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As happens with many small towns, Ketchum’s population has ebbed and flowed with its changing identity. Though first established within a booming mining district in 1880, the mountain town’s inhabitants switched from miners to shepherds—and it became the largest sheep shipping station in the country—some 30 years after the price of silver declined. Its current claim to fame, though, connects to the opening of a world-class ski resort. When the Sun Valley ("America’s First Destination Ski Resort") opened its doors, Ketchum gained in popularity once more as a resort town where everyone including big names like Ernest Hemingway came for escape. It also serves as the entryway to any number of outdoor recreational activities, including camping, hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and ice skating on the 756,000 acres of Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
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