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Historic Luther Taylor Cabin Repaired After Vandalism

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avatar Historic Luther Taylor Cabin Repaired After Vandalism
January 30, 2015 05:37PM
Spray-painted graffiti on an important cultural site in Grand Teton National Park was recently removed through an extensive cleanup effort.

Sometime last September, the Luther Taylor homestead cabin, located along the Gros Ventre Road between Kelly Warm Springs and the eastern boundary of the park, was defaced with graffiti.

A black and blue spray-painted depiction of a devilish creature wearing a crown was discovered by a park visitor on the inside wall of the homestead cabin and reported to park law enforcement rangers. The subsequent investigation yielded no suspects and provided inconclusive answers as to the possible source or meaning of the graffiti.

Historic preservationists from both Grand Teton and the Western Center for Historic Preservation painstakingly removed the graffiti in mid-December, though evidence of the damage remains.

Their efforts were largely successful, though some paint remained in the cracks and crevices of the wood. Unfortunately, the cleaning process also removed the 100-year-old gray patina from the logs. To remedy this problem and return the cabin wall to its historic appearance, park cultural resource specialists plan to use a wood product that will help accelerate the ageing process along with exposure to sunlight and moisture.

The site was originally homesteaded in 1916 by John Erwin and purchased by Luther Taylor in 1923, who built a cabin and outbuildings. The culturally significant site is now famous for its appearance in the 1953 western film Shane, starring Alan Ladd. In fact, the site is commonly recognized as the “Shane cabin.” Though currently in a state of decay, this site is eligible for—and soon to be listed on—the National Register of Historic Places.

Anyone with knowledge about this act of vandalism is encouraged to call Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3301. Callers can remain anonymous.
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