One should really trace the history of Jackson, Wyoming back seven million years, when earthquakes began carving out the Teton Mountains. However, a more relevant history of Jackson starts in the 1800s, when John Colter made his way through what is now the Jackson Hole valley. His report of the area caught the attention of fur companies, who saw the American West as an ideal place for hunting and trapping. Colter who had been a member of the Corps od Discovery led by lewis and Clark was in the valley at the bequest of Manual Lisa. Later a man named Davey Jackson was a mere trapper when he came to the valley, but later bought out the Ashley fur company and sold it for a profit. One of Jackson’s business partners named the valley Jackson’s Hole in his honor, and the “apostrophe-s” was later abandoned.
Jackson Hole remained mostly wilderness until the 1862 passage of the Homestead Act, which distributed land grants in the western United States in hopes of furthering the region’s development. Settlers who came seeking free land for their cattle established Jackson as a ranching town. Throughout the rest of the 19th century and into the 20th, Jackson grew as a center for cattle farming and, increasingly, tourism.
By the time the surrounding Tetons were declared a national park in 1929, then expanded to it's current size in 1950 tourism had surpassed ranching as Jackson’s source of income. Today, over two million tourists come every year to experience Jackson Hole’s natural beauty and enjoy its unique place in American frontier history.