The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch operates on the same ground our family came to 100 years ago. The ranch evolved to support the land and the seven generations of family who are so deeply rooted to it. Before the guest ranching operation began in 1991, it was known as the Wood V-X Cattle Ranch. This ranch is stil in opperation after over 75 years. We are proud to say that Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is rich in Idaho ranch history.
History of the Idaho Panhandle
In the early 1900s, Humbird Lumber Company ownded and logged most of the Panhandle of Idaho, including the Gold Creek area. To transport logs to the mills, tracks were laid for narrow gauge steam engine locomotives to travel into the foothills of the Cabinet Mountains. Today, many of those same railroad grades make up the trails and roads used on the ranch. You will also find old apple trees, still bearing fruit, which grew where the loggers threw out their apple cores. After completion of logging operations in an area, they pulled the rails and burned the area. Today, huge burnt stumps are all that remain of the hand-cut trees.
Wood Family History
In 1939, Janice’s grandfather (Riley Wood) lived and farmed in Colorado on a leased farm. Riley read about cut-over land for sale in northern Idaho. Fine ranch land if only someone would take the time to work it. Riley and his wife Gladys traveled here that summer and looked at property on Gold Creek. They fell in love with the area, went home, gathered the family and sold the livestock and equipment. Then they started their journey to Gold Creek in north Idaho. They arrived on February 14, 1940, in three feet of snow, under a bright moon, at 10 p.m., at the door of a tiny one-bedroom house.
In 1957, Janice’s father (Jim Wood) purchased the 960 acres from his father, Riley. Jim worked and expanded the ranch. In 1978, they purchased a second ranch six miles north of Sandpoint.
Jim’s sons, Steve and Leonard, run about 600 cow-calf pairs, using the lower ranch as the calving grounds and Gold Creek ranch for summer pastures. To learn more about the cattle operation, visit the Wood V-X Red Angus website. Janice’s oldest brother Steve owns and operates Wood’s Meat Processing Plant. Visit their storefront on Highway 95 for more information.
This ranch became a reality through the hard work and pioneer spirit of Janice’s parents, Jim and Virginia Wood. Janice’s father, Jim, designed and participated in every aspect of the log lodge’s construction in 1996.
This ranch is a direct reflection of what one man, Jim Wood (Janice’s father), with the help of a supporting wife, Virginia, can accomplish through a lifetime of hard work and dedication. It is through this same spirit that our forefathers came to this land some 100 years ago.
Read More on the Ranch Blog
To hear more about Idaho guest ranch history and the goings-on at the ranch, check out the ranch blog written by Danielle (4th generation on the ranch), “From the Horse’s Mouth.”