Interesting History of a Central Southern Idaho Sheepman (Written by Max Marius Ollieu)

Marius August Ollieu, January 1914, Buhl, Idaho

Marius August Ollieu, January 1914, Buhl, Idaho

Theophile Joseph Ollieu rode a ship from France in 1909 at the age of 24 to Ellis Island in New York.  He arrived with 11 cents in his pocket, knowing only French as a spoken language, having a sixth grade education and all the skills of a sheepherder.  He did have a dream that America would provide far more opportunities than his small village beside the Reallon River in the southwest of the French Alps.  The same river where his mother, Honorine Ollieu, interrupted a morning of harvesting grass hay in 1885 to give birth in the shade and fresh grass along the stream bank to her third son, Theophile Joseph.    She returned the following day to continue cutting the tall grass for hay.  Such was the life of a French peasant woman in 1885. 

New York wasn’t a good fit for young Theo*, needless to say.  Too many immigrants meant employers could take advantage of their workers with 12 hour shifts providing just one dollar in wages.  Nevertheless, he stayed until the spring of 1910 before hitching rides west on railway cars across America.  His meager savings were used to purchase beer insaloons for a nickel, which allowed access to their free food snacks. (Read the rest of the story here.)

D.L. EVANS BANK AWARDS $1,000 TO 19TH ANNUAL TRAILING OF THE SHEEP FESTIVAL

HAILEY, Idaho. The Ketchum and Hailey branches of D.L. Evans Bank have announced an award of $1,000 to the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival held each year in the Wood River Valley of Idaho.  The 19th annual event will be held Wednesday, October 7 through Sunday, October 11, 2015.              Local D.L. Evans Bank Hailey branch manager and long-time TOTS board member, Kelli Young, presented Executive Director, Mary Austin Crofts with the check.  “We are excited to support this premier cultural event honoring the arts, history and culture of the west,” said Kelli Young. “My family is Basque and we love this event.”  This year marks the 19th year of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, which is a signature event for Sun Valley.  It has grown into one of the largest Festivals in the Valley; with combined attendance of 23,000 last fall.

 “We are thrilled with D.L. Evans Bank support,” said Executive Director, Mary Austin Crofts.  “Thanks to their generous sponsorship, we will be able to bring top chefs and entertainers to provide another extraordinary celebration this year honoring nineteen years of sharing and preserving our rich and colorful history, heritage and culture with the world.”

Pictured from left to right are Kelli Young, Hailey branch manager, D.L. Evans Bank, and Executive Director Mary Austin Crofts, Trailing of the Sheep Festival.

USA TODAY chooses Trailing of the Sheep Festival for Readers Choice Vote

USA Today has chosen the Trailing of the Sheep Festival as One of the Top Fall Festivals in America (again).  This year they want readers to vote for their favorite travel destination. We need your vote!! You can vote once a day every day until September 28, 2015. Help us win!

https://www.facebook.com/trailingofthesheep

Here is the link:
http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-fall-harvest-festival/trailing-of-the-sheep-festival-hailey-idaho/share/
 

U.S. BANCORP FOUNDATION AWARDS $2,500 TO THE 19th ANNUAL TRAILING OF THE SHEEP FESTIVAL!

U.S. Bancorp Foundation has announced an award of $2,500 to the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival held each year in the Wood River Valley of Idaho.  The 19th annual event will be held Wednesday, October 7 through Sunday, October 11, 2015.

Local U.S. Bank Assistant Vice President, Melissa Humphreys and Charlotte Westendorf, Private Banking Relationship Manager, presented the check to Festival Board President, John Peavey and TOTS Board and staff.

“We are excited to support this premier cultural event honoring the arts, history and culture of the west,” said Mathew Paulson, District Manager for U.S. Bank.  “I love this event.”

This year marks the 19th year of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, which is a signature event for Sun Valley.  It has grown into one of the largest Festivals in the Valley, with combined attendance of 23,000 last fall.

“We are thrilled with U.S. Bancorp Foundation’s support,” said Executive Director, Mary Austin Crofts.  “Thanks to their generous sponsorship, we will be able to bring top chefs and entertainers to provide another extraordinary celebration this year honoring nineteen years of sharing and preserving our rich and colorful history, heritage and culture with the world.”

Pictured are: Front row: Mary Austin Crofts, and Charlotte Westendorf, U.S. Bank. Middle row: Kathi Kimball, Melissa Humphreys, U.S. Bank, John Peavey, Joan Davies. Back row: Laura Drake, Susan Overton Nieves. Photo credit: Sheila Kelley.

Pictured are: Front row: Mary Austin Crofts, and Charlotte Westendorf, U.S. Bank. Middle row: Kathi Kimball, Melissa Humphreys, U.S. Bank, John Peavey, Joan Davies. Back row: Laura Drake, Susan Overton Nieves. Photo credit: Sheila Kelley.

Baxter Black Event A Rousing Success!

