In honor of Sesquicentennial Plus One, I’m devoting the Speaking of Idaho blog to my family’s history during August.
As you may remember when Nels and Emma drove a team of oxen some 80 miles each way in 1870 to get married, Emma’s first son, Fred Bennett went along for the ride. He was just shy of two years old.
Here’s a sketch from Letters of Long Ago that illustrated that first chapter of the book.
Mabel became Mabel Bennett Hutchinson in 1927 when she married Milon Hutchinson, who grew up near Firth. They settled in California where Milon was a woodworking craftsman. Mabel became well known for her watercolors over the years, painting regional works that were shown all over California. After painting for 20 years, she decided she had nothing more to say in that medium. She experimented with abstracts in the 50s, then in the 1960s she began sculpting with scraps of wood from Milon’s shop. Her totems were widely shown and well received. During this period, she and Milon began creating massive door sculptures. Her doors have sold for as much as $35,000. Several Hollywood celebrities bought them for their homes. Science fiction writer Harlan Ellison had one in his legendary treehouse. He and Mabel kept up an intellectual correspondence for several years.