March 20, 2016

Idaho, Home State of Jacquie Rogers



I often refer to my home state as the blank spot between Wyoming and Oregon.  Idaho has an incredible diversity of resources, climates, terrains, and population—even so, people think I’m from Iowa.  Or Ohio.  They get those two mixed up.  Well... neither.

Earnest Hemingway, one of our greatest fiction writers, wrote " ... a lot of state, this Idaho, that I didn't know about."  You can see the mountains of Sun Valley in the background behind his typewriter. 

Owyhee County Idaho exemplifies his pronouncement.  I grew up in the desert, in the shadow of the beautiful Owyhee Mountains.

Our dairy farm was six miles from the biggest city in the county, Homedale Idaho, population 2610 (1381 when I was in school).  To me, it was the big city!

Even though it is by far the largest city, it is not the county seat. That honor belongs to Murphy, population 97, including the Owyhee County sheriff, deputies, and one parking meter—the only parking meter in Owyhee County.  You can see it just to the left of the flag pole.  Yes, you’ll get a ticket if you don’t feed the meter.

Even though Owyhee County is a desert (annual rainfall about 8 inches, including snow), the northern area was brought into bloom by irrigation water, much of it courtesy of the 400 foot-high Owyhee dam just across the border in eastern Oregon, which was the prototype for the great Hoover dam.  It was the first dam ever built to use refrigeration to cool the concrete as it cured.

Owyhee County has the Bruno sand dunes, the tallest free-standing sand dunes in North America.  A wonderful state park, that as Hemingway said, nobody knows about.
Most of my books are set in Owyhee County, especially in the area of Silver City.  Once home to many huge silver mines, it had a population of over 2,500 in 1869 (over 10,000 if you include itinerant miners and mules), making it the largest city in Idaho at the time.   


Silver City was the first with telegraph service, and a daily newspaper.  The newspaper is still published weekly in Homedale, as The Owyhee Avalanche, and the staff are great friends and do a wonderful job!  So many small towns (and even some larger ones) have lost their newspapers.


Silver City was also the one of the first cities in Idaho to be wired for telephones and electricity, although both are gone now.  But the municipal water supply still survives and serves the summertime population of a few dozen, who strive to preserve the history and surviving buildings of town.  Just don’t call if a ghost town, the locals will flatly declare “we are not ghosts!”

One of the surviving buildings, and a real treasure is the Idaho Hotel.  It has been partially restored, and actually reopened for business.  In  fact, we are havin’ a doin’s there this summer, be sure to check it out on http://jacquierogersreadersevents.blogspot.com

 
Mercy: Bride of Idaho is set in Henderson Flats, called Marsing, which hugs the Snake River.  Across the river is Lizard Butte.  His legs are eroded now but when I was a kid, the eroded volcano looked just like a lizard sunning himself on the hill.
I am very proud to be from Owyhee County, and Idaho, and hope you enjoy my Hearts of Owyhee series, as well as my other stories set there.

My latest release is a non-traditional Western that starts off in Wyoming, Hot Work in Fry Pan Gulch (Honey Beaulieu – Man Hunter #1), but the second book (May, 2016) will be set in Silver City, so we’re back in Idaho!  And—I’m giving away one ECOPY of my newest, Hot Work in Fry Pan Gulch!  Just comment here and I’ll pick a winner.  Leave your contact info! 

Website: http://www.jacquierogers.com (sign up for the Pickle Barrel Gazette!)
Pickle Barrel Bar & Books on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JacquieRogers/
(All info provided by Jacquie Rogers)




27 comments:

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I had no idea there were sand dunes in Idaho or that there is a desert there. See what I know? Next to nothing. I always imagined Idaho as forests, mountains, and rocky terrain.
When my husband and I lived in Texas during my husband's time in the military, one of his friends was a soldier from Idaho. I remember how much his friend wanted to get back to Idaho. He missed it terribly.
You certainly gave me a new view of your home state, Jacquie. I really enjoyed reading about your beloved Idaho.

Ken Weene said...

In my brain Idaho equals trout and that says it all, good food, wonderful scenery, and lovely streams. Now, if somebody would send me a few of those lovely fish prepared by one of the Basque restaurants in Boise, that would be heaven.

Linda Swift said...

I enjoyed learning more about Idaho. I had two aunts who lived there but never got out to see them, much to my regret. Your book titles are fascinating. I'm glad we met today as I've seen you around the internet but never really knew much about you before. I wish you continued success with all of your books and would love to a winner of this one.

Linda Swift, LSwiftR@aol.com

mercedes christesen said...

Other than my mountains here in Idaho my favorite place to be is Owyhee County. It is so beautiful

Patricia said...

My daughter and I drove through southern Idaho last summer on a cross-country trip. We were stunned by the natural beauty. I plan to return and see more of the state. Thank you for helpiing me plan the trip.

Renaissance Women said...

Jacquie, believe it or not, I've been to the southern tip of Idaho. Story of why I went there is for another time, but I did enjoy what I saw. Some day, I shall tour that state, but when is the question.

