Swain to bring to life author Mary Austin

Swain to bring to life author Mary AustinThe Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert will feature a program about famed Owens Valley author Mary Hunter Austin at its Tuesday, Sept. 17, meeting at 7 p.m. at the Historic USO Building.

Gail Swain, an actor-teacher-costume designer-corporate trainer, will portray Austin in the program.

Mary Hunter was born in Illinois in 1868 and moved with her family to California in 1888, homesteading in the San Joaquin Valley. In 1891 she married Stafford Wallace Austin. The couple moved to Lone Pine, where Mary Austin developed a great appreciation for the desert and its inhabitants, especially the Native Americans.

Her love of the area eventually resulted her classic 1903 study “The Land of Little Rain.” More books dealing with similar themes would follow, while the Austins became involved with Owens Valley water wars.

Swain grew up in South Dakota and attended the University of South Dakota, where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater. She moved to Bishop in 2006.

HSUMD meets on the third Tuesday of most months.

Meetings are free and open to the public.

Pictured: Gail Swain, the actor, teacher, costume designer and corporate trainer who will portray author Mary Austin.

Story First Published: 2019-09-13