The Hailey Historic Preservation Commission
Blaine County Museum: 218 N. Main St. Built of adobe circa 1887, the building served as an armory during the Spanish American War, a meeting hall for the Knights of Labor, a dance hall and public meeting place, an opera house, a liquor store, and Hailey’s first movie house. The mural is by Hailey artist Ralph Harris. The artist used many local photographs to create the pictorial history of Wood River Valley. The ox yoke over the main entrance was made and used by freighter Ed Fleming. The property was donated by Lucille and Leon Friedman to the City of Hailey to be used as a museum in 1961.
Charles Harris House: Charles E. and Josephine Harris arrived in 1882 and built the house on the corner of Galena and 2nd Ave. N in in 1892. The Harrises were the great-great paternal grandparents of artist Ralph. The house features gingerbread at the gables. The bay window on the east side was added later. (See Harris Furniture Co.)
Miner's Hall/Residence: The structure was built in 1902. It housed the First Baptist Church until 1929 and has also been used by the minors, American Legion, Senior Center, Blaine County Schools and is now a residence. The foundation was recently replaced. The Zinc Spur Teacherage was moved to the back of this site in the 1940s.
S. M. Friedman Home: 3rd and Silver Sts. This homes began as a one-story cabin in 1885. It was enlarged to its present size in 1911. The front of the home features a carved entry, door and sidelights with elliptical beveled glass. Simon Moses brought the first sheep to the valley in 1881 and served on the first Board of Trustees of incorporated Hailey. He purchased Wilman & Walker's grocery store on Main Street in 1881 and renamed it the Hailey Mercantile Company in 1891. His son, Leon, and daughter, Lucille, donated the land for the airport to the city in December 1930. (S. J. and S. M. Friedman were second cousins.)
Knight Home: Brought in three sections from the now extinct town of Broadford, located south of Hailey and west of Bellevue, the home was purchased by Mrs. George Knight in 1904. The foundation stones are the same as used for the Courthouse. The home has recently been refurbished and maintains the same architectural amenities of the home. The barn is one of the last remaining in the city.
Dorr Farm: Jeanne and Jim Dorr bought this property in 1952 and are continuing the tradition of farming within the city limits, a common practice of many residents from the 1880s to well into the 20th century. Jeanne is the daughter of Frank who was the son of George.
Horne Home: 202 N. 3rd St. Built as a single-story house with a finished basement. The home features a 19th century home porch. The home was built by William Fayette Horne who was county assessor. His son Robert was mayor of Hailey in the 1930s and was the father of Roberta McKercher and Billie Buhler, both long-time residents of Hailey.
Dr. Wright's Home: Previously owned by the Brownell’s, founders of Wood River Building Supply. Dr. Robert Henry Wright was a pioneer doctor who practiced here for 60 years. He organized the rescue effort at the 1917 avalanche at the North Star Mine near Triumph in which 17 men were killed. Two original chimneys are evident at this very well-preserved clapboard house.
Snider Home: The home was originally built by Peter Snider, an Italian immigrant and owner of the Challenger Mine. His wife Maria’s ravioli rolling pin, brought in her pack from Italy, is on display at the Blaine County Museum. The home is now owned by “Beaver” Burke the portion to the right is a recent addition.
EA Worswick house: Now the Wood River Land Trust Office. The original structure was erected in 1881, one of the first in Hailey, and the log cabin is still contained within the existing building. The original lot sold to C. B. Fox for $25 by the town founder John Hailey in 1881. Between 1885 and 1919 the house changed hands six different times. It was owned by Hunter and Zeo Nelson from 1943 to 2000. Wood River Land Trust has followed a historical restoration process and turned the exterior into a turn-of-the century appearance.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church: Built on a stone foundation and Quigley Gulch bricks, this appealing church features gothic arches and two corbelled chimneys. The cornerstone was laid in July 1885 and the first services were held in the unfinished church on Christmas Eve, 1885. This is Hailey's oldest church structure.
Masonic Lodge: The original Masonic Temple burned and was rebuilt at this location by Jack Rutter in 1937.
