Church, Settlement, Residents, Farming
Star Valley is a small community on the western side of Wyoming,
today consisting of the towns Alpine, Afton, Thayne, and others.
The area, sometimes known as “Little Switzerland,” is a thriving
community with a newfound focus on tourism and other businesses
and services. Star Valley was originally settled by pioneers from the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1870s. At the time
the area was considered the frontier of settlement in the American
West, in which, according to one current Star Valley resident, “people
were just trying to eke out a living.” With harsh winters and snow so
deep that it completely covered fences and signposts, survival was difficult.
Star Valley was sometimes known in those early times as “Starve
Valley,” and residents would often have to snowshoe for miles to bring
their families flour from the railhead. Residents tended to be farmers
with large families who relied on their own farming and cattle for food
and sustenance. This resulted in a large number of farmers becoming
involved in dairy farming, which would become even more significant
in later years.
Carlile, Alexandra; Callister, Adam; and Galbraith, Quinn
"Ernest Brog: Bringing Swiss Cheese To Star Valley, Wyoming,"
Swiss American Historical Society Review: Vol. 56:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/sahs_review/vol56/iss1/2