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Barn and Big Dipper

Preservation Begins on the John Moulton Homestead!

John and Bartha Moulton’s historic home getting some much needed “tender loving care”.

Moulton Preservation Crew

August 13, 2013

This year’s preservation efforts along Mormon Row are a joint venture between Grand Teton National Park, the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, Community Foundation of Jackson, and a group of volunteers from around the country. Harrison Goodall, a Conservation Specialist from Langley, WA, is seen here giving some morning instructions to the current crew of workers and volunteers. Another group of volunteers is scheduled to begin their shift on the 18th. The list of volunteers for this project filled up almost immediately when the restoration project was announced earlier in the year. Hal Blake (1/2 Moulton) runs the Moulton Ranch Cabins: Bed and Breakfast just south of this site. Hal is third from the right in the cowboy hat.

Preservation Sign

I saw this sign after I had taken shots of the morning “crew meeting”. Later I asked Joestte Katcha, intern for Katherine Wonson (Cultural Resources Specialist), about the wording, “Please respect the work zone around the buildings while construction takes place.” She said they encourage people to enter the area and ask questions about the preservation project—as long as they stay out of the way of the actual work going on.

Web_SummerBarnPhotographers_May28

On almost every morning, dozens of people can be found lined up and taking photos of the barn and corrals. This photo was taken last May . I spoke with Harrison Goodall once the workers split to their assigned projects. He said there have been lots of photographers at the barns each morning since he has been there. His card has this slogan, “Historic preservation is not just about the past…It is about our future”. This barn is one of the most photographed barns in the world. No doubt this this project will get plenty of exposure and press.

Katherine Wonson, Cultural Resources Specialist at GTNP responded by email: “A lot of the work we do out on these ranches and homesteads is very behind the scenes. We are so thrilled that volunteers from as far away as Washington state and New Jersey that are giving up their time to save this special place.  We’ve also been excited to have a strong showing from the community (two locals in the volunteer group) as well as the support from the community foundation in funding this project.”

Moulton Barn August 13, 2014

New Fences and Corrals at the John Moulton Barn. (August 13) I can get choked up and teary eyed seeing this after so many years of watching these fences deteriorate and fall down.

JohnMoultonBarnAndCorrals1965

The Original Corrals Along Mormon Row: This photo is part of a Feature Post at this site I posted on April 8th, 2014 called The Moulton Barns: 1963-1965

Photos on that page were supplied to me by Sue Ernisse (Pounian). They were taken by her artist/photographer/father, Al Pounian, during the three summers they spent as renters at the homestead. Al, armed with his Nikon film camera, captured the homestead and way of life in its heyday in 1963-1965. Sue was only three the first year.  Much of the restoration project is now being guided by Al’s wonderful photos as seen in the two photos above. Be sure to click on the link above to see the rest of Al’s photos of the period!

John Moulton Wash House 1963

Wash House and Shower—1963: Some of this little building was still standing, but most of the walls had deteriorated. Lois Pounian and Sue are seen here in 1963. A new porch for the wash house is under construction as of today along with new walls, as seen in the Crew Meeting photo at the top of the page. Another updated photo was added farther down the page.

JohnMoulton Driveways 1964

Twin Driveways and Lawn Mower: The old footbridge has deteriorated and there is now a row of Aspen trees running alongside the irrigation ditch.

While I didn’t taken photos of it today, the pump house in the center of this page is getting some extensive foundation work. It looked like some work was ongoing for he footbridge over the irrigation ditch.

Peach House Volunteer

Volunteer (Kathleen Haines from New Jersey) Pruning Shrubs on the Peach/Pink House: (August 13) I believe Sue Ernisse said they always called this the Pink House, but I’ve always heard it called the Peach House. Either way, this is John and Bartha’s second house on the property. Their first cabin sat right behind this house and was later torn down. It is visible in a few of Al’s photos. Kathleen is Harrison Goodall’s sister—helping as a crew member.

Wash House (August 15)

Wash House (August 15): There wasn’t much left of the old wash house. Looks great now! It looks like it will get a new roof covering, too.

