Most known by the four antler arches that frame the town square, it is the perfect spot to go out for a meal, a drink, or to just go shopping. Click here and check out the different shops
Town Square Map
History of Town Square
An informal town square of dirt emerged naturally in the growing town of Jackson. It was upgraded in the 1920s when Jackson elected an all-female town council. This council voted to grade more roads, collect taxes, and officially reserve land for a beautified town square. In 1932, the still vacant space was fenced, while grass was sown, and trees planted. The work took place under the guidance of Olaus Murie, the wildlife biologist best known for his studies of the Jackson Hole elk herd. The now-famous elk antler arches on the four corners of the Square are the perfect place for photos. To see where Olaus lived, visit The Murie Center of the Teton Science Schools in Grand Teton National Park. In the center of the Town Square is a war memorial commissioned by American Legion Post No. 43 in 1976. Their hall, built in 1929, sits on the corner of North Cache Street and East Gill Avenue and is largely unchanged. In 1933 a hearing took place on the valley’s most famous controversy. John D. Rockefeller Jr. had been buying up thousands of acres under the business name “Snake River Land Company,” with the intention of donating the land to the National Park Service to bolster the acreage of Grand Teton National Park. This idea had both proponents and opponents in the local community. The hearing investigated the business transactions and uncovered no wrongdoing. While Rockefeller’s connection to the project was outed during this hearing, the Grand Teton National Park vision was eventually realized with the current boundaries of the park established in 1950.
The Jackson Hole Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction is traditionally held on Town Square the third Saturday in May. Elkfest is a community celebration built around the auction. It features activities related to nature, outdoor skills, hunting, and ecological education and awareness. Activities include the Mountain Man Rendezvous and the High Noon Chili Cook-Off.
The Boy Scouts assist the Refuge with harvesting the shed antlers and auction them to bidders from around the world who make furniture, wall decorations, jewelry and food products from them. This annual event, which includes the High Noon Chili Cook-Off and the Mountain Man Rendezvous kick-off, supports the National Elk Refuge with a large portion of auction proceeds going back to habitat enhancement projects on the Refuge.
About Town Square Shootout
The Town Square Shootout wouldn't be complete without the Elk Antler Arches! They serve as the backdrop to the longest running shootout show in the west. Visitors and locals delight in the reenactment of Old West justice carried out by professional actors summer evenings from Monday through Saturday at 6:00pm. There's no shootin' on Sundays!
Started by Chamber boosters in the 1960's the Town Square Shootout started with a wild flair that tended toward the violent. Managed by the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce with the team from the Jackson Hole Playhouse, the show is now more colorful with period costumes and plenty of playfulness! Click here.
Stagecoach RidesThe Stagestop is located on the south side of Town Square, off Broadway. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely Stagecoach Ride and tour of historic Jackson Hole. Managed by the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, fees collected from the Stagecoach help fund the Town Square Shootout.
References and More Information
- Town of Jackson: www.townofjackson.com
- ElkFest: www.elkfest.org
- ElkFest Flyer About the 2015 Arch Auction: www.elkfest.org
- National Geographic on Town Square Shootout: Cowboys and Immigrants: An African Emigre’s Jackson, Wyoming by Alexandra Fuller
- Town Square Webcam: Click here.