A Place Called Jackson Hole

Elizabeth Goddard Novellas, Research, Writing Leave a Comment

This week I received the research book that I plan to use for my historical novella in A Grand Teton Sleigh Ride. The novella collection doesn’t release until next fall, but we start writing our stories far in advance. This particular collection I’m writing with one of my good writing friends, Lynette Sowell. We talked about this writing this set for a couple of years before we got around to submitting it to our editor at Barbour, and it sold almost immediately.  

I’ve spent many an anniversary skiing at Teton Village near Jackson, and visiting the town, as well as my husband’s family who lived in the area then. Before that, I spent many summer vacations in Jackson and Yellowstone National Park as a child. This region of the country is one of my favorite places. So I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to write two stories set there. For me, it’s all about the setting.

I flipped through my research book to discover it had an entire chapter on transportation in and out of Jackson, which was unlike other regions of the country because it was so isolated. In fact it was called “The Last of the Old West.”  Horse and wagon remained popular even into the 1920’s because the Teton Pass wasn’t easily navigated by automobile. Since the roads weren’t plowed in the winter, the need for horse-drawn sleighs remained well into the mid-19th century, hence our sleigh ride collection.

I selected the year 1929 to set my story because that was the year that the Grand Teton National Park system was established. That decade was also considered  the golden decade of the dude wranglers—dude ranches popped up everywhere, along with photographers like Ansel Adams.

Who hasn’t seen this infamous photograph of the Tetons? Add in a photographer heroine, and I’m set to go on Winter Wonderland!



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