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Archives on the Air 297: Grand Teton National Park – Merrill J. Mattes Papers

Grand Teton National Park is one of the most beautiful spots in Wyoming. It was originally a Native American hunting ground. Eventually, British and American fur traders were drawn to the area for its exceptionally bountiful populations of beaver.

In the mid 1800s, homesteaders began to settle in the valley and surveying parties named many of the area’s mountain peaks and lakes.

In 1929 the Grand Teton National Park itself was established by an act of Congress. The original park did not include Jackson Hole and was one third the size of the current park. Visitors from across the U.S. flocked to the park to admire the landscape and view wildlife.

Shiras’ moose were commonly seen as well as herds of elk or wapiti. The first park services and ranger station were established at Jenny Lake.

Learn about the history of Grand Teton National Park in the Merrill J. Mattes papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.