Pump House (August 15)

Pump House (August 15): Since I was there on Wednesday, a lot of work was completed on the foundation of the old pump house.

Moulton Barn Close, (August 15)

Moulton Barn Close (August 15): If you’ve been to this barn in the past few years, you’d probably remember a piece of plywood nailed over the window on the left. It was left unpainted for a year or so, then painted rusty orange. The crew replaced the plywood yesterday. A lot of photographers will be happy with this simple repair!

Moulton Barn Corrals (August 15)

Moulton Barn Corrals (August 15): This is a similar angle of the barn shot Al Pounian captured in 1965.

Moulton Fences

Moulton Fences (August 15): This shows the new fences and corrals from a different angle. It also shows the new window.

Wash House and Pump House

Wash House and Pump House (August 15): When I came back later in the day, the wash house trim had been painted and rocks had been filled around the foundation of both.

Night at the Barn

Night at the Barn (August 17): The Moulton Barns have always been a favorite spot for night time photographers when doing a long exposure and adding some light with a large flashlight. I went out tonight for a few shots with the new fences.

Barn and Big Dipper

Barn and Big Dipper (August 17): The Big Dipper is high in the sky on this shot. You can see a little glow of car headlights on the distant highway.

Volunteers:

Garage and Pump House

Nick & Paul - Foundation Work

Nick & Paul – Foundation Work

August 18 Notes: The crews were split today with work on the garage and pump house at the Reed Moulton homestead (seen above) and the machine shed at the Andy Chambers homestead. According to Harrison Goodall, the current emphasis is on stabilizing structures—something he said needed to be done on many of them. Restoration and preservation on many of the structures will require more time and money in the future.

August 19 Photos and Notes:

Corner

Nick is seen under the house. Paul is cranking the jack and Cris is pulling a cinder block under the corner.

Roof Supports

This group is cutting a support beam for the house’s roof.

Window Crew

Window Crew: The old garage and pump house at the Reed Moulton homestead will have a solid window inserted in each.

Roof Crew

Roof Crew: Roof supports are being added in the west portion of the house. A new plywood roof is being added by this crew.

Window Fillers

Window Fillers: After measuring and cutting, the window inserts are being painted black by Lee and Sheila.

Back Fill Crew

Chris and Mayalna are dumping some fill dirt and rocks for the corner of the garage and pump house.

Katherine Wonson & Harrison Goodall

Katherine Wonson (GTNP Cultural Resources Specialist) & Harrison Goodall (Conservation Specialist) watching progress on the foundation work.

My Comments – August 19: I drove out to the project after lunch today and spent a couple of hours taking photos and talking to the volunteers. Harrison Goodall is doing a great job of assigning tasks to the people most qualified to handle them. Once the tasks are assigned, the mini-crews take over and get the job done. Several of the volunteers have worked on numerous previous restoration projects, several of which have years of construction experience under their belt. They spend part of their time teaching the first time volunteers the ropes. The takeaway…if you want to volunteer on future projects…you can fit in with only a desire to be there and willingness to work.

August 20, 2014

Reed Moulton Pump House / Garage

Reed Moulton Pump House / Garage: It’s easy to see the progress on this building.

Roof Work at the Reed Moulton Homestead

Roof Work at the Reed Moulton Homestead: The crew was busy adding a moisture barrier over the new plywood rood before taking the afternoon off to tour the park.

Repair at the John Moulton Barn

Josette Katcha is seen here re-attaching a loose board on the John Moulton barn. She is an intern this summer—finishing up her last 10 days in GTNP this year. She will be heading back to school in Oregonto continue work on her graduate degree is in Preservation Masonry.

Windows on the John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn with a new window. Photo taken yesterday.

Mike Jackson

Mike Jackson staining the new window with a natural black walnut stain.

Web_BarnWindows_Aug20

Matching Windows at the John Moulton Barn: Cosmetic touches on the barn and replaced fences should improve photography for this fall’s visitors at this historic structure on Mormon Row.