On April 4, 2015, nearly 150 people gathered to mingle and enjoy the poetry and colorful stories of nationally recognized cowboy poet and humorist, Baxter Black.  The Sun Valley Inn provided a wonderful evening of food and drink as the perfect backdrop for this entertaining one-man show.  This was one of his last stops on tour in the West as Baxter prepares to take a hiatus from performing.  The Trailing of the Sheep Festival was privileged to be featured as a beneficiary of this show!

You may also wish to read the wonderful article on this event from Karen Bossick of Eye On Sun Valley by clicking the link here: http://eyeonsunvalley.com/Story_Reader.aspx?StoryId=1435.

Pictured in photos below are guests enjoying the evening with Baxter.  From left to right: Baxter with Jerry Seiffert, Pam Morris & Friend; Rick O'Brien & Friends from Producers Livestock Marketing with Baxter;  Danielle & Porter Cooper with Baxter; Shirley & Gordon Rock and Baxter; Board President John & Diane Peavey and Baxter; and The Tibbets with Baxter.

Baxter Black Coming to Sun Valley for His Last Performance

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Yep, you heard it right.  Baxter Black is hanging up his hat from his hectic schedule of performances.  Here is what his website says,  “Baxter will be taking a hiatus from speaking appearances beginning April 1, 2015.  The column, radio program, RFD TV, U.S. Farm Report, sponsor commitments, commercials (audio or video), and book/CD/DVD production and marketing will continue uninterrupted. Reason: Health is good, just 'takin' a break'!”

According to the New York Times, Baxter is the “nation’s most famous cowboy poet.”
He will perform on Saturday, April 4, 2015, in the Limelight Room at the Sun Valley Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho.  It will be a benefit for the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. Tickets will go on sale later in the year.

Trailing of the Sheep Nominated for Idaho Nonprofit Excellence Award

The Trailing of the Sheep Cultural Heritage Center, Inc. is one of 100 Idaho nonprofit organizations that have been nominated for the Idaho Nonprofits Excellence Award. Nominations came from community members across the state.  The Idaho Nonprofit Center represents the interests of 4,800 charitable nonprofits in Idaho with 48,000 employees and 400,000 volunteers who are making a big difference in communities throughout Idaho.

Six organizations will be honored with the 2014 Nonprofit Excellence Award during the Awards Dinner on September 23, 2014 in Boise. For more information go to www.idahononprofits.org.

National Geographic Photographers Coming to the Festival

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National Geographic photographer Jonathan Kingston is hosting a photography workshop during the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. Teaming up with him is former photo editor at National Geographic Traveler and photographer Krista Rossow.

Assignment: Sun Valley is a workshop that will teach students how to photograph a travel magazine assignment from the perspective of two industry professionals.

Whether you want to take your travel images to the next level or begin approaching travel publications, you will learn how to go beyond simply showing what a place looks like to capturing what a place feels like. This workshop is timed to coincide with the famous Trailing of the Sheep Festival to allow for ample variety of subject matter and activity. During the four days you’ll pick a specific story angle and work on your theme each day during critique sessions, culminating with a tightly edited final story. Throughout daily lectures we will discuss how to research and plan for a successful shoot, what art directors are looking for in the images they receive, and how to get the best shots while on location. Using the festival as inspiration, you’ll delve deeper into the local culture to tell the story of what it means to visit the Ketchum/Sun Valley area. For more information on the workshop: http://www.jonathankingston.com/2014/08/08/assignment-sun-valley/

U.S. Bancorp Foundation Awards $2,500 to the 18th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival October 9-12, 2014

Charlotte Westendorf, U.S. Bank, Susan Overton Nieves, Festival coordinator, Mary Austin Crofts, Festival Director and Vaelene Bryant, U.S. Bank

Charlotte Westendorf, U.S. Bank, Susan Overton Nieves, Festival coordinator, Mary Austin Crofts, Festival Director and Vaelene Bryant, U.S. Bank

HAILEY, Idaho, June 12, 2014 — U.S. Bancorp Foundation has announced an award of $2,500 to the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival held each year in the Wood River Valley of Idaho.  The 18th annual event will be held Thursday, October 9 through Sunday, October 12, 2014.

Local U.S. Bank Hailey Branch Manager, Charlotte Westendorf and Ketchum Sales and Service Manager, Vaelene Bryant, presented the check to Festival Director, Mary Austin Crofts and Food and Beverage Director, Susan Overton Nieves this morning.

“We are excited to support this premier cultural event honoring the arts, history and culture of the west,” said Mathew Paulson, District Manager for US, Bank.  “I love this event.”

This year marks the 18th year of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, which is a signature event for Sun Valley.  It has grown into one of the largest Festivals in the Valley; drawing over 19,000 visitors each fall.

“We are thrilled with U.S. Bancorp Foundation’s support,” said Executive Director, Mary Austin Crofts.  “Thanks to their generous sponsorship, we will be able to bring top chefs and entertainers to provide another extraordinary celebration this year honoring eighteen years of sharing and preserving our rich and colorful history, heritage and culture with the world.”

