3 Creek Ranch History

Escape to Somewhere Exceptional

Wide-open spaces and a bold spirit of adventure have always lived in this northwest corner of Wyoming.
Fur-trapping, journeys of Shoshoni Indians, rodeo riders, and cattle drives—all are a part of Jackson Hole's rich heritage, yet it's the rugged mountain explorers that historians remember most.

The fondness for beaver top hats by gentlemen in Europe sent these early-day trappers and explorers to the Rocky Mountains in search of the prized pelts. This low-lying valley surrounded by steep mountains, called a "hole" by fur traders, was a favorite spot of trapper Davey Jackson. And so, in 1829, it being customary to name a place for the trapper who worked there most frequently, the name Jackson Hole was born.

The History of 3 Creek Ranch

The Early Years (1920s-1940s) - The Wilson/Simpson Family as told by Rebecca Fleet, daughter to Effie Wilson and Earl Simpson.

Effie Wilson was the first child of European descent born in Jackson Hole. Effie was first married to Don Imeson, a diabetic, who died in 1918 during the flu epidemic. She had two children with Don - Iris and Don. Effie passed away in 1963 and now rests in the South Park Cemetery that looks north over the ranch.

Earl Simpson was born in the back of a wagon going through Nebraska. He also was married before, that ended in divorce. They had one child, Zelma who passed away on December 6, 2006.

Effie Wilson and Earl Simpson, the previous owners of this ranch, had five children: Verna, John, Rebecca, Doris and Lea. Rebecca Simpson Fleet, born in 1928 and now 77 years old, is the only surviving sibling. She lives in Oregon with her husband Loren Fleet and visits Jackson Hole often.

In the summer of 2005 Rebecca emailed the sales team explaining her connection to the ranch and asked if she could visit the property on her upcoming visit. With much excitement, we welcomed her back to the Ranch and enjoyed a day exploring the grounds that she remembered as a young child. It is from this meeting and subsequent conversations that we have gathered the following memories and history. We thank Rebecca for her extraordinary help in relaying the legacy of this property to current and future owners alike.

During this period, the ranch was mainly used to produce hay crops. The Simpsons had 21 horses and utilized beaver slides, a process that is now rarely used in the valley, except for the Porter Estate adjacent to 3 Creek Ranch. In 1939 Earl Simpson decided to sell the ranch and moved to Sunnyslope, Idaho, where the farming was more productive.

Unbeknownst to many current owners is the existence of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp and a Federal Fish Hatchery on what today is considered Estate Site 45. During Rebecca's visit we walked around the area and found several foundations and an outhouse still intact. You can also see the large cement pools used for the fish hatchery.

Rebecca has many wonderful childhood memories from the ranch and plans to share them with 3 Creek Ranch owners and the Jackson Hole Historical Society. All photos have been identified by Rebecca and either came courtesy of her private collection or the collection at the Historical Society.

“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains.”
Legendary Naturalist John Muir
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