The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch operates on a ranch that has a long history and has come to be what it is today, through hard work and family dedication. Before the guest ranching operation began it was known as the Wood V-X Cattle Ranch.
Without the hard work and years of dedication from Janice's parents (Jim and Virginia Wood), this guest ranch would never have become a reality. This picture shows the Schoonover family in front of the V - X Barn which was built by Janice's Grandfather Riley Wood in 1942. Janice's father Jim, designed and participated in every aspect of the lodge's construction built in 1996.
Most of the Panhandle of Idaho was owned and logged in the early 1900's by Humbird Lumber Company. The Gold Creek area was included in this logging operation. Rails were laid for narrow gauge stream engine locomotives to haul the logs out. Today many of those same 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 the logging operation in an area was completed they pulled up the rails and burned the area. Today, huge burnt stumps are all that remain of the hand cut logs.
In 1939, Janice's grandfather (Riley Wood) lived and farmed in Colorado and read of cut-over land for sale in Northern Idaho. He and his wife Gladys traveled here that summer and was shown land on Gold Creek. They fell in love with the area, went home, and gathering the family, selling the livestock and equipment, moved to Gold Creek. They arrived on February 14, 1940, in three feet of snow under a bright moon at 10 p.m. at the door of a very small, one-bedroom house.
In 1957, Janice's father (Jim Wood) purchased the 960 acres from Riley and continued to expand and work the ranch. In 1978, a second ranch was purchased which is located about six miles north of Sandpoint. Jim and his youngest son, Leonard, run about 400 head of Mother Cows, 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 VbarX ranch website. Janice's oldest brother Steve owns and opperates Wood's Meat Processing Plant. Visit their storefront on Highway 95 for more information.
This ranch is a direct reflection of what one man (my father) with the help of a supporting wife (my mother) can accomplish through a lifetime of hard work and dedication. I believe it is through this same spirit that our forefathers came to this land some 100 years ago.
To hear more about the goings on at the ranch check out the new ranch blog written by Danielle, "FROM THE HORSES MOUTH"