Snake River Land Company

Local citizens concerned about the unregulated development of Jackson Hole, in July 1923, joined with the Superintendent of Yellowstone, Horace Albright, to find a way to protect this exceptional area. Much of the land had already been opened to settlement and they decided that a private backer would be needed to buy out current owners. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was solicited to support the cause. He established the Snake River Land Company to quietly purchase privately held lands in the valley. Working closely with government advisors, the company purchased properties with the expectation of donating them to the federal government for preservation. The company purchased the Hogan ranch in 1930 and used the buildings as its primary local headquarters and residence. John Hogan, a retired eastern politician, built the residence in 1927 in the vernacular style of notched logs and chinking with a stone chimney. Hogan operated a fox farm and small guest ranch on the property before selling it. Harold Fabian, Snake River Land Company Vice President, and his wife lived in and worked from the home until 1945. Board meetings, negotiations, and administration of the purchased lands took place at the site. With broader powers necessary to conserve and manage the acquired land, Rockefeller’s Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. took over operations from the Snake River Land Company in 1945. Though considerable local opposition due to fears of lost taxes, closed hunting areas, lost grazing privileges, and increased federal regulation stalled the Rockefeller donation until 1949, President Truman finally accepted the donated Rockefeller holdings of 32,117 acres and in 1950, Congress incorporated the lands into the expansion of Grand Teton National Park.