Thousand Springs Festival delights hundreds

By Mychel Matthews (view original article)

HAGERMAN — Ritter Island State Park was filled Saturday with art, song and food. And people. Lots of people.

Despite that pesky Idaho wind, folks from as far away as Seattle flocked to the 24th annual Thousand Springs Festival of Arts, which continues Sunday until 5 p.m.

The festival features dozens of artists and craftsmen selling pottery, jewelry, soap and oils, herbs, paintings and photographs. Visitors can hold a reptile from the Herrett Center, take a gander at raptors from the Birds of Prey Center, ride canoes in the Snake River or ride around the island in a horse-drawn wagon.

Thousands Springs has become a tradition for many, including artists and visitors.

Kathy Sorensen came from Seattle to attend the festival. Her friend Glenda Gibson hosts a “Thousand Springs” party every year. They wouldn’t miss it, they said.

Twin Falls framer Ron Hicks and his son Jason Hicks joined forces to sell their artwork at the festival. The father offers his pastel landscapes for sale, while the son sells his whimsical “3D frescoes” resembling colorful imaginary creatures.

Much of their work is inspired by nature, streams and fly fishing, Jason Hicks said. “The local scenes are very personal to us.”

Charles Trainor of Boise manned the Mud Pie Arts Pottery booth, while his wife, artist Patricia Sadler, was away.

“I do the lugging and carrying,” Trainor said. “I’m the muscle and she’s the brains.”

Melodee Sather also brought pottery from Boise. Sather’s a registered nurse at Borah High School.

“I used to do oil paintings,” she said. But her husband gave her a pottery wheel for Mother’s Day one year. She hasn’t touched a brush since, except to paint glazes and details on her pottery.

Rhonda and John Hanzel of Boise come every year. She likes “the craft stuff, but my husband likes the beer and music.”

Boise photographer David Day prints his work on various surfaces, including metal and wood.

“I do a lot of festivals and this is my favorite,” Day said, while showing off some of his images.

Sunday’s entertainment includes Sons of Thunder Mountain, Gayle Chapman and Jason Buckalew Dueling, Steve Eaton, and the Wilson-Fairchild duo.

In addition, J.C. Kilgore demonstrates blacksmithing, and Roy Mason demonstrates watercolor painting. Children have their own corner where they can paint a pumpkin, courtesy of Mike and Marie Heath of M&M Heath Farms.

The festival “is a really fun family activity,” Carolyn White, executive director of the Magic Valley Arts Council, said. The arts council is overseeing the festival this year for the first time.

The arts council “will bring a lot of new energy to the event while continuing the things that have made it a perennial favorite and a success,” land trust President Jack C. Kulm said.

“We’re partnering with the Southern Idaho Land Trust to manage the festival,” White said. “We feel it fits our mission, so we’ve jumped in with both feet.”

Hagerman Sheep Monument

Curious Mind: Hagerman Sheep Monument pays tribute to once-thriving wool growing industry

By Kimberly Williams Brackett (view original article)

Q: Hagerman has a point of interest — a bronze sculpture of a pioneer sheepherder. Why?

A: “The Hagerman sheepherder statue was bought and erected by Bill Jones, a local sheepherder. He wanted to do something to honor the sheep industry in Hagerman, Idaho,” said Kaitlyn Werlinger with the Idaho Wool Growers Association.

The monument was put up by Bill Jones. “He is the one that paid for sculpturing the monument,” said Leroy Jazwick, Hagerman Valley Historical Society Museum treasurer. It was commissioned by John W. “Bill” Jones Jr. and his wife Deloris. He contributed the funds for the memorial in memory of his parents, Johnny and Ethel Jones and other pioneer sheep families. Jones also provided the land for its construction.

Jones’s parents arrived in the Hagerman area about 1904-05. Eventually he acquired his own sheep ranch south of Hagerman. Johnny ran sheep on winter desert pasture and trailed them to summer grazing allotments above Ketchum. His son Bill carried on the sheep ranching tradition until 1980.

As a life-long resident of Hagerman, Jones will be celebrating his 90th birthday in August.

Jazwick said, “It was done by Danny Edwards in Twin Falls.” Twin Falls’ renowned sculptor Danny Edwards created the larger than life-size bronze sculpture depicting a sheepherder, his horse, dog, and several sheep which honors early area sheepherder families, called “Trailin’ Home.”

According to an article published in the Hagerman Valley Press, Jones and his wife visited a sheep operation in Argentina decades ago and were impressed by a monument to a gaucho and his flock, and the idea for Hagerman’s monument was born.

In the late 1800’s, sheepherders in the Idaho Territory worked in the Hagerman Valley. The majority of sheepherders were Basque. A herder and his Australian Shepherd or Border Collie sheepdog could handle a band of 1,500 to 2,000 sheep.

The Hagerman Valley was an attractive wintering location for sheep ranching because of plentiful year-round spring water that didn’t freeze due to milder winters and protection from harsh early spring storms during lambing. In addition there were many acres of irrigated land that produced alfalfa and grain for winter feed.

An inscription on the monument reports “In 1882 the Oregon Short Line arrived in Shoshone and Bliss. This provided a means of getting wool and sheep to market which led to enormous growth in sheep numbers. Bliss became a major shipping center for the Jarbidge and Three Creek areas, and had a large shearing plant. A branch line was quickly extended to Ketchum and Hill City by 1884. By 1914 over 300,000 sheep were being trailed through Ketchum. Hill City and Ketchum were two of the largest sheep shipping centers in the U.S.”

Hill City is in Camas County.

By 1900 sheep had become the principal livestock industry in southern Idaho, and by the late 1920s was considered the golden age of sheep ranching. “During World War II, sheep ranching began to decline, due to the difficulty of finding capable herders, diminished interest in lamb as meat, the introduction of synthetic materials to compete with wool and reduced rangeland for grazing,” states an inscription.

This monument is owned and maintained by the Hagerman Valley Historical Society. “It’s just outside of town going towards Bliss right on the edge of town,” said Jazwick. The monument is located at the north end of Hagerman on the west side of US-30 at 2622 Martin Dr., Hagerman.
The monument was dedicated on June 29, 2013, said Jazwick.