It's not on the annual tour of elegant homes, and it might not even be of any use to anyone.
But the old barn that sits on an alley just behind the Teton County Administration Building has some history. Though trying to trace it isn't easy.
The barn — at the back of a lot that has an address on East Hansen Avenue — has been there since anyone can remember, before there was anything else on the 0.52 acre property. It stood there on an empty lot, Susie Hawkes remembers, back in the 1950s. The barn, which comes with stories of having belonged at some point to Jackson pioneer Rose Crabtree, who ran the Crabtree Hotel just off the Town Square, now needs a new place to live.
The lot is at either 225 or 235 E. Hansen, depending on which reference you accept, because it's actually three original lots. It's best known to passers-by as the parcel near the corner with Willow Street where there's a line of six trailer homes and a couple of plastic-sided apartments. The barn is hidden behind.
Before the trailers were installed the kids of Clifford and Deloris Lutz played there. Hawkes is one of their kids; she now lives in Thayne. Another is her brother, Earl Lutz, who now lives south of Jackson and is part owner of GOE Electric. Their dad was also an electrician, worked for Marion Davidson and Ed Cheney after he arrived in 1952, and later for A-1 Electric and then Delcon, where he worked until he retired in 1986.
The Lutzes lived across Hansen in a house that was built in 1936 and then remodeled and enlarged. Hawkes remembers a much-less-crowded Jackson and a street with many children.
"It was a great neighborhood and there were a ton of kids there," she said Tuesday. The land her folks bought across the street "was an open field and it was a great place to play." Just past the Lutz house to the east, Hansen came to a dead end.
Hawkes' father, a Kansas native and World War II veteran, bought the land at 235 E. Hansen and added the trailers in the late 1960s. A couple of small rentals at the front of the lot were renovated to become the two-story four-unit apartment building that's there now.
The barn trails stories of Crabtree ownership. A well-maintained cabin at 265 E. Hansen, two lots east, bears a historic society plaque that identifies it as the Crabtree-Reynolds Building, built in 1924. Between it and the Lutz property, at 261, is another handsome old log house, built in 1924, according to the county.
County records dug up by Sara Adamson of the Teton Count Historic Preservation Board show that Henry and Rose Crabtree owned parts of the property in the mid-1920s. Other owners back before World War II include Maggie Simpson, John Hall, William Kirk, Mabel Eynon and C.W. Mercill.
To the west is a shingle-sided house built in 2005, owned by Judy Singleton. Behind her house is another emaculate cabin, that one built in 1939. Close to the property line, it almost butts up against the old barn.
Hawkes wasn't certain if the barn was there when her family bought the land. It has the look of age, rough logs with squared-end joinery, but it sits on a concrete slab, has a corrugated steel roof and boasts a lonely looking basketball hoop on its alley side. Her brother Earl used the building for years as a shop for his electrician business.
Deloris Lutz died in 1997, and Clifford, who remarried, died just this past December. The family sold the property to Tom Evans in 2013. Evans is one of Jackson's more successful real estate people.
Evans said Monday he sees the old barn as more of a liability than as asset and would like it off his property. A demolition permit was issued and then put on hold by the town at the request of historic preservationists.
A home is being sought by someone willing to cart the barn away and extend its life. A building mover has described the structure as salvable but in need of some significant work.