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December Digital Collection Spotlight: Jackson Hole Dude Ranching Tradition

December Digital Collection Spotlight: Jackson Hole Dude Ranching Tradition: Triangle X, 2017

In 1926 John S. “Dad” and Maytie Turner relocated from Utah to Wyoming and purchased the Triangle X Ranch, becoming the first generation of Turners on the ranch. Located in the eastern part of the Valley (near Moose), the ranch boasts sweeping views of the Grand Teton mountain range. The Turners welcomed their first guest on the Triangle X the next spring. In 1930, the Turners (along with many others in the Jackson Hole area) sold their property to the Snake River Land Company and leased back the ranch. In 1950, the ranch was incorporated into Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) when Laurence Rockefeller donated his Snake River holdings to the existing park.

Today, Robert Turner (Harold’s son) and Lucas Turner (Don’s son), the fourth generation, manage the ranch (with support from Harold and John F.). Along with their wives, Amanda and Lauren, and children (fifth generation), and during the summers some of their siblings, cousins, and nieces and nephews, Robert and Lucas continue the tradition of welcoming guests at the Triangle X for trail rides, pack trips, hunting trips, and float trips. As managers of the oldest and only operating dude ranch in the GTNP, the Turner family has hosted guests (some for over forty years!) at the Triangle X for more than ninety years.

In the summer of 2017, the Turners graciously welcomed eight Utah State University and three University of Wyoming students to document the historic Triangle X as part of a Library of Congress Field School for Cultural Documentation. The Field School is a collaboration between Utah State University (USU), the University of Wyoming, and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (LOC).

This collection houses the products from the Triangle X fieldwork, including 26 interviews (audio, full transcripts, and photographs) with members of the Turner family (third, fourth, and fifth generations), Triangle X employees, and guests. Also included are photographs from events and buildings at the ranch.