Community Baptist Church: Built in 1886 as the Methodist Church, the Baptists took over in 1929. Frances Julia Helman, wife of Methodist Rev. C. E.
Helman, wrote in 1895: "Businessmen who never think of going into a church, pay $2 a month for each of the three preachers in town. The women have to do all the collecting of the salary and do everything about the church business." The shaped bell tower houses Schulmerick Carillon Bells donated by Joe and Lula Fund.
Zinc Spur School: This school was moved from the Zinc Spur site (south of the intersection of Buttercup Road and Highway 75) to its present location (the first house south of the Baptist Church) by Enfield “Pop” Sowers in the early 1940s.
r. J. J. Plumer Home: Dr. Plumer began the practice of medicine in 1881. Noted for his affability, he would tell patients: "It isn't the potatoes that are bad for you – it's what you put on them. And it isn't the whiskey that'll kill you – it's what you mix with it." Drs. Plumer and Fox devised a medicine, which successfully combated the dreaded Rocky Mountain Fever.
Beamer House: 202 S. 4th St. The spot of many a town gathering, this gracious home still has the original floors, moldings and etched glass windows. Beamer's lumberyard and warehouse was located behind the house.
Union Pacific (Oregon Short Line) Depot Site: A brass band, orators and much ado greeted the first train on May 23, 1883. With the railroad came the telegraph and Hailey was connected with the rest of the world. Townspeople and newspaper reporters gathered at the depot for each arrival and departure of the daily train. Trains stopped coming to Wood River Valley in 1981.
The Inn at the Ellsworth Estate: Jim McDonald, a Standard Oil heir from London had this residence built. He married a Hailey girl, Beulah Lamb. This is Jack Rutter’s, Cornwall England immigrant, first major project. He also built the Hailey Hotel, the Masonic Temple, the Liberty Theatre, Harris Building, American Legion Building and the Lone Star Store. The house was purchased by the Fox family in 1930. In 1945-61 it was used as the Mormon Church. The Ellsworth family lived there as residents. Sonja Tarney purchased, restored and converted it to an inn. It sits on two acres of park-like property.
Pound Home: 314 S. 2nd St. This home was built in 1883, the poet Ezra Pound was born here on October 30, 1885. In December, his mother Isabel took him to live in the Alturas Hotel because the house was too cold. Father Homer was registrar at the U. S. Land Office in Hailey from 1883 to 1887. The family left the valley behind the railroad’s first rotary snowplow. Ezra was 15 ½ months old. The wrought iron fence is one of the few remaining. Ezra Pound is recognized for his outstanding contribution to world literature. He has been referred to as the father of modern literature. Pound had influence on new writers like James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, and Amy Lowell. He helped Ernest Hemingway's first short story collection get published. He was accused of being anti-Semitic during World War II. Roberta McKercher owned and lived in the home until her death. It is now owned by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church: 311 S. 1st St. Built in 1913 by Rev. Nicalos F. Wirtzberger for the Diocese of Boise at a cost of $7,200, this church features an elaborate symmetrical belfry with stamped metal. St. Charles was the first parish established west of Boise and is considered the mother parish of Southeastern Idaho. The first structure was located on the site of Atkinsons’ market. A circular window from the original church may still be seen in the Reinheimer Barn along highway 75 south of Ketchum.
Blaine County Courthouse: 206 S. 1st St. The cornerstone was laid August 11, 1883. The structure features three-stories, a major stone foundation, fancy window sill trim and widow’s walk over the front steps. The building housed all the county offices, courtroom and jail. A two story vault and a jury room were added in 1907. The $40,000 cost of building the courthouse made it the most expensive in the Idaho Territory and severely strapped Alturas County when the county was drastically reduced in size in 1889. When Blaine County was created in 1895, the county’s money crunch eased a bit.
Rialto Hotel: Main St. at Croy. This building is now the Hailey Hotel. (1941) Originally a boarding house and café was on this site. It was built by Bonim brothers for Julio and Mary Astoriquia in 1934. The Hotel served as a private residence, bar and public dining room and reopened as the Hailey Hotel in 1980.
