Looking Back

A photo taken from the air in March 1990 shows Jackson Hole Airport and surrounding homes and Grand Teton National Park land.

45 years ago ...

• The first baby born at St. John’s Hospital in 1975 was an 8-pound, 4-ounce girl who arrived Jan. 2. Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Lohmiller, of Pinedale, and their daughter received dozens of gifts donated by local merchants, including a baby starter kit from Jackson Drug, a bathtub from Lumley Drug, a nightgown for mom from Ann’s Apparel, a sleeper from May’s Smart Shop and a case of baby food from B&W Market.

• Sunny, clear weather brought out mountain climbers. Paul Petzoldt’s perennial attempt on the Grand on New Year’s Day was successful again. In addition to his expedition up the Owen-Spaulding route there were parties attempting the summit via the North Ridge and the black ice couloir. Two other groups were on the Middle Teton, and one was on Mount Wister.

• The dollar total of building permits issued by Jackson in 1974 was $1.43 million, far below 1973’s $5.2 million. But City Manager Duane Roe said comparisons were unfair because 1973 was a “whopping big year” with several huge projects. “Anytime you get a million and a half dollars in building in a town this size that’s pretty good,” he said.

• Jackson’s new visitor center had its first tenant, the Chamber of Commerce.

30 years ago ...

• A snow drought was so bad that Jackson Hole Ski Resort’s marketing director, Harry Baxter, called the Associated Press to squelch rumors that the resort would soon close for the season. Lift ticket revenue in December dropped 20% from a year earlier. Snow King saw a 53% decline.

• Valley businesses embraced the latest wonder machine, the telephotocopier, aka the fax. Bland Hoke of Jackson Hole Realty raved that it now took minutes, rather than one or two weeks, to get a real estate sales contract accepted. Mike Hammer, general manager of the company that owned Spring Creek Resort and The Wort Hotel, had mixed feelings about the fax machine but said, “It’s not as insidious as the car phone, though. Now there is a real invasion of privacy.”

• The Jackson Town Council approved a joint powers agreement with Teton County commissioners that would limit the town’s annexation of land south of High School Road for a year until the council and commissioners completed a South Park master plan.

• Promoters of a one-stop-drop recycling center pushed for a prefabricated building, screened by shrubs, at the corner of High School Road and Gregory Lane. “We would like to make it a facility that’s appealing for people to come to,” said Sandy Shuptrine, coordinator for the Town of Jackson/Teton County Recycling Advisory Committee.

15 years ago ...

• Dakota Cara’Mari Ratcliff came into the world by C-section on Jan. 1, making her the first baby born at St. John’s Medial Center in 2005. Her parents were Beverly and Rusty “Eddie” Ratcliff, of Marbleton.

• Community residents pitched in to aid victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia through the American Red Cross. Donations included $100,000 from an anonymous donor via the Community Foundation, $2,000 raised at a Rotary Club luncheon and $5,000 collected by Jackson State Bank.

• Immediately after the new Center for the Arts received a certificate of occupancy, the Art Association moved in, and then the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, the Jackson Hole Writers Conference and Central Wyoming College. The second phase of the project, a performing arts wing with a 500-seat theater, was to break ground in May.

• State Senate President Grant Larson, a Republican from Jackson, and Speaker of the House Randall Luthi, a Republican from Freedom, were drafting a bill seeking nearly $28 million to build a graduate business school and conference center in Jackson Hole that would be affiliated with the University of Wyoming.

— Compiled by Jennifer Dorsey

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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