March 20, 2011

Idaho’s Rich History Inspires Author Jacquie Rogers

I’m sure you’ve heard of Idaho potatoes, but how about Sun Valley? Ernest Hemingway? Mt. Rushmore?
The sculptor of Mt. Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, was born in St. Charles, Idaho. Ezra Pound, the controversial poet who wrote from an Italian jail, was born in Hailey, Idaho.Tarzan, King of the Apes was written in a Pocatello stationery store while Edgar Rice Burroughs worked—and changed popular culture with his famous character.

Thanks to J.R. Simplot-an Idaho potato king and friend of Ray Kroc, the McDonald’s entrepreneur, the McDonald’s French Fry developed.

I grew up in Owyhee County, Idaho—home of sagebrush, antelope, horned toads, and a multitude of slithery creatures—but more importantly, home to a colorful history and fascinating characters.  A fertile ground for a young storyteller’s imagination! 

My County is located in the southwest corner of Idaho, bordered by Oregon to the west and Nevada to the south.  Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues is set in the southern part. You can read all about it and the other Idaho towns I’ve used as inspiration, on my blog:   
My roots are in the Homedale area where Faery Hot Date takes place during 1968 and chronicles the tooth faery’s quest for love. I had a grand time writing about our town, so look for more stories set in that area. A big change since I left Homedale—they now have a stop sign on the main street.
Much Ado About Marshals, my July 2011 release, is set in Owyhee County -- there’s lots of good fishing around there. Of course, you have to find a creek before you can fish. It’s a dry country—a high mountain desert. There’s a beautiful old church in Oreana
originally built as a general store. In Much Ado About Marshals, I call the store Gardner’s Mercantile.  You can read more about the history of this building at the church’s web page:
I can’t discuss Idaho without mentioning Silver City. Today, it’s a sleepy little town but during the 1880s, the era for Much Ado About Marshals, Silver City was a booming, bare-knuckle mining town with saloons and painted ladies, an Indian on the warpath called Big Foot, the cavalry, bank robberies, China Town, the first telephone and electric systems in the northern Rockies, and the oldest newspaper in Idaho. This newspaper has since moved to my hometown but is still called The Owyhee Avalanche. It’s an excellent weekly publication. If you’re a history buff, you might be interested in Looking Back, a column about society in the 1860s and 1870s. Visit to learn more.
I’ve traveled far and wide, and found Idaho one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Whether you prefer mountains, forests or desert, Idaho offers something for everyone. I hope you’ll take the time to visit my inspirational state.

Contest time! One commenter will win an autographed copy of Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues (USA mailing only—pdf for other addresses)


  1. I've been to Idaho many times. It's a beautiful state. :)

  2. When I think of Idaho I think of acres and acres of farm land. It was great learning about all the important happenings in your state. This is truly an educational tour for me. Thanks, Nora

  3. Your love of place shines through in this blog.

  4. Idaho is truly a lovely state, from what I've seen of it, and has a fascinating history -- thank you for sharing some! But one thing will always stick in my head; driving from my former home in Nevada to my real home in North Dakota, we drove past -- hmm, think it was Black Hawk, Idaho. There was a big billboard saying: "Free Taters for Out-of-Staters!" I'm sorry, but that had me in stitches for MILES!

  5. Idaho: The best kept secret in the USA. I love Idaho. My son and grandchildren live in Boise. I've been to Silver City, amazing switchback road up there into the mountains. Lucky you!

  6. Hi Jacquie, You are my "neighbor" both when I grew up in Montana and now that I live in WA. It's a beautiful state.

    I hope you will consider coming to the Women Writing the West conference in Lynnwood WA Oct 14-16! It's a great group & conference.

  7. JACQUIE--I enjoy reading Annette's posts because each author is so proud of her state. It's a great thing to have things to brag about, colorful characters to write about, and unique settings for a unique author to write entertaining stories. I truly enjoyed reading this. Celia

  8. The lake at McCall is one of our most beautiful lakes. Two of my vivid Idaho memories are wading in the lake at McCall after a hot day's drive in the days before cars were air conditioned--and of a cool night drive out of Boise with a musical brook following the road.

  9. Thanks for sharing your love of Idaho. I traveled there in the '80s and enjoyed my stay near Coere d'Alene (probably misspelled that!).

  10. Tina, Idaho really is beautiful, although there are a few stretches of road that aren't too memorable. lol

    Nora, Idaho is one of the largest producers of garden seeds. I grew up on a dairy farm so we grew alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, corn, and sugar beets. No potatoes, though.

    jrlindermuth, thanks. Idaho has so much to offer that it's almost a blessing that few people know about it. Most people think I'm from Iowa.

    We had Fearless Ferris signs, too, Lori. Did you see the "Watch out for white horses in snowstorms" sign?

    Heidiwriter, yep, we are neighbors! And I'd love, love, love to go the the conference in Lynnwood. Could you please email me at Thanks so much for the info. :)

    Celia, yes, this is a terrific idea Annette had and it's fun to read each person's take on their own state.

    Mary, I LOVE Payette Lake. We used to vacation their every year with my aunts and cousins. Good times. And sunburns. High altitude sunburns. Did you go to the Brass Lamp?

    Penny, northern Idaho is completely different than southwest Idaho, which is very different from central or southeast. But all areas have an interesting history and fun things to do.

    Thanks for all of you who stopped by to catch a small piece of my favorite state.

  11. Idaho is indeed a beautiful state! Was just there for a family wedding, of course it was covered in SNOW, but still beautiful! I grew up in your neighboring state, Wyoming. Love the west!

  12. Idaho sounds so pretty. this is neat learning about all the states.
    debby236 at gmail dot com


Follow 50 Authors from 50 States blog for the latest