The Community Library in Ketchum took ownership last week of the home that once belonged to Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Mary. The library announced plans to implement a multifaceted program to honor the famous author’s legacy.
The Hemingway Initiative will include a writer’s residency program, educational outreach and preservation and annual lectures and seminars that celebrate one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.
“Mary Hemingway expressed a wish for the house to be preserved as a ‘nature reference library,’ and now that the Community Library owns the house, we are thinking a lot about that phrase and how it suggests a contemplative place, embedded in the natural environment, connected to literary resources,” Community Library Executive Director Jenny Emery Davidson said in an interview.
The transfer of ownership after 30 years of stewardship by The Nature Conservancy was celebrated by a small crowd Thursday at the Hemingway house, which is on a private road and overlooks the Big Wood River north of Warm Springs Road in Ketchum.
In 2015, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Due to its secluded location, and the sensitivity of neighbors, it has never been open to the public. The library will create a virtual tour of the house for online visitors, Davidson said.
Ernest Hemingway’s son Jack worked with The Nature Conservancy during the state organization’s early years, helping to create and protect Silver Creek Preserve in southern Blaine County after he was appointed to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission by then Gov. Cecil Andrus.
Artifacts from the house will be integrated into the library’s regional history collection. They will be made accessible to the public through periodic displays at the library and its associated museum, as well as through research…