Best on you June event, it sounds like a hoot. Unfortunately the summer season is starting and folks are gone, so... Well, let's just say at this point in time, the place wouldn't survive without me. (Oh the joy of being needed...grin) Thanks for a look at the state you love. Doris/Angela

Fran Orenstein said...

My son and grandchildren live in Boise, but they lived in Star, too. Idaho is the best kept secret in this country. It's gorgeous. I've been to Silver City and it's a great place to visit. The drive up is spectacular as long as you don't meet anyone coming in the opposite direction. I've driven from Salt Lake City to Boise on death highway 84, but despite it's nickname, the trip is amazing. From Table Rock and Star you can see the Owyhee and Boise range and the foothills of the Rockies. I hope to return in May for my granddaughter's graduation from Capitol HS. Will check out the book set in Silver City.
franoren2@yahoo.com

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Idaho sounds like an awesome place! Hope to visit sometime.
Your books sound wonderful too.
Good luck and God's blessings.
PamT

Rico Austin said...

Amiga Jacquie, I too grew up in Owyhee County, just down the river a few miles in Marsing, Idaho, population 510 when growing up. Last year I was fortunate to have been given the nod to write about the state where I was born and raised. Thank YOU for mentioning and writing about Owyhee County, an area a lot of outsiders know little or nothing about. And Amigo Kenneth Weene, you are correct about the trout and the Basque food. Funny you mention the Basque, because Owyhee County has probably more Basque people than anywhere else outside the metro Boise area. Growing up I took eating Trout and Bass fish for granted. Now, I pay a hefty price at restaurants when I want or need to eat fish which was virtually free from whence I came.

Sharon Baker said...

Wyo is one of my favorite States. Have family there and go back often. Been thru Idaho on road trip.
Your book sounds like something I can rely on. Look forward to getting and reading your fabulous books. I am so glad I found you. slpetera@yahoo.com

Kaye Spencer said...

Jacquie,

The only time I've been to Idaho was during a visit to my military son in Spokane, Washington and we took a day trip to Coeur d'Alene. It was a gorgeous drive. I'd like to return and drive along the Snake River to see the country. Maybe *someday*. :-)

Jacquie Rogers said...

Sarah, a good share of southern Idaho is desert, including most of Owyhee County. And yes, ex-pat Idahoans are a homesick lot. I couldn't wait to move to a big city and after a couple years, I couldn't wait to move back home. I'm still waiting, but maybe this year or next.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Ken, we had wonderful food on the farm but we didn't know it. LOL. And there's a fabulous Basque restaurant in Jordan Valley you ought to try.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Linda, we do seem to bump into one another here and there, but never really connected. I'm so glad you stopped by. And hey, you really ought to visit Idaho--there's a lot to see!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Mercedes, yes, it is. And so are you. ♥

Jacquie Rogers said...

Patricia, glad to oblige! I hope you don't take long to make the trip, and stay awhile. Redfish Lake and the Stanley area are gorgeous, as is Garden Valley and a bunch of other places. You can find peace and quiet there, too, which is a rarity where I live now (Seattle).

Jacquie Rogers said...

Doris, you know I'd love to have you come to the Silver City doin's! Unfortunately, the job calls and I do understand that. I'd love to come to one of your shows. Maybe once I get my husband retired we can visit Colorado Springs.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Fran, the view from Table Rock is stunning! I hope you had a good time in Silver. Yes, you do have to pull over in a wide spot when you see approaching dust, which will have a vehicle hidden in the cloud. Congrats on your granddaughter's graduation! And all the Hearts of Owyhee books have scenes in Silver--two of them Much Ado About Miners and Much Ado About Mustangs are set there.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Pamela, it truly is, and it is one of the best kept secrets around. That actually doesn't bother Idahoans much because one of the attractions is the wide open spaces, but we love visitors!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Rico, do you live in Marsing now? We should get together! I grew up west of Hwy 95 near Graveyard Point. I'll be there in June for the Silver City shindig. Email me at jacquierogers@gmail.com. I never thought I'd meet up with another Owyheean here!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Hi, Sharon! Sounds like you traveled along I-84. Not much to see, really. As for Wyoming, that would be my next choice to live. I have relatives there and I have always loved it, especially the Wind River area.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Kaye, CDA is wonderful in the summer. A little cold in the winter, but still beautiful. I'm a southern girl--we lived 400 miles south of there. Say, we should get together with Doris!

Jacquie Rogers said...

I've responded to all comments, but can't tell if they actually posted or not, so if I missed anyone, give me a holler at jacquierogers@gmail.com. I'll be picking the winner this evening (March 21st) at 10pm Pacific Time.

Judy Loughman said...

I can't wait to read this new series, Jacquie! Just enjoyed re-reading the Hearts of Owyhee series. Everyone should read these books if you haven't yet - they are a blast! This was a great article about your Idaho home. Hopefully I'll get there on my next road trip - only made it as far as Wyoming last time.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Thanks so much, Judy! Yep, you should come to Idaho. A good time would be for the Silver City doin's. ☺

Jacquie Rogers said...

The winner is Fran! I'll be sending your ebook shortly. Congratulations, and enjoy!

Fiona McGier said...

Another state to add to my "must camp there once we retire" list. Thanks for sharing.