Hemmingway Scholars Descend On Northern Wyoming

Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 5:08 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Ernest Hemingway was one of the most influential American authors of the 20th century. And it turns out, he spent a significant amount of time in his early career in the Beartooth Mountains near Cooke City.

That’s why the International Hemingway Society is holding its bi-annual conference in Sheridan, Wyoming and Cooke City, Montana this week. Chris Warren, manager of the Range Rider Lodge in Silver Gate, submitted the proposal that landed the conference in this part of the country.

“It’s been going on about 40 years,” Warren said. “And they do it bi-annually, and it’s usually one in America, and then one in international.”

Warren pointed out that this part of Montana, where Ernest Hemingway spent a significant amount of time in the 1920s and 30s, embodies the spirit of Ernest Hemingway.

“He was about wild places, remote places, hunting, fishing, food, wine, and this place is full of it,” said Warren.

Warren pointed out that holding the Hemingway Conference here in Silver Gate highlights the amount of influence that this part of Montana had on Hemingway’s writing.

“‘To Have and Have Not’' was sent off from the Cooke City general store,” he said. “‘Death in the Afternoon’ was sent off from the Cooke City general store, the protagonist of ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ is from Red Lodge. The protagonist of ‘Islands in the Stream’ is a Montana rancher, the protagonist of ‘Across the River and Into the Trees’ is also from Montana. So we have this connection.”

The conference, which was originally scheduled to be held in 2020, was put on hold by the pandemic. And with the recent flooding in Yellowstone National Park that closed off the northeast gate just down the road from here, Warren said an influx of visitors couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Even under these dire, dire circumstances, we’ve been able to come together as a community and still pull off this conference that’s usually in places like New York, and Paris, and Madrid and Key West,” he said. “And so not only is a town with a year round population of 80, pulling it off, we’re pulling it off after this devastating catastrophe. So if we could, you know, if anybody wants to come up and see what we’ve got going on here, please do.”

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