A Little History:

Jolene Moulton posted this family tree information on The “Missing” GTNP Farming and Ranching Photos: “Just a little clarification and history about John and Bartha Moulton and Reed and Shirley Moulton’s homesteads. John and Bartha sold their ranch obtaining a lifetime lease on the ranch. Reed ran the farm until his death. Reed and Shirley Moulton have seven children. Sheila Jean is the oldest, Charles, Robert, James (Jim), Debra (Debbie), Mary Ann, and Reed Jr. Who was still born. Reed and his daughter Mary Ann passed away in 1973. Reed and Shirley’s son Robert managed the ranch with his mother, Shirley, from his father’s death until 1980. In 1980, Gladys Moulton raised and harvested the hay during the summers. John passed away in in August 1990 at 103 years old. The ranch was vacated the next spring/summer when the Park took over.”

You Can Help!

Both private and corporate donations can be made to either of these two organizations: (Note: you can earmark donations to specific projects like the GTNP Mormon Row restoration projects.)

Check Back for More Photos of the Progress at the Homestead!

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Comments (12)

  1. I will be there with the second group of volunteers next week. I look forward to helping preserve Uncle John’s legacy.

  2. Hi David,
    I spoke with Sue Ernisse today. She’s also scheduled to be in the second group. She wrote back telling me she went out today and was “crying like a baby” seeing all the effort and progress. Her father took the photos being used as references for the new work. I’ll be out quite a few times trying to document the project for this blog and also for the park and all the helpers. Thanks to you and your family for helping at your end. I am so excited to see this happening!

  3. Jolene Moulton

    It is so awesome that this work is bring done on Grandpa John Moulton’s barn and homestead. We are so grateful to those who have organized and those who are volunteering to work on these projects.
    We are unable to help work on our grandfather’s barn because our daughter had surgery today. We look forward to hearing, reading, and seeing how things are going.
    Robert and Jolene Moulton

  4. Don George

    Wow, This is great! It does one’s heart good to see this being completed. For years I’ve always wondered if the structure would continue to deteriorate and fade into the past. What a loss that would be to future generations. Thanks to all who are making this happen.

  5. Connie High

    Wish the project would still be on-going at the end of September when I will be there….would love to help on such a project with whatever I could do to help!

  6. I heard the volunteer list filled quickly on this project. There are several locals and then lots of people from all around the country volunteering their time. I am so happy to hear Sue Ernisse was able to be part of the project. Her dad’s photos are being referenced for the project.

  7. mike wujek

    Great Article I appreciate the updates. FYI – My son Nick Wujek an Architecture student also from New Jersey is volunteering with Harrison Goodall. Just as I did in 1980 with Harrison on your Superintendents home and Admin buildings. I have a wonderful sense of the legacy’s that the Tetons and Harrison are teaching my son which ,like me, will remain with him for his lifetime. Thank you
    Mike Wujek

  8. Hi Mike, Thanks for the note. If your son is one of the people in the photo near the top, please let me know and I will identify him. I know the names of about half of them right now. I spoke with a few of the volunteers and each one of them seemed to be having a good time, even though some people might consider it “work”. But, of course, I’m preaching to the choir if you already helped on a project. I definitely considered volunteering to help, but this seemed like a time I could be of more value taking photos of the operation and adding the information to a page on the Internet for all to enjoy. I hope they will let me stain the new window with some black walnut powder stain to match the right one. That’s something right up my alley from working on all the wooden signs we made here in Jackson.

  9. Sue Ernisse

    Mike Wujek your son is very knowledgeable and polite. He’s leading the team on stabilizing the pump house at the Reed Moulton place. I’m very impressed with him. No doubt he’ll go far!

  10. Randy Isaacson

    Mike, good info on Mormon Row. I was at the Bar BC Ranch on Saturday and it looked like they were doing some renovation there. There were stacks of wood and some other construction signs. Bar BC Ranch would be a nice addition to the history of the park if they cleaned it up and did a little road repair. Do you know anything about that ranch?

  11. Randy, Check out this earlier post: Bar BC Dude Ranch

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