By: Marc Bowen
In September I drove to Grand Teton National Park to do some hiking but the area I planned to hike was closed for maintenance. So I drove over to check out the historical Menor’s Ferry area.This area is in the unincorporated community of Moose Wyoming. To get there I drove through the south entrance to the park and took the first right into a parking lot in front of The Chapel of the Transfiguration. It was a beautiful morning and the sun was just coming up. I decided that I would get a few shots of the chapel with the morning light on the mountains behind it.
CHAPEL OF THE TRANSFIGURATION, MOOSE IDAHO
The Chapel was built in 1925 and provided religious services for dude ranchers and tourists who didn’t want to ride the 12 miles into Jackson. Services are still held here every Sunday during the summer time. It is also very popular for weddings.
The Chapel can seat about 60 people and this amazingly beautiful view behind the altar is quite inspirational!
MENOR’S FERRY, MOOSE IDAHO
There is a paved path around the parking area that also loops through the trees along the nearby Snake River. Along this path are restrooms and a number of old historical buildings, cabins and such built in the late 1800’s.
Bill Menor made a homestead claim on the west side of the river in about 1890. Using a cable system he built a ferry with docks and a wooden pontoon boat.
For homesteaders and ranchers living on the east side of the river this was the only place in Jackson Hole to cross over (and stay dry) into what is now Grand Teton National Park. Besides the ferry there was a store and blacksmith shop and all this became the center of the Moose area.
Another interesting fact I found out was that the Moose area was the setting for a motion picture in 1955 called ‘The Far Horizons’ about the Lewis and Clark expedition. It starred Fred MacMurray, Charleton Heston and Donna Reed.
This is a beautiful place with lots to see. The park visitor center is located here and is one of the nicest visitor centers I’ve been to…
Well, I may not have been able to do the hike I wanted but I still enjoyed my day and was able to see a few new places and ponder what it must have been like for those first homesteaders to live in this place. I can’t imagine how hard life would have been here. But to be able to see the beauty of the Tetons every day would have been ‘balm to the soul’ for sure!