one knows, but I would suspect whoever it was, likely did not see a need for more states, especially out here in the west. 
Not A Bad Place to Live - Here in the Great American Desert

Yellowstone and The First Visitors

With all the crazy goings on in Yellowstone this summer, it would be nice to see some more positive news of, and from the park. News about record visitor numbers and the hundreds of thousands that use the park and follow the rules. For those who have never visited it should be a bucket list trip, a place everyone needs to go in there lifetime. In this age of man-made tourist attractions it is wonderful to visit Yellowstone, and nature at its best.

The First Visitors

Historically five Indian tribes lived in and around the park. Crow, Blackfeet, Bannock, Shoshoni and the ancient Sheep Eaters were natives of the area. Of these tribes, only the Sheep Eaters are known to have resided, full time inside of what today are the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. These ancient hunting and gathering people lived in brush lodges in parts of the park far from the hot springs and geysers. They left behind only a few stone tools and remnants of lodges but are instrumental in park history. The other four tribes were in and out of the park but never resided there full time. Like the Sheep Eaters, these tribes stayed away from the geothermal areas of the park.

Blackfoot Chief Painted Wing chased a group of Shoshoni into what would become the park in 1845. The Shoshoni had stolen Blackfoot horses, but when the pursuit reached the area of the hot springs, the Blackfeet turned around, not willing to go into that area of the park.

Jim Bridger and the Mountain Men

When the first trappers came to the area in the 1820s, they too entered the park. Legendary Mountain Man Jim Bridger, who first visited in 1825, entered the park and was so fascinated he came back many times, over the years, and explored much of the area. His tall tales of things he saw and did became part of American Folklore.  His stories of petrified trees, birds, music and air and of glass mountains and catching and cooking fish in the same stream, were told in western school rooms and around campfires and potbellied stoves for more than a century.

What a great way to vacation in Americas National Parks and Monuments and all 50 states magnificent state parks.

How I Will Spend My Summer

We have another trip planned to Yellowstone, but will likely wait for fall, with cooler weather and less traffic.  In the meantime, we will spend some time in the Black Hills and several Wyoming State Parks, oh, and a trip to Estes Park.  
One of My Favorite Places - Guernsey State Park

Old West Gamblers and Beer

Faro and Warm Beer

I’m not sure how many times, hundreds if not thousands, I have read or watched on TV or the movies, a poker game in an old west saloon. The problem is, for the most part, it is all fiction, not much fact. Faro was the game of choice in saloons throughout the American west. How about the cold beer the Cowboys so often dreamed of before getting to town. They may have found a beer, it wasn’t hard, but the cold part didn't happen, not in the old days of the west. One exception, winter time, both the beer and the saloon were cold. How about the famous batwing doors? If they had them, and most saloons did not, they were strictly for the hottest months. They do work well in the cinema but in real life, a single three-foot wide door would have opened into most saloons and other businesses.
Might be a Few in Wyoming Hunting For One of These Next Week with Predictions of 100+ Temperatures for several days - and in Modern Days, it's Cold

Playing Card Games

Fiction likely portrayed cowboys playing poker because it is a better-known game in modern times, but not in the days of the cowboy riding the range. Of all the famous old west gamblers Doc Holliday may be the most well known. His game of choice, Faro, of course. He even carried his own table painted with the 13 cards (1suit) needed to play the very simple betting game. Most experts agree that Faro is as much about luck as any game of chance could be. The game is so random and so easy to play it is no wonder it was the game of choice in the old west. So easy that it created a new class of card cheats. Many dealers and players tried to develop ways to win that included cheating. Some were pretty good at it, others were caught or ran out of town.
Faro Table With 13 Cards and a High and Low Card to bet on.

The First Saloon

The American Southwest is often thought of as the first cowboy country, but the first saloon may have been in Wyoming or close to it. Down in the Brown’s Hole Country of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado was what I believe, the first old west saloon. That saloon, where you could order a nice room temperature beer and play a bit of Faro opened in the early 1820s. That time period meant Mountain Men, Trappers, Long Hunters Explorers and those running from the law. 

Perfect clientele for a good game of chance. 

“Faro Anyone?”
Ahaaa - The Old West

On another note

On Friday, June 2, 1939, the Museum at Guernsey State Park opened. If my math is correct, that would make it 77 yesterday – Happy Birthday. Interesting and sad that the hard working Civilian Conservation Corps men, who built it, were all gone. The last CCC workers left Guernsey in August of 1938.
CCC Worker Statue Looking Toward the Museum Looks Great at 77