Author Archives: nancyrenk

A Little Extra Help for the Holiday Season

When I went to the grocery store recently, I was greeted by a group of volunteers collecting food for our local food bank. Like many others in Yokes that day, I added a few things to my cart to deposit … Continue reading

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Billy Abbott’s Saloon

Two buildings went up in smoke on that cold winter night. Working under difficult conditions, fire fighters managed to keep the flames from reaching a neighboring building but they were unable to save the two structures. By morning, the ruins … Continue reading

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November 1918: Celebration and Sorrow

The telephone rang in the Humbird Lumber Company offices on the mid-morning of November 7, 1918, bringing the unexpected but joyful news that Germany had signed the armistice agreement with the Allies. Word spread fast as the raucous sounds of … Continue reading

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Ford Day

Spring in North Idaho brings a wealth of colors, sounds, and smells that brighten our lives after the long, gray winter. Golden dandelions bloom exuberantly in lush green lawns; robins and chickadees noisily proclaim their territory; and lovely lilacs, lavender, … Continue reading

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1917: Wobblies, War, and Walkouts

By mid-March 1917, as the winter snow melted gradually into spring, the people of Sandpoint opened their weekly newspaper to find a few glimmers of good news. Local barbers reassured customers that the recent 10 cent price increase applied only … Continue reading

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Entertaining Sandpoint: They “seemed to be having an awful good time”

It was the highlight of the 1892 social calendar: a Washington’s birthday dance at the Spinks Hotel. Mr. Spinks, the genial proprietor and “champion yarn-spinner of the Panhandle,” issued an open invitation to Sandpoint residents. All were welcome, he announced … Continue reading

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An Update on the Lonely Cabin

When I write one of these history stories for my blog, I do my research, polish up my writing, and then hold my breath a moment before clicking the blue “Publish” button that will send my baby out into the … Continue reading

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1917: When the Wobblies Walked Out of the Woods

Maybe it was the lack of whiskey, harder to find now that Idaho was entering its second year as a “dry” state. Maybe it was the specter of a bloody war being fought in Europe, threatening to drag the United … Continue reading

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Entertaining Sandpoint: From Roller Skates to Moving Pictures

A roller skating fad swept the nation in the early 1900s, starting in eastern cities in 1905 and working its way to the west coast a year later. Seattle had three skating rinks by September 1906 and a fourth one … Continue reading

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Tales from a Lonely Cabin

The cabin has seen better days for sure. In fact, with the roof collapsed and windows gone, I doubt if even mice live there any more. The setting is beautiful, however, in an open field between the base of a … Continue reading

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