Friday, June 23, 2006

Blaine County honors living history

Express Staff Writer

Four Blaine County women will be crowned on Sunday, June 25, during a lively and community spirited coronation at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey. The Blaine County Museum's Heritage Court pageant is free and includes entertainment by Footlight Dance Centre and a barbershop quartet from Twin Falls called Give and Take. They will each be escorted by the mayors of their respective cities.

"It's a way of saying, 'Thank you,'" said Laura Hall, a member of the museum's board of directors and Heritage Court director. "Men got a lot of glory in those years, but behind every man there was a woman. They did the gardens, washed the clothes and had very full lives.

"Long before the developers came or Sun Valley came, there were these wonderful little communities. This is who lived here and had the storybook Western lifestyle."

The women—Alba Arndt of Hailey, Merline Farnworth of Carey, Bebe Haemmerle of Ketchum and Chyrstal Harper of Bellevue—are being honored for having influenced their communities in a positive and community-minded way.

A librarian for 10 years and a teacher in Hailey and other Blaine County schools for 20 years, Arndt, 96, was nominated by the Souper Supper, for which she has been active for years.

An early career woman, Farnworth, 78, was born in Carey, raised three children there and commuted to Hailey for 12 years to work as an accountant for an insurance company. She currently writes a regular column for the Carey Senior Center, which nominated her.

Nominated by the Community Library, Haemmerle, 83, was one of the six founding members of the Papoose Club and helped raise money for playground equipment at Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum. She was active in the parent-teacher association and volunteered by helping collect lunch money and driving children to various school activities.

Harper, 100, was nominated by the Blaine County Senior Connection. Last year, she was the grand marshal of Bellevue's Labor Day Parade. For 55 years, she was a member of the local Rebekahs Lodge and held every office in the lodge, including 35 years as the treasurer.


The primary sponsors of this year's Heritage Court are D.L. Evans Bank, Dick and Connie Porter, Mountain West Bank and the Ketchum and Hailey Rotaries.

"They came through for us blazing," Hall said. "We're just tickled pink."

The Ladies of the Heritage Court can also be seen riding in the Days of the Old West Parade on the Fourth of July in Hailey, the Bellevue Labor Day Parade, and the Ketchum Wagon Days Parade.


A Legacy of Ladies

· 2006 Blaine County Heritage Court Coronation.

·  Liberty Theatre in Hailey,

·  3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 25.

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