The Real Reason Jackson Wyoming Built Those Arches
The antler arches at the entrances to the main square in Jackson Wyoming have become not just a local, or state landmark, but they are recognized worldwide.
So what exactly inspired them?
For the longest time, antlers littered the area as they were shed at the end of each season, and the locals considered them a nuisance.
They were a safety risk as they lay under the snow or hidden by the tall grass of summer.
They had zero value.
The arch idea was proposed as a place to put unwanted antlers.
So the elk refuge and the local boy scouts struck a deal.
The boy scouts collected the antlers and gave them to the local Rotary club.
The first antler arch was constructed in 1953 through the efforts and fundraising of the Jackson Hole Rotary Club.
By the late 1960s, the other three antler arches came into existence and completed the project.
But the antlers in the arches became damaged over time, by tourists picking at them, stealing them. Wyoming's extreme weather damaged them.
In 2006 the Rotary Club began replacing the structures altogether with newly formed arches.
What you see in Jackson today are not the original arches. Arches will have to be replaced every so often.
There are 14,000 pounds of antlers per arch.
By 2015 the final arch reconstruction was completed and the new adornments are expected to last at least another 50 years.
Now, antlers are so popular and valuable that each year Jackson holds Elk Fest.
Auctions are held for antlers and the proceeds are split between the elk refuge and the boy scouts.
Antlers are now seen as valuable.
They are used for decoration and even medicinal purposes.