The Hatchet Resort derived its name from the Hatchet Cattle Ranch, which was originally made up of five homesteads. The ranch was named the Hatchet because the original homesteaders, who put down roots in the area during the late 1800s and early 1900s, used a hatchet brand on their cattle.
The original 800-acre Hatchet property begins at the cattle guard on the highway near the resort and extends for two miles on both sides of the road toward the Teton Range. It is surrounded by national forest. In 1950, the ranch was purchased by W.B. Campbell, a Kansas oil man. Upon completion of the nearby highway through his ranch, Campbell built the Hatchet Motel in 1954 with lodge pole pine logs taken from the nearby national forest.
After being sold to other parties throughout the years, the Hatchet’s final fate was decided on November 17, 1998, in the most dangerous of forums – a public bankruptcy auction. In direct competition with a developer, the current resort owners partnered with the Jackson Hole Land Trust to purchase the resort and an adjacent 30-acre meadow.
This partnership permanently protected important wildlife habitat and the scenic integrity of the site while allowing resort operations to continue on seven acres. The Hatchet Resort project shines as an example in which an appropriate balance was struck between development and conservation – where the two truly complement one another.