45 years ago ...

• Gov. Ed Herschler announced that Teton Village would the site of the 1976 Western Governor’s Conference, a gathering of 15 governors and two territorial governors.

Jackson Lake was open.

• Tommy Benson sold Benson’s Hardware to Jim Lind of Wyoming Studios. Benson’s had began life in 1907 as Jackson Mercantile. Tommy Benson began working there in 1936 when he was fresh out of high school and bought the place years later. “I graduated into this store, and now 40 years later I’m graduating out,” he said of the sale.

• The Wilson Ghetto, anchored on the north end by the White House, was history. For years it had been home to much of Wilson’s young population. The move toward erasing it had started several years earlier when Chris and Jenny Campbell, who already owned the corner lot, bought the remaining land up to the White House property line.

• For years Johnny Wang had dominated the action at the elk antler auction, buying antlers to manufacture an aphrodisiac marketed in Korea. But he sat out the high-spiraling bidding at the 1976 auction.

• The Wyoming Republican Party indicated at its state convention that Ronald Reagan was Wyoming’s choice for the presidential nomination.

30 years ago ...

• Everyone anticipated a huge summer. At Central Reservations, reservations were up 20% over the previous year. Clarene Law, co-owner of 250 rooms in the valley, was already 75% booked. “I wish I had hired earlier,” she said. “People are here earlier.”

• The Boy Scouts’ elk antler auction raised $76,177.75, up $8,000 over the previous year, though only a few Asian buyers attended the event, which in the past had relied heavily on them. Tony Chang, from Korea, said that with the abundant supply of antlers from the Soviet Union and New Zealand, American prices were too high to compete.

• A small, little-known cemetery dating back to 1889 in Grand Teton National Park was the subject of a custody battle. A handful of Jackson families, like the Hatfields and Franks, with relatives buried in the Kelly Cemetery wanted the park to deed the land to a nonprofit group they formed, which would take an act of Congress. A park official suggested the families negotiate a long-term agreement for access and maintenance.

School board members and teachers were negotiating for a wage and benefit increase for the district’s 150 teachers. Teachers sought a reinstatement of standard salary hikes for the three years’ wages that were frozen in the late 1980s.

15 years ago ...

•The 39th annual Jackson Hole Boy Scout Elk Antler Auction netted $92,395, which included $16,400 from a presale to the Rotary Club for its efforts to rebuild the Town Square arches.

• Gov. Dave Freudenthal told a Jackson audience that unchecked housing development was the biggest threat to the state’s wildlife: “When you look at the rate at which wildlife is removed, the majority of habitat in the state is not being lost to oil and gas.”

Jackson Hole High School administrators proposed reading and writing programs to help students improve their results on statewide tests. In recent years Jackson students had scored lower in those subjects than kids at schools in Cody, Star Valley and Gillette. “With schools of our size, we want to be number one,” Principal Gary Elliott said.

• Republican Teton County Commissioner Jim Darwiche’s announcement that he would leave the board to run for a seat in the state House meant there would be no incumbents in the race for county commissioner. Larry Jorgenson and Mike Gierau had also announced they wouldn’t seek another term.

• The Teton County Board of County Commissioners approved the final piece of Snake River Associates‘ plan to expand Teton Village, a 254-acre golf course and Nordic ski area.

— 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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