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Sourdough Boys in Sagle, Idaho

Bachelors making due with dough

Sourdough Boys in Sagle, Idaho
A man cooking lunch over a campfire in Nordman area, 1940. Speed Weidmer photo. Photo courtesy of the Bonner County Historical Society & Museum.

Have you heard of an area in Sagle called Sourdough? If you have, do you know how that area got its name? According to a local born in 1890, Maynard H. McDuffie, the Sagle District was called “Sourdough Flats” in the late 1890s because there was a “preponderance of bachelors that lived over there.”

You may be wondering what our historical neighborhood of bachelors has to do with the yeasty fermenting dough. This was because the bachelors were not bread makers, due to lack of time and home economics lessons, so they kept a sourdough pot in a warm place for easy and cheap resources to fuel them through their long workdays on the railroad or logging. A week of work looked like 10-hour days, six days a week, and so they would say, “You would have to have something that would stick to your ribs.”

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