Four years in the making, two local historians and authors are announcing their collaborative effort that dives deep into this region’s homestead and ranch history in the Green River’s northern drainages.
This week, Anne Chamber Noble with Jonita Sommers reviewed the final proofs of “Homesteading and Ranching in the Upper Green River Valley,” which is due in many Sublette County outlets as of Dec. 16 – just in time for Christmas.
It comes with glowing tributes by Wyoming author C.J. Box and former Gov. Dave Freudenthal.
“The book is organized as it should be: drainage by drainage, creek by creek, all flowing eventually into the mighty Green River,” Box writes. “The people who established homes and ranches in this epic isolated region were flinty, courageous, violent and sometimes a little mad.”
Both Noble and Sommers are from longtime cattle ranching families with generations invested in making successes off the land. Both have deep roots in local history, serve on history-related boards and are always writing another book.
The book carries into the present day by explaining how hardships of ranch life have evolved for many who love their landscapes into a modern conservation movement.
“A ‘must’ read for those seeking to understand the American West,” Freudenthal writes. “And a wonderful adventure for anyone who cherishes our land and wildlife resources.”
Noble and her husband Carroll David Noble raised their four daughters on the Noble homestead in Cora. She is on the state review board of the National Register of Historic Places.
Sommers is a fourth-generation cattle rancher, also on her family’s homestead on the Green River near Pinedale. There she and brother Albert Sommers donated original
Ann Chambers Noble shares a preview of the new book’s final proof.
JOY UFFORD PHOTOS
buildings to the Sublette County Historical Society to establish the Sommers Homestead Living History Museum
“The book begins in Kendall Valley on the Upper Green and continues all the way down to the Big Sandy,” Noble said, showing off glossy pages of historical footnotes, maps, brands, anecdotes and hundreds of old black-and-white photos, many never before published.
Between each chapter, mostly local photographers’ “portfolios” present dramatic contemporary perspectives taken by David Rule, Mark Gocke, Ronald A. Chilcote, Elizabeth Boehm, Rita Donham, Isaac Spotts, Arnie Brokling and Curtis S. Anderson.
The two authors note in the preface: “This is also the story of the generations of ranchers and their families, and their ongoing challenges. The successful ranchers, on successful homesteads, now preserve a precious commodity: open space. They are also creating and saving critical wildlife habitat and migration routes. This book is a tribute to the homesteaders and the ranchers who are the conservationists for much of the Upper Green River Valley.
“Some of these ranches are now being assisted in maintaining these valuable commodities with the benefit of conservation easements held by various land trusts. This
Rancher David Noble rides in one of the book’s many large photos, with a saying by Capitola Looney Fear: ‘No cowboys ever tamed the West, they just learned to live with it.’
book is a fundraiser for the Green River
Valley Program of the Jackson Hole Land Trust. The Land Trust has assisted ranches, many on original family homesteads, preserve open space and wildlife habitat. With additional funds, the Land Trust work can continue its preservation work.”
Public readings and book signings are unfortunately delayed due to coronavirus
concerns. Instead, both authors will autograph copies before they are distributed to local outlets including both Obo’s Markets, both Office Outlet stores, the Cowboy Shop, Just Imagine and The Great Outdoor Shop.
“Homesteading and Ranching in the Upper Green River Valley” is $55 and can be ordered online at www. LagunaWildernessPress.com.