COTTONWOOD -- Folklorist and musician Gary Eller will present “Strong Women of Early Idaho” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, in the multi-purpose Room of the Monastery of St. Gertrude.
“Idaho’s history has been wonderfully enriched by incredibly strong women,” Eller said, whose program will include Marie Dorian (Native American on second traverse of Idaho by Whites), Emma Yearian (Sheep Queen of Idaho), Elvina Moulton (liberated slave who became a prominent Boise citizen), and May Arkwright Hutton (rags-to-riches story of an important suffragette and labor organizer).
These women and more will be highlighted in this program of stories and songs by author, musician, and amateur folklorist Gary Eller. Eller has played American roots music since childhood. He is the director of the Idaho Songs Project, established in 2006 to find, document, interpret, and preserve songs written before the radio era (before 1923) about early Idaho’s people, places, and events.
To date, Eller has documented more than 200 forgotten early Idaho songs in a dozen topically arranged interpretive booklets with audio CDs. He travels the length and breadth of Idaho for the Idaho Humanities Council and Idaho Commission on the Arts performing programs of historically-based Idaho songs. He was a board member of the National Old Time Fiddlers’ Contest in Weiser from 2013-2018 and originated the popular Weiser Banjo Contest and Weiser Banjo Camp. Eller also plays banjo, guitar, mandolin, and bass in several popular southwest Idaho bands.
At the end of Sunday’s performance, Eller will open the mic to anyone who would like to share a historical song. This event is free, and cookies will be served. Access the multi-purpose room at St. Gertrude's through the main east entrance and follow the signs. To learn more call 208-962-5065 or visit stgertrudes.org.