Sun Valley, Ketchum, and the Wood River Valley

John W. Lundin (Author)
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Sun Valley and Ketchum are in Idaho's Wood River Valley, gateway to backcountry and wilderness areas. Settlers first arrived in the early 1880s, attracted by a silver rush. In 1883, the railroad connected the valley to the world beyond its borders and brought in outside capital. During the silver depression of the 1890s, mining was replaced by sheep raising, and the area later shipped more sheep than anywhere except Australia. In 1936, during the Great Depression, Union Pacific board chairman Averell Harriman built Sun Valley, the country's first destination ski resort, spending $2.5 million in two years ($45 million today). Sun Valley offered a lavish lifestyle, a luxurious lodge, Austrian ski instructors, and chairlifts invented by Union Pacific engineers. Known as America's St. Moritz, it was a magnet for beautiful people and serious skiers. It had a monopoly on grandeur for decades and influenced ski areas that developed later. Subsequent owners Bill Janss and the Holding family expanded and improved Sun Valley, making it one of the world's premier year-round resorts.

Product Details

$21.99  $20.23
Arcadia Publishing (SC)
Publish Date
June 29, 2020
6.5 X 9.2 X 0.3 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

The great-grandson of early Wood River Valley pioneers, John W. Lundin is an attorney, historian and author. He has written extensively on the histories of Washington and the Wood River Valley. In 2018, his book Early Skiing on Snoqualmie Pass received an award as outstanding regional ski history book from the International Ski History Association. John is a founder of the Washington State Ski & Snowboard Museum and serves on its board. His website is