Saturday, February 13, 2021

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

I always love a good vintage photo from any city in the USA; today I have two beauties from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, both from the 1950's. 

Let's start with this photo of the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar (at 25 North Cache Street), established in 1937. That sign is almost "Fremont Street" quality, with its cowboy and bucking bronc (outlined in neon). I'm always struck by those bare hills in the background, and assume that at one time (long ago) they were covered in trees, though I suppose I could be mistaken. Ooo-eee, look at that beautiful red and black automobile!

It's nice to know that the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is still there, looking much the same as it did 60 years ago, only they don't have floor shows anymore apparently.

Next we're looking east on Broadway Avenue from a slide dated "7-11-53". It's fun to see those wonderful store (hotel, bar, cafe) fronts and signs, along with more fantastic '50s automobiles. Tourists are everywhere on this midsummer day.

And here's a current-day Google Maps image. The Wort Hotel is still there on the left, and things are not greatly changed, but I know I'd rather be there in 1953!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


Here is JG's souvenir glass from the Cowboy Bar! Thanks JG!


Nanook said...

I'm a bit disappointed to learn the Floor Shows seem to be relegated to the dust bowl of history; but it's hard to argue with the virtually-unchanged facade.

That "red and black automobile" that you're coveting at the moment, is a 1955 Plymouth... "The biggest car in Plymouth's history... longer, lower, wider!" This one in 'Seminole Scarlet' & black. Behind it is a 1953 Chevrolet.

I hate to burst your bubble on the second image, but that two-tone car (possibly with a 'Glen Green' top & 'Chartreuse' body) is clearly a 1955 model year Oldsmobile. (So much for 1953...) Behind it is a 1952 Chevrolet, with a 'Saddle Brown' top & 'Sahara Beige' body. Behind it is a 1953 convertible Oldsmobile [perhaps] in 'Baltic Blue'. Beyond the [unidentifiable] yellow car, is a 1953 Chevrolet, probably in 'Surf Green'.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

There's a woman (or a man without sleeves) in the window of the Wort Hotel. I bet it never crossed her mind, that people of the future will be looking at what she's doing at that very moment.....whatever it is that she IS doing.

JC Shannon said...

Wow, what great old shots of Jackson. My wife and I go every year in the Fall. In the last 10 years, it has become a little pricey though. In the old town square, you can still buy western wear or a saddle, and next door, purchase a Cartier watch. The Cowboy Bar is still there, no floor show, but you can hear live music on the weekends. I mentioned that they have a stagecoach ride in the summer and a Pendleton Shop in previous blogs. Kinda like Frontierland used to be. I'm with Major, the 1950s was the time to go. Brunch at the Wort anyone? Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

Another place on my bucket list. Someday...

Nanook, that unidentifiable yellow car has a roof that looks very early-'50s Plymouth, but the back end looks too short.

Andrew said...

I love that street full of neon signs. Although I was there last summer, the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati is still on my bucket list. They have lots of old, functioning signs... even the Satellite Shopping Center "Sputnik" from Anaheim.

Anonymous said...

Well, shoot. I was all ready to ID ol' red and black as a 1952 Caddy. I'm glad I didn't! I get lucky every now and then, but other times not so much.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Steak Trout or Gasboard
Interesting menu! ;o)

Fun road trip, thanks Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I love that Plymouth! The colors are great of course, but I’ll bet it was a fine automobile. As for the date, I don’t have the slide nearby, but since I gave the day, month, and year, it must have been hand-dated. Not sure what to make of that inconsistency. Maybe somebody added the date years later, but you’d think that if they remembered the day and month, they’d remember the year!

TokyoMagic! I assume that’s a woman; maybe those windows are where the dining area was (is). Or she was just taking in the scenery. OR she was wondering why that pervert was taking a photo of her!

Jonathan, I can only imagine how expensive things would be in a tourist town like Jackson Hole. Maybe I need a nice saddle. Those probably cost, what, $50? (I’ll bet a decent one can cost well over $1000). The stagecoach ride sounds potentially fun, as long as it doesn’t fall over like the ones at Disneyland. I just love that look up Cache Street, with all of those wonderful signs.

Chuck, I guess we need Nanook, knower of all old cars, to chime in about that yellow number. I like the color, though!

Andrew, thanks for the link to the American Sign Museum, I would love to go there! It’s right up my alley. Near me is the Valley Relics Museum, and they have one large room (a former airplane hangar) that has a good collection of historic San Fernando Valley signs, it’s really neat. The signs give off sound (buzzing in the case of neon signs) and clicking if they animate, and some of them throw off heat that you can feel.

Stu29573, hey, at least you had a guess, which is more than I can say. My knowledge of classic cars is pretty much nil.

Lou and Sue, order the Gasboard, you won’t be sorry. Or maybe you WILL! ;-)

Melissa said...

Those real hills in the street scene look like a stage backdrop! So much primo neon in that picture.

At first glance, I read “Wort Hotel” as “Worst Hotel.” Now, that’s taking truth in advertising a little too far!

Imagine a time when not everybody had a camera, and you’d have to rent one to take pictures of a tourist spot.

“Seminole Scarlet” would be a great pulp detective name.

Anonymous said...

Major...being a horse owner I can confirm that a good new saddle is over $1000 without any special tooling or silver. As for Jackson Hole, my folks and I traveled through there in mid 1956 and surprisingly, the picture of the Bar brought back a fliker of memory as how I remember it (I was almost 6 at the time). I believe we went inside and I saw that very Million Dollar Bar. The pictures remind me how much more of a frontier feel the place had. But there were fewer people back then and travel was a true adventure out in the 'Wild Wild West'. And no Interstates to bypass it all. KS

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
It could be a 1951 Plymouth or Dodge, for that matter, given the lack of detail we have to work with; but the car does appear too short in this angle to be either one. But you never know.

