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Jim Jaquet, in the ball cap, lists the notables in the Ketchum Cemetery. “The people at the Knob Hill Inn next door like to tell people you can get a good night’s sleep because the neighbors are quiet,� he added.

Bus Tour Teaches Ketchum and Sun Valley History STORY & PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

D

o you know why they built the Sun Valley Lodge out of concrete, rather than the abundant pine nearby? Do you know where Ernest Hemingway had his last supper? You can learn the answers to those questions and more on the Sun Valley Story Tour. The free tour departs by bus every Friday at 3:45 p.m. from the Sun Valley Visitor Center at 491 Sun Valley Road in Ketchum. It passes by such sites as The Christiania restaurant where Hemingway and his wife Mary shared one last supper before the author took his life; the home of Horace Lewis, who ran the iconic ore wagons up and down the steep Trail Creek Road; and the site of the original Sun Valley rodeo. Ketchum’s historical society started the tours this summer to offer visitors a way to learn more about Ketchum and Sun Valley. “And we thought it would be a good way to increase the profile of the Ketchum-Sun Valley Heritage and Ski Museum,� said Sharon Wellsandt, who takes turns leading tours with her husband John Wellsandt, Jim and Wendy Jaquet and Bob and Lynne Nicholson. On one Friday afternoon, tourgoers hailing from places like Bonneville, Utah, and New York City crowded into the Glamour Room—an old bank vault in the visitor center turned into a display of Hemingway memorabilia. There, tour guide Jim Jaquet handed out free packets containing copies of “Sun Valley Magazine,� “101 Things to Do in Sun Valley� and maps and brochures as he answered questions about Hemingway and his wives. “Hemingway’s first three wives were all from St. Louis. Gertrude Stein said anyone who marries three girls from St. Louis hasn’t learned very much,� he quipped. As the bus rolled along, Jaquet recounted how publicist Steve Hannigan coined the Sun Valley name to lure people who might have been afraid the area was too cold. He brought in celebrities and put Sun Valley on the map with the movie “Sun Valley Serenade,� Jaquet said. Ketchum, by contrast, was named for David Ketchum, who was only here a year. There were several prominent people associated with mining for whom the town could have been named, but apparently they didn’t want their name associated with the town, he added. And the postmaster wouldn’t allow the name Leadville, since a Colorado town

Hank Hoeks of The Netherlands listens as tour guide Jim Jaquet describes how Ketchum’s more prominent citizens apparently declined to have their names offered as the town’s namesake. “David Ketchum was only here a year but he seemed to be a nice fellow. People liked the sound of his name, I guess.�

already had claim to that name. Out Warm Springs, Jaquet pointed out Guyer Hot Springs, which provided hot water for the old Bald Mountain Hot Springs in Ketchum. Eventually, the pipes broke and made a tremendous mess, he said. “They built a hotel out here but it burned. When you don’t have a fire department, you need to build in concrete. Averell Harriman learned that lesson and built the Sun Valley Lodge out of concrete,� he said, describing how Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who designed Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel and Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Lodge, had designed the lodge. The original lodge was going to be 120 rooms, but Hannigan said he couldn’t provide publicity for something worth less than $1 million. The finished product was 220 rooms and just over $1 million, Jaquet said. Among those taking the tour was Hailey resident Johanna Sample, who had her husband Russell and her sister and brother-in-law Hank and Helena Hoeks of The Netherlands in tow. “I just think it’s a good idea to learn something about Sun Valley,� she said.

If you go‌

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Free hour-long tours meet at 3:30 p.m. Fridays at the Sun Valley Visitor Center located in Starbucks at Sun Valley Road and East Avenue. Tour-goers board the bus about 3:45 p.m. and head out Warm Springs Road before doubling back to Sun Valley and Elkhorn and finally returning to the Visitor Center. Tour-goers may exit the bus at any point along the way. The tour is offered by the Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society, Sun Valley Magazine and Mountain Rides. tws

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October 17, 2012



October 17, 2012  

a weekly arts and entertainment paper