Tuesday, July 27, 2021
 
 
Arborglyphs Sign Honors Ketchum’s Sheepherding Heritage
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The signs notes that sheepherder carvings feature names, dates, art and poems that reflect Idaho’s living traditions.
   
Sunday, June 20, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

A new sign honoring the Sun Valley area’s sheepherding heritage has been installed at Ketchum’s Forest Service Park.

The sign honoring Sheepherder Arborglyps was funded by a Legends & Lore Historic Signage Grant form the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.

The grants are used to promote cultural tourism and commemorate legends and folklore as part of a community's heritage.

Arborglyphs are aspen tree carvings left by the sheepherders during their time spent tending sheep in the mountains and forests of Idaho's Wood River Valley.  Many of the arborglyphs were carved more than 50 years ago and are fading away as the trees age and the bark deteriorates.

  "Preserving this special part of our community's history is very important to us and we are privileged to have received this grant to permanently honor this legacy," shared Laura Musbach Drake, Trailing of the Sheep Festival's executive director.

"The arborglyphs on the trees will allow many to learn about our roots,” quipped Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw.

Sheep have been trailing through the Wood River Valley for more than a century. And the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, which celebrates that heritage, is observing its golden anniversary this year.

 The festival, which will be held Oct. 6-10 this year, includes a guided arborglyphs tour and hike north of Ketchum after the Trailing of the Sheep Parade each year. The five-day Festival also includes non-stop activities, including Sheep Folklife Fair, lamb culinary offerings, wool classes and workshops, music, dance, storytelling and championship Sheepdog Trials.

 For information and tickets, visit www.trailingofthesheep.org

 

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