chapter  9
Elizabeth Layton DeMary and the Rupert Culture Club: New Womanhood in a Reclamation Settlement Community
ByLAURA WOODWORTH-NEY
Pages 27

A framed photograph of nine women, finely dressed in white and wearing fashionable hats, rests on a bookshelf in the now tattered reading room of the DeMary Memorial Library in Rupert, Idaho. The women sit on tasteful lawn chairs on a lush green surrounded by trees, shrubbery, and a white wooden arbor decorated with trailing vines. Most of the women face a lace-covered table, where two of the women preside. They drink from china teacups, and they gaze comfortably at the unknown photographer.1 Who were these women, and what were they doing? How were they connected to the community in which they lived, an irrigated settlement town? Where was the sagebrush? The blowing dirt? How could this idyllic photograph, undated but probably taken around 1915, be reconciled with the dusty origins of the town of Rupert, founded only about ten years earlier?