Cort Conley

Cort Conley is the featured speaker this Thursday as part of the 20th Annual Historical Museum Lecture Series.

The 20th Annual Historical Museum at St. Gertrude Fall Lecture Series continues at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, with author Cort Conley, who will present “Salmon River Story.”

In 1943, Frederic and Sylvia Christian hired Salmon guides Clyde and Don Smith to boat them in a scow from Salmon City to Riggins. They created a 38-minute documentary of the trip called “River of No Return.” Their plan was to travel and lecture with the movie, and to this end they added footage of the Sawtooths Mtn, antelope and bears and mountain sheep, a rodeo, and some Shoshone-Bannock Indians encamped at a fair.

After a screening of the film, Cort Conley will talk about how the film was found and what happened to the Christians before and after the film. Conley will open his presentation with a ten-minute film from a 1939 Middle Fork trip.

Cort Conley was a river guide for more than 30 years on rivers throughout the West. He is an author and past recipient of the Esto Perpetua Award for distinguished service to Idaho history.

The series continues on Oct, 17 with Lyle Wirtanen and “Chinese in Idaho” and Oct. 24 with Keith Petersen and “Straight Lines and Squiggles: How Idaho Got that Weird Shape.”

These events provide insights into the history of our region and are held on Thursdays during the month of Oct. with the support of the Idaho Humanities Council. Lectures begin at 7 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.

A Q&A session with the presenters follows the lectures. Light refreshments are provided. The events are held in the Johanna Room at Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude located at 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, Idaho. Learn more at or call 208-962-2054.

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