Sandpoint, Idaho, has been my home for more than 40 years. When my kids were young, I was fortunate in finding part-time work with the Idaho State Historical Society, recording historic sites in the northern part of the state. After completing my M.A. degree in history at the University of Idaho, I opened Flume Creek Historical Services and worked as a historian on a variety of projects in Idaho, Montana, and Washington. I’ve written numerous contracted reports, published articles, and authored two books: A Glorious Field for Sawmills: Humbird Lumber Company, 1900-1948 (2014) and Driving Past: Tours of Historical Sites in Bonner County, Idaho (2014).

After finishing two books, I thought I was done writing. Apparently I was wrong. As I walked or drove around our beautiful part of Idaho, I found myself remembering bits of local history. This blog gives me the chance to tell some more stories.

Although a blog is a new, more casual format for me, it’s hard to let go of my love of footnotes! I always look at these when reading the work of other historians because they allow me to see sources of information. Since real footnotes might interrupt the flow of a blog post, I will simply list the sources of my information at the end of each post. If you find yourself particularly interested in a topic, you can follow these on your own.


12 Responses to About

  1. Hi Nancy. Thanks to Sharon Gunter for passing on your contact! I’m not much of a blogger but the history of Sandpoint is very interesting. I’m looking into the history of our old house and the people who homesteaded here. Norskies just like me!


  2. Gary Weisz says:

    Hi Nancy, Very interesting, lots of good info!


  3. Jim Bard says:

    Nancy, another very interesting and informative bit of history – keep up the great work! Jim


  4. Timothy Frazier says:


    Just wanted to say thanks for your blog. My wife and I walked the Pack River trail today and were curious about the history of the small cabins. Was pleasantly surprised when I did a google search and found your blog. Then, had to read all your other posts too. Walked the Sam Owen trail the other day and looked down on where the Owen’s property use to stand; I would have never imagined an oil drilling rig would have been down there drilling for oil.

    Timothy Frazier


  5. Mary J Garrison says:

    Hi Nancy! What a wonderful idea you have here! I have collected the other books, articles and the National Registry entries you have written and they help me with the little projects I stumble into.
    I need to get the Humbird book. I am trying to find more information on my great Grandfather, John Wiley Garrison, who was apparently a camp boss for the company.

    Mary Garrison


    • nancyrenk says:

      Thank you, Mary! I don’t think I have any info on your grandfather but you may find him mentioned in the old newspapers. They’re all available online from the library, easily searchable by names. I’ll try to keep him in mind as I look through for other projects. Cheers! Nancy


  6. Ryanne Pilgeram says:

    Hi Nancy, I am writing a book about the process of development in Dover, Idaho. I read your book “A Glorious Field for Sawmills” to try and learn more about the background of mills in Bonner County. Despite having gone to high school in Sandpoint, and having been studying Dover for the last few years, I learned so much new information. I was particularly fascinated by the radical politics of the IWW. Thank you for your careful research!


    • nancyrenk says:

      Thanks, Ryanne! I’m glad you enjoyed my book and I look forward to seeing your book about Dover. I, too, have been interested in the Wobblies and have more to write on them some day. Good luck!


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