Saving a Historic Barn

This Jackson Hole preservationist isn't a barn raiser; he's a barn savior.

Harrison Goodall stands in front of the T.A. Moulton barn, image

Preservation specialist Harrison Goodall has been working to keep the T.A. Moulton barn stable.

Photos of the T.A. Moulton barn in Grand Teton National Park have appeared on a Times Square billboard, in jigsaw puzzles, and above the Albertsons deli counter in nearby Jackson, Wyo. Last summer, the barn turned 100. Today, says preservation specialist Harrison Goodall, its roof is leaking and its front sagging.

Q What’s lost if the barn falls down?
A It tells the story of the Moulton family, from when they first moved to their homestead in 1912 and were only able to build a simple box about 12 feet high. Later they needed a hayloft, then added lean-tos on the sides because they got a contract to deliver mail and also got into hog production.

Q Who were the Moultons?
A Thomas Alma Moulton was one of a couple of dozen Mormons who homesteaded in this area of Jackson Hole in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His brother John homesteaded here too, and one of the three other standing Mormon Row barns was his. Moulton descendants still live nearby.

Q Was the peaked hayloft really built to match the silhouette of the Tetons?
A I think the family just needed a place to store hay, and the roof needed a certain angle to handle snow and wind.

Q You’ve been working on the barn?
A I think last summer’s work with volunteers will keep the building stable for at least the next couple of years. Objects in museums are much easier to preserve than ones outside in the elements, particularly Jackson Hole elements.

Q Other park buildings that need help?
A Most of the park’s 300-plus historic buildings need work, including the whole area around this barn, Mormon Row. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photography by Gregory Nyen

This article was first published in March 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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