Located in Grand Teton National Park, Mormon Row is one of the most photographed spots in the park. Learn more about the history, how to get to Mormon Row and what to expect.
If you have been asking where is the barn I have seen in so many photographs of Grand Teton here is the answer!
Mormon Row Historic District - Grand Teton National Park
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To understand Mormon Row, we must first understand homesteading in the United States as Mormon Row is a direct result of the Homestead Act of 1862 and the westward expansion of the United States.
There are several thoughts as to why the Homestead Act was signed into law including the 19th. Century concept of Manifest Destiny, a concept of U.S. territorial expansion to control the destiny of the United States from coast to coast and to spread progress and democracy to uncivilized regions.
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent parties from Salt Lake Valley to establish new communities through homesteading to support the expanding population.
The Homestead Act of 1862
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. The Homestead Act gave citizens or future citizens up to 160 acres of public land provided they live on it, improve it, and pay a small registration fee.
After five years on the land, the original settler was entitled to the property free and clear! The Government granted more than 270 million acres of land under this act.
The Mormon Row Historic District in Grand Teton National Park is home to several of the original 27 homesteads in this area. Today park visitors can see buildings from six of these homesteads as well as drive past where the school and church used to be located.
Mormon settlers picked this area as the soil was relatively fertile, Blacktail Butte provided much-needed shelter from the harsh winds and they were relatively close to the Gros Ventre River for access to water for both personal use and crops.
History of Mormon Row
The Mormon Row Historic District is located in the southeast corner of Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
When President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act in 1862, millions of acres of land was up for grabs in the great American West. A settler was granted 160 acres for free so long as he established a homestead and took care to use the land respectively.
Since the late 1840s, Mormon groups had been establishing settlements in Utah. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as Mormons, began a thousand mile journey from what is now Middle America to the West.
These Mormons, led by Brigham Young, arrived in Utah in July of 1847 and began building what is now Salt Lake City.
In the 1890s, the Mormon community began sending parties out of the Salt Lake Valley to establish new communities and increase their religious population throughout the west.
Many groups had spread north through Idaho and in 1986, had eventually ended up in the valley now called Mormon Row in what is the present day valley of Jackson Hole.
Upon entering the area at the base of the Teton Mountains, the group was enchanted by the undeniable beauty of the valley.
In 1896, settlers named their newly established village Grovont, named after the Gros Ventre River, a tributary of the Snake River in Wyoming. Access to the river, fertile soil, and wind protection from nearby Blacktail Butte made the area attractive to settlers.
It was here that they established 27 settlements. Today, the area is one of the best existing examples of an early 1900’s farming community.
This historic district is a wonderfully preserved area significant for its history of people, architecture, and farming in the early 20th Century West. These farming homesteads were built close together to ensure a tight-knit community that was able to share work and duties.
This was different than other farms and ranches of the time which were in much more desolate locations. Growing season in this part of Wyoming was relatively short and winters were harsh.
The people of Grovont worked to dig an intricate network of ditches to supply water where needed. Today, water still flows in some of these ditches.
The town of Grovont contained multiple ranches, homes, a church, and a school with the beautiful, towering Teton Mountain Range acting as background landscape throughout.
Built in 1916, the church was the central building of the village and played a large part in faith and social gatherings. Although the church was later moved to Wilson, Wyoming, its original spot in Mormon Row is marked by fence posts.
Important natural features in the area include The Knoll, which was a sledding hill for the children, and the remains of the community swimming hole.
Still existing today is the homestead of John and Bartha Moulton. The homestead includes their more modern pink stucco home and their iconic barn.
Arguably one of the most famous barns in America, photographers and visitors travel from all over the world to snap a photo of this barn with the snowy Teton peaks perfectly lining the background.
South of this homestead lies what is left of the Thomas Alma and Lucille Moulton homestead. The barn seen here took Thomas over 30 years to build and is as beautiful as his brother John’s.
