board developing plan
Group seeks to preserve
historic Ketchum property
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
The board of directors of the Idaho
Hemingway House Foundation—the group charged with overseeing the one-time
Ketchum residence of acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway—have embarked on a
campaign to preserve the prized property well into the future.
Members of the board, which includes
Hemingway’s granddaughter Mariel Hemingway and her husband Steve Crisman,
gathered last week in downtown Ketchum to discuss their goals for maintaining
The Hemingway House sits on 13 acres of
otherwise undeveloped land northwest of central Ketchum. With approximately a
mile of frontage on the Big Wood River, the property is the largest single
parcel of undeveloped land within the Ketchum city limits.
Hemingway first visited Idaho in 1939. He
bought his Ketchum residence in 1959.
Mary Hemingway, wife and widow of
Hemingway, bequeathed the house and surrounding land to The Nature Conservancy
in 1986. TNC officials later developed concerns that their organization, which
focuses on the preservation of pristine landscapes and ecosystems, is not well
suited to manage a historic building such as the Hemingway House.
Eventually, the nonprofit Idaho Hemingway
House Foundation was formed. The foundation has developed a memorandum of
understanding with TNC, and is presently negotiating a 99-year lease for the
house and surrounding property.
The Hemingway House today appears much the
same as it did when Hemingway committed suicide in 1961, with many of the
original furnishings, books and memorabilia decorating its interior.
The Idaho Hemingway Foundation last week
announced several significant goals:
Restoring the house to its 1961 condition, both internally and externally.
Maintaining the house and grounds while ensuring that the surrounding land
continues to be an undeveloped nature preserve.
Developing a limited number of small, high-quality academic programs in
conjunction with the University of Idaho that focus on Hemingway’s life,
writing and interest in the natural world.
Working with neighbors and the city of Ketchum to provide limited public
access to the house, while still respecting the solitude and beauty of the
area. · Developing a detailed fund-raising plan to restore and maintain the
Foundation directors are expected to meet
regularly in the future to promote their goals, the group’s publicist said.