By Kelley Moulton, Regional History Librarian
George Matsumoto was a leading character of Sun Valley and Ketchum in the 1970s and 80s. He was the chef at the Ore House Restaurant and was often the man behind the camera, capturing the wild times that were occurring here. George often had a camera with him and captured candid and cheerful shots of The Wood River Valley’s people and events.
In addition, based upon the images in his scrapbooks, he also preserved some of the memories from his travels to Hawaii, New Zealand, the Eastern United States, and more.
Following George’s death in 1998, Paula Barovetto began to search for the scrapbooks containing George’s pictures, which had disappeared. Barovetto, who worked for the Regional History Department, spent six months looking for the scrapbooks and was eventually contacted by a relative of George’s, who had found them in a Ketchum garage.
In volume nine of the fifteen scrapbooks, one of the images showcases a hot air balloon hovering over the base of Dollar Mountain in 1974 while Baldy looms in the background. On the balloon is the logo for Kneissl, a leading ski brand at the time. Other images from the two- page spread feature racers wearing race bibs from various ski races, including the Janet Leigh Celebrity Pro-Am Races, a sleigh pulled by horses, and group shots of people socializing around the ski mountains.
To see more images from the George Matsumoto Collection or more historical images, contact the Center for Regional History at the Community Library.