John and Thomas arrived in Grovont together in 1907. They each filed for 80 acres of land and began clearing the way for their adjacent homesteads. John first met Bartha through his sister-in-law Lucille.
Bartha and Lucille were sisters and when Lucille was due to give birth, Bartha traveled from Idaho to assist her. By 1917, Bartha had married John and moved to the ranch on Mormon Row.
John was well known in the valley for his dairy business, as well as his pink house. The home wasn’t always pink.
When John’s wife Bartha was in the hospital he wanted to do something special for her return. By mistake he purchased the salmon pink colored paint and painted the entire house. It was said that Bartha despised the color, but appreciated his intentions more so the color was never painted over.
The most intact homestead located here is that of Andrew and Ida Chambers. Andrew settled the area in 1912 and built a log cabin, a stable, and cleared land for crops.
He also eventually built a windmill to produce his own electricity, which still stands today as well. Andrew was the last man to establish a homestead on Mormon Row after purchasing land in 1912. Andrew married Ida in 1918.
She was already living on Mormon Row and worked as the village schoolteacher. Sometime in the early 1920s, the couple bought the nearby Eggleston land and built a two story wood frame house.
The Chambers ran the town post office from their home for nearly nine years and frequently offered meals and rooms to people passing through. Sadly, in 1936, the two-story home burned down. The family moved back into their original log cabin.
Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929 and by 1950, agricultural development was halted due to the expansion of the park. By then, Mormon Row as acquired by the National Park Service as part of the Grand Teton National Park.
Where is Mormon Row Located?
If you are driving from Jackson, Wyoming drive northbound on Highway 191. You will pass the Jackson Hole Airport and continue to go North of Moose Junction.
Shortly after passing Moose Junction you will take a right onto Antelope Flats Road. Drive 1.5 miles east until you see a dirt road on the right and the pink stucco house (Moulton Ranch) on the left.
You have arrived at Mormon Row. There is a parking lot on both the left and the right side of the intersection. The parking lot on the right has a vault toilet.
The dirt road can be traveled towards Gros Ventre Campground easily.
There are two Moulton Homesteads located on Mormon Row and the Moulton Barns is one of the iconic images that park visitors come here to see. The homestead of Bartha and John Moulton is on the Northside of Antelope Flatts Road. Here you will find the Moultons pink stucco house and barn.
The barn on the Southside of Antelope Canyon Road is the only building remaining from the Homestead of Lucille and TA Moulton. The TA Moulton Barn is perhaps one of the most iconic photos of Grand Teton National Park.
This classic photo depicts the Moulton Barn in the foreground and the snow-capped Teton Range in the background. This image alone has attracted photographers from around the world to capture its beauty!
Just past the two Moulton Homesteads is the Ida and Andy Chambers Homestead. Chambers claimed the land in 1912 and is the most extensive historic complex on Mormon Row today.
The Chambers Homestead got running water in 1927 and then electricity by installing a windmill in 1946 which still stands today. This was important as Mormon Row did not get power from the rural electric administration until the 1950s. By the 1950's most of the homesteads had sold their land to the National Park Service.
The Chambers Homestead was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 as a Historic District and then included as part of the larger Mormon Row district in 1997.
Wildlife Viewing near Mormon Row
There is great wildlife viewing along Antelope Flats Road. You can see antelope, moose, coyotes, ground squirrels, bison, and possibly bears. This is considered bear country with both Black Bears and Grizzly Bear present in the park.
Keep your camera ready but also always be aware of what else in enjoying the views near you.
More great information on Nearby Parks
Grand Teton Camping Guide - Learn more and see photos of every campground within Grand Teton NP.
Jackson Lake Lodge - Find out what to expect when staying at the lodge including photos and video.
Epic List of National Park Lodges - Find out more about all of the historic lodges in National Parks
National Parks in Wyoming - Check out the other parks you can visit during your vacation