Friday, July 15, 2005

Hundreds of sites make historic property list

Express Staff Writer

Amid Ketchum's scramble of new development, hundreds of fragments of history are waiting to tell their stories.

Cultural resource consultant Claudia Walsworth and photographer Jeanne Flowers presented to the Ketchum Historic Preservation Commission Wednesday preliminary results of a windshield survey of historic sites and properties.

"There's a lot more than we ever dreamed existed," Walsworth said.

After two months of conducting the reconnaissance survey, the research duo came up with 220 properties potentially worthy of recognition. Of those, approximately 30 are considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Walsworth compiled three lists: one for the city that includes all old properties and sites; one naming sites that could be eligible for National Trust for Historic Preservation listing; and one with sites that could be listed with the registry in five years.

Sites that could be NTHP eligible range from the obvious—Forest Service Park and Ketchum Korral, to the mostly buried and long forgotten—remnants of an old toll road, remains of a rope tow on Penny Mountain and the cement foundation of the Elkhorn tram site, which the team discovered this week.

Buildings that have been modified typically are not acceptable for the national registry, but they could be listed on a city registry, Walsworth said.

The city of Ketchum received a Certified Local Government grant to fund the survey, which should be complete by Aug. 1.

Commission discusses plaques for historic properties

In considering a grant request for 2006, the Ketchum Historic Preservation Commission opted during their monthly meeting this week to seek funds for plaques to mark historic properties.

Plaques are estimated to cost between $260 and $310, according to Commission chair Jim Ruscitto. Plaque recipients could be asked to pay for half that amount.

Additional funds received could fund an updated walking tour brochure, the commission decided.

The city will apply in September for a Certified Local Government grant. The money comes from the Department of the Interior and is allocated through the state.

Grants must be matched with local money or in-kind hours.

Last year's request is funding this summer's "windshield survey," by cultural resource consultant Claudia Walsworth. The survey will identify Ketchum sites deemed worth of preservation.

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