The High Country Inn has been a family-run business for over twenty years. Jo Moore, her son Richard and daughter-in-law Cathy are the heart and soul of the Inn. With their own unique skills and expertise, the trio work together to make each guest’s stay as memorable, comfortable and delicious as possible. The High Country Inn is a premier lodging and dining facility, offering fun, food, relaxing accommodations and beautiful views.
The History of High Country Inn
The High Country Inn wouldn’t exist without Jo’s lifetime love of service and passion for cooking. Jo has been in the hospitality industry for practically all of her adult life. She learned to cook Texas-style at the