@ Melissa-
What a time when one could 'rent a camera'. I love the sign "Cameras for Rent - Film for Sale". (Don't you think it would be much more fun the other way 'round-?) Just think of all the possibilities with double exposures-! "But Mom, I wasn't dancing with an 'older woman'... I was in bed at 8:30. Honest-!"

JG said...

Major, this is great!

I passed through Jackson Hole about 20 years ago and had a drink at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The barstools are saddles, but there was no floor show then.

I bought a souvenir glass, I would be happy to send a pic if you want it.


"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, I would love to see a picture of your souvenir glass!

KS, I would love to see a picture of your horse, and hear more about it! I love horses!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, you are right, I could see those hills as a backdrop, such as the kind you used to see at the Golden Horseshoe Revue. Even the “Wort Hotel” isn’t a great name, it makes me think of warts. You used to be able to rent a camera at Disneyland, so maybe the idea was much more common than we think.

KS, oh sure, once you start gussying up a saddle with silver medallions and conchos, all bets are off! I’ll bet you could pay as much as you want for a custom job. Do you want silver AND turquoise? No problem! Let’s adjust that final bill, though. I think that the frontier quality come through in these early photos, and that’s the thing that appeals to me. Sort of like the towns along Route 66, they were thriving at the time, but still had a funny roadside, “small town” feel that is so appealing today.

Nanook, we may need to just leave the yellow car as “unidentified”. Oh well! Renting film, that’s an interesting thought.

JG, thank you for the photo of the souvenir glass! Saddle bar stools, hmm. I was never that comfortable riding a horse, personally. I wanted to be, because my mom loved horses so much (she owned one as a youth), but they just didn’t click with me. They’re beautiful animals, though!

Lou and Sue, your wish is my command. I hope KS’s horse was named “Stormy”. The best horse name ever.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thank you, JG and Major!

KS, oh sure, once you start gussying up a saddle with silver medallions and conchos, all bets are off! I’ll bet you could pay as much as you want for a custom job.

Major, hahaha! At first I read it as "conchs!" Need to practice more on my Evelyn Wood Speed Reading courses.

JG said...

Major, thanks for posting my photo!

Sue, and the rest of the Gorilla band, I hope you find it interesting.

Major, my Mom collected all kinds of memorabilia, one thing was whiskey jiggers. Odd, because neither of my parents drank liquor. But the little glasses were a big souvenir item, and still are. For a few years I would buy unusual or interesting styles, but I’ve stopped because I’m just out of space, and I felt vaguely silly having so many. Maybe 20-30?. I do use them, not always to hold liquor either. I have a little flashlight that just fits in one pointing up, so I’ve placed the jiggers around the house to hold the light in our repeated power blackouts. Nice reminders of our travels.

KS, it’s great you could have a horse. My Dad used them on the farm before the War, but they were all gone by my time. We sent our kids to a horse camp several years, where they could ride and care for their own mount. But we have never had room or money to own any.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Nice reminders of our travels.

JG: The repeated power blackouts??

JG said...

Sue, we live in Northern California and the high fire danger causes the utility to shut off the power frequently. We have gone days without electricity in the fire season.

I have photovoltaic lanterns and rechargeable flashlights everywhere.


Nanook said...

@ Sue-
I don't know about JG's situation, but up here in Seattle, and beyond, windy weather (not an uncommon occurence) often causes power outages - usually lasting several hours. At the moment the PNW is experiencing a "snow event". Chicken feed for folks in your part of the country, but up here - a much bigger deal - although it happens with enough regularity to not come as a surprise. Up by me, we have about 12-14" of the white stuff, and as long as one need not venture out in it (we have 'adequate' snow removal equipment), it's a lovely winter wonderland.

And thankfully - with no wind. Otherwise, who knows just how many power outages there would be. Can't say the same for the Portland area - they had a ton of freezing rain...

Melissa said...

JG, that boot glass is all kinds of neat! My favorite WDW souvenir was my set of glass tankards from the Liberty Tree Tavern, but they somehow got lost in my last move. Sic transit gloria mundi.

"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, though I was only teasing you that "blackouts" were a nice reminder of your trips, I truly can't imagine days without power! No joking matter, that's for sure! Tonight, it's going to be around 16 degrees below zero (with the windchill factored in) in my area, and losing power for a long period of time could mean frozen pipes that eventually burst "where they may." We have a gas fireplace, gas oven and stove, that we can turn on if the electricity goes out, to warm our little house, but haven't had to ever do that. When we lose power, it's usually for a few hours, at most, thankfully.

Nanook, you do have a winter wonderland happening up there, it sounds like!

JG said...

Melissa, the odd shape and the unique location combined make it a fun souvenir. Honestly, though, glasses like this aren’t great for enjoying whiskey since they have narrow openings that restrict the vapor you need to taste all the aromas of the spirit.

Sorry you lost your tankards. I hate moving.

Sue, we do have gas so we can keep warm, but long blackouts are no fun.


Anonymous said...

Folks...I'm a little late here but my two guys are a bit being a quarter horse and the other a Belgian draft. Both ridden. Mostly trail. Have 5 saddles though. KS

"Lou and Sue" said...

KS, thank you for sharing! PLEASE send the Major pictures to post - would love to see those horses, especially the Belgian draft! Major was hoping you named one "Stormy"...I'm wondering if you named one "Wildfire"?