J. C. Fox Building: Built by Dr. Earl William Fox in 1920, it was heated from water piped in from the Hailey Hot springs. The first floor housed a saloon, the first National Bank of Hailey and a jewelry store. The second floor housed the 10-room hospital, which continued into the 1960s. Many townspeople were born under the skylight, which was replicated twice more when the building was renovated in 1984. Doc Fox was born in 1887 and raised in Hailey. He received his education at the Barnes Medical School at the University of St. Louis and did post graduate study at the Mayo Clinic. He gave 41 years of medical service to the community. For his long-distance calls he used the forerunner of the snowmobile, powered by an airplane engine. The Hailey Public Library and City Hall now occupies the space that formerly housed the Odd Fellows Hall, the State Theater, owned by Sonny Osborne, and the J. C. Fox Building.
J. J. Tracy Building: Built in 1906-07, it was a drugstore for 83 years. It was first owned by Tracy and W. T. Riley, then Tracy alone. Now the Barkin' Basement.
Bullion Block House: Built in 1882, now North and Company. This building was the first courthouse. The second story was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. The jail was located in the basement. Known on the National Register as the Werthheimer Building. Previously the Vancil’s Grocery and The Sage Shop were located here.
The Merchant's Hotel
Harris Furniture Co.
Windermere Real Estate
Harris Building: Charles E. and Josephine established the Harris Furniture Co. on Croy Street in 1891. In 1896, they also became the town morticians. Son Ralph D. and wife Lena took over the family business, and in 1903 moved the store here. The front part of the one-story, hip-roofed building was the furniture store and the mortuary was in the back. During the 1917 North Star avalanche tragedy, the store was closed and the whole building became a mortuary. Fifteen miners died on site and two died later. At the same time three people died of an influenza epidemic. It was a dark time for the little town. When the original building burned down in 1935, Hailey master builder Jack Rutter designed and erected the present two-story brick building. This building was built on the site of the Merchant's hotel which burnt in the fire of 1889.
Commercial Building: This is where the Commercial Club met. Later it was the post office, then Sears, now the American Legion Building & Wright Appliances/Cluttered Kitchen. The corner stone of this building contains ore from each of the mines that were active at the time of its construction. The building features arched brick windows with keystones inserted at the top. The white brick was brought in from Salt Lake City in 1910.
Liberty Theater: On the site of a winter ice skating rink the present building was built by Jack Rutter in 1938 for Sam. The finest cinder bricks from Burley formed the walls and glazed tiles were on the façade. Special scaffolding built in the form of a spiral allowed the finish material to be wheeled up to the ceiling in a wheel barrow. The front façade sports an art-deco neo light sign and a marquee. The building was refurbished by new owners in 1995 and still has the capacity for cinema, live theater, and community events.
W. H. Watt Bank: Corner of Main and Carbonate, now the home of Christopher & Co. Built in 1889 of hand-molded brick with a mortared stone foundation. An original sign can still be seen on the south-side of the building. It became the office of Dr. Robert Wright, who practiced in town for 60 years. Born south of Bellevue in 1881, he received his degree from Medical School American college in St. Louis. He worked in the Minnie Moore Mine west of Bellevue to earn money for school and rode the sheep trains to St. Louis. He organized the rescue effort at the disastrous avalanche at the North Star mine in 1917. Dr. Wright through the 40s.
Inchausti Home: Madam Peggy Palmer built this house. Peggy's was said to be "the best red light house in the valley" and was the sight of many a rowdy party. David and Epi Inchausti bought the house around 1941. They also owned and operated the Gem Bar across the street to the South until the west half was destroyed by fire in 1950. Epi Inchausti’s Basque cooking brought customers from Sun Valley, such as Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, Ernest Hemingway, Janet Lee, Colonel Sanders and many other notable people.
Chinatown: The Chinese worked on the railroad construction gangs and then followed the mining camps. In Hailey, they ran laundries and restaurants, cooked in the mining camps, and worked for the prostitutes. They had gardens just south of the original city limits in what is now called China Gardens, where they grew all types of vegetables and sold them around town from a horse drawn wagon.