Lasaii to Sponsor "For the Love of Lamb" Friday, October 10, 2014 in Ketchum

Lasaii, a local company that specializes in an alternative way to help finance real estate, is honored to sponsor the lamb for "The Love of Lamb" event at selected restaurants in Ketchum on Friday, October 10th. This free-to-the-public event features some of Ketchums best chef's serving lamb at its tastiest. Lasaii has announced that it is excited to support the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival held each year in the Wood River Valley. Lasaii has been a part of the Wood River Valley community since 1992 and Alberto Uranga, Lasaii's CEO, has been actively involved with the Trailing of the Sheep as a board member and organizer for more than 10 years. To learn more about Lasaii click here.

Celebrating Generations

In 2014, the Trailing of the Sheep Festival begins a three-year program “Celebrating Generations.” The goal is to listen, learn, share and save the memories of our western families — dreamers, all of them, who live and work the land and are the keepers of open space.  

The year begins by honoring the visionaries, those first families who found a piece of western land that matched their dreams. They made it home, made it their life’s work, cared for it and fed the country from its bounty. Their stories are those of the first settlers who never gave up on their dreams. Their stories tell us of what used to be and why they stayed. There is an urgency to listen and collect their memories.

The second year we follow families into today’s hardworking second and third generations, the landowners of today who survive depressions, droughts, fires, pressures of a rapidly developing west that can put them out of business in a heartbeat. Can they hold onto the family vision of open spaces and working landscapes around them against demands their parents could never have foreseen? What are their stories of triumphs and loss?

The third year we look at the next and future generation. Will they hold onto the dream of their parents and grandparents or find an easier life for themselves? They have struggled along side of parents and grandparents, moving cattle, cutting hay. Do they share the dream? Is a life in ranching moving into the 21st century with a new appeal and challenges or just the same old fears? And what are the childhood memories of the generations before them who stayed? What does it mean to be raised a child on the land? Where is the dream and what does it look like today? Please join us and bring your families!

Sheeptales Gathering to Feature Hank Vogler in 2014

On Friday, October 10, 2014, outspoken Nevada sheep rancher, Hank Vogler, will share his deep love for ranching through stories sprinkled with humor.  He is known for his quick wit, liberty with words and common sense.  He is a regular host on Rural Radio, a radio show with a mission of bridging rural and urban America.

Henry Volger the Fourth (Hank) spent every possible moment on his grandparent’s ranch as a boy. He thought he'd never leave the Island Ranch; that he would spend his life here. But, at age 15, his world basically ended.  “There was nothing left and no reason to even exist because the Island Ranch was gone.”

He married his high school sweetheart, earned his B.A. in Agriculture, worked hard and started his own ranch, “The Need More Sheep Company.”  Today, Hank and a large coalition of ranchers and environmentalists are fighting a plan by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to divert water from ranches all over the state to Las Vegas via massive pipelines.  The SNWA is purchasing ranches for millions of dollars over appraised value, just for the water rights.  No real rancher can compete.

We will also invite a small panel of old-time ranchers to join him and share their stories. There is no one that we know that is so beloved by generations of sheep ranchers as Hank Vogler.  He makes people comfortable.  He makes people laugh.  Don't miss the stories and irreplaceable snapshots of life in the west.

USA Today Names Trailing of the Sheep A Top Festival Again

In another national media nod, USA TODAY has featured Idaho’s Trailing of the Sheep Festival as one of “10 Great Places for Fall Festivals”.   This latest accolade is the latest in a growing list of national and international media recognitions for the unique event, which is celebrating its 17th year Oct 10-13, 2013 with 4days of events taking place in the communities of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley.

The renowned photo journalist, Peter Gutterman, who made the recommendations of his top fall festival picks to USA Today, attended the Trailing of the Sheep Festival  last year as part of a travel media tour organized by the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, Idaho Tourism, the Trailing of the Sheep Festival and CW Communications.

Mark Kurlansky at the Festival

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Oysters, fish, creme brulee and coffee might say dinner to the average person, but to Mark Kurlansky, they're each a lens into who we are.  Although many of Kurlansky's works focus on food, it is the history, cultures and stories that always bring relevance to the topic.  This gathering will provide the unprecedented opportunity to weave Mark's research and insights into a common thread shedding light on the importance of culture in world sustainability.

The evening will also feature personal stories of cultural perseverance and includes audience interaction through questions, answers and thoughtful discussion about how the past connects us to the present world.  This event will be held at the NexStage Theatre as part of the Festival Opening and SheepTales gathering on Friday, October 11, 2013, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets now available online.

A Perfect early Summer Day for A Celebration

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June 30, 2013 found 200 people enjoying an amazing day in an exquisite landscape celebrating the preservation of the Flat Top Sheep Company Ranch and the Trailing of the Sheep Festival.

Guests enjoyed a hike to the Laidlaw grave site to hear the history of the ranch, sitting down at a perfect table in the pasture for a memorable lamb dinner, music, the Plein Air Painters and lots more.  Thanks to everyone who helped make the day such a grand success.