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About this collection

In 1926, John S. “Dad” and Maytie Turner relocated from Utah to Wyoming and purchased the Triangle X Ranch, becoming the first generation of Turners on the ranch. Located in the eastern part of the Valley (near Moose), the ranch boasts sweeping views of the Grand Teton mountain range. The Turners welcomed their first guest on the Triangle X the next spring. In 1930, the Turners (along with many others in the Jackson Hole area) sold their property to the Snake River Land Company and leased back the ranch. In 1950, the ranch was incorporated into Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) when Laurence Rockefeller donated his Snake River holdings to the existing park.


Dad and Maytie Turner’s oldest son, John Charles Turner (second generation), took over the ranch when other family members moved to the Buffalo River to begin new dude ranching ventures. A skilled marksman, John introduced hunting camps to the Triangle X. He married the dynamic Louise Mapes and together they grew the Triangle X into a thriving dude ranch. Their three sons Harold Mapes Turner, John Freeland Turner, and Donald Mapes Turner (third generation) inherited the ranch. They grew up on the ranch, learning the impressive “Turner hospitality” from their parents, and with their wives, Berniece, Mary Kay and Anne, they expertly stewarded the ranch and the land.


Today, Robert Turner (Harold’s son) and Lucas Turner (Don’s son), the fourth generation, manage the ranch (with support from Harold and John F.). Along with their wives, Amanda and Lauren, and children (fifth generation), and during the summers some of their siblings, cousins, and nieces and nephews, Robert and Lucas continue the tradition of welcoming guests at the Triangle X for trail rides, pack trips, hunting trips, and float trips. As managers of the oldest and only operating dude ranch in the GTNP, the Turner family has hosted guests (some for over forty years!) at the Triangle X for more than ninety years.


In the summer of 2017, the Turners graciously welcomed eight Utah State University and three University of Wyoming students to document the historic Triangle X as part of a Library of Congress Field School for Cultural Documentation. The Field School is a collaboration between Utah State University (USU), the University of Wyoming, and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (LOC). In 2015, USU partnered with the LOC to host a field school to collect the oral histories of Cache Valley Utah refugee community members. 


This collection houses the products from the Triangle X fieldwork, including 23 interviews (audio, full transcripts, and photographs) with members of the Turner family (third, fourth, and fifth generations), Triangle X employees, and guests. Also included are photographs from events, buildings at the ranch, and the field school.


The collection has a digital exhibit and an archival (EAD) guide.


The field school was generously funded by the Utah State University English Department, Utah State University Folklore Program, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Utah State University Fife Folklore Archives, Utah State University Library, Utah State University Special Collections and Archives, University of Wyoming-National Park Service Small Grants Program, the University of Wyoming American Studies Program, the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, and the Utah State University Mountain West Center for Regional Studies.


This project received USU Institutional Review Board approval, Protocol Number 8533; principal investigator: Randy Williams.






View the individual audio, transcript, and photographs for our interviewees and topics:

Field School



  • Bethany Budge, Jessica Cushenberry, Ross Garner, Rebecca Goodson, CJ Guadarrama, Alexander Hodel, Michelle Jones, Amelia Mathews-Pett, Kylie Schroeder, Elizabeth Setterberg, Rebekah Westrup (Field School students): Fieldwork (interviews, recordist, photographer), transcription, metadata
  • Lisa Gabbert (Director, Folklore Program, USU): Field School faculty, interviewer, photographer, metadata
  • Andrea Graham (Folklife Specialist, University of Wyoming American Studies Program): Field School faculty, interviewer, photographer, metadata
  • Susan Gross (Susan Gross Oral History Transcription Services): Transcription
  • Margaret Kruesi (Metadata Specialist, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress): Field School faculty, interviewer, metadata
  • Andrea Payant (Metadata Librarian, USU Library): Digital collection (CONTENTdm) management, landing page support and management
  • Darcy Pumphrey (Digital Coordinator, USU Library): Digital Collection landing page support
  • LaLine Ray (Computer Technician, USU Library): Technical support
  • Carrie Reed (Transcriptionist): Transcription
  • Guha Shankar (Program Specialist, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress): Field School faculty, recordist, photographer
  • Kylie Schroeder (Fife Folklore Archive Intern): Transcript review/edits, metadata entry, digital exhibit creation
  • Sara Skindelien (Metadata Coordinator Special Collections, USU Library): Metadata management, image conversion, audio conversion, naming review and revisions
  • Mikkel Skinner (Graphic Designer, USU Library): Landing page graphic design
  • Spencer Tart (Cataloging Assistant, USU Library ) Audio conversion
  • Harold Turner (Triangle X Ranch): Community partner
  • Randy Williams (Fife Folklore Archives Curator and Oral History Program Director, Special Collections & Archives, USU Library): Field School faculty, interviewer, photographer, metadata, transcript management, review and revision, landing page text, collection processing, and digital collection project director


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