Wyoming Tie and Timber Company's railroad tie-cutting operation in the Shoshone National Forest near Dubois profoundly affected the economy of the Upper Wind River Valley for nearly 40 years.Between 1914 and 1946, Scandinavian loggers known as tie hacks produced over 10 million hand-hewn ties that were floated 100 miles down the Wind River to Riverton in massive weeks-long drives. A wooden flume constructed to carry the ties from the mountains to the river was considered a marvel of engineering at the time, and large sections of the flume are still visible today.The Scandinavian tie hacks also brought their culture and traditions to the tiny community growing up along the Wind River. Dubois' annual spring Swedish Smorgasbord is a legacy of the tie hacks.The exploits of the hard-working tie hacks when they came into Dubois also became local legends. Tie hacks worked all winter in deep snow and bitter cold, and they played as hard as they worked when they came into town.
The river tie drives ended in 1946 as the importance of railroads waned. Ties were trucked down from the mountains to Riverton for a few more years, but a colorful era had come to an end. Today, a memorial west of Dubois plays tribute to the rugged Scandinavian tie hacks.