The Western Pleasure Guest Ranch operates on the 75 year-old family ranch, and has come to be what it is today through hard work and family dedication. Before the guest ranching operation began in 1991, it was known as the Wood V-X Cattle Ranch.
Without the hard work and pioneer spirit of Janice’s parents, Jim and Virginia Wood, this guest ranch would never have become a reality. Janice’s father Jim, designed and participated in every aspect of the log lodge’s construction in 1996.
Most of the Panhandle of Idaho, including the Gold Creek area, was owned and logged in the early 1900s by Humbird Lumber Company. Rails were laid for narrow gauge steam engine locomotives to transport the logs out to be milled. 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 logging operations in an area were completed, they pulled 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 on a leased farm. Riley read about cut-over land for sale in northern Idaho that could be worked into fine ranch land. He and his wife Gladys traveled here that summer and were shown land on Gold Creek. They fell in love with the area, went home, gathered the family, sold the livestock and equipment, and 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 10pm at the door of a very small, one-bedroom house.
In 1957, Janice’s father (Jim Wood) purchased the 960 acres from his father, Riley, and continued to expand and work the ranch. In 1978, a second ranch, located six miles north of Sandpoint, was purchased. Jim and his youngest son, Leonard, ran about 400 head of cow calf pairs, using the lower ranch as the calving grounds and Gold Creek Ranch for summer pastures.
This ranch is a direct reflection of what one man with the help of a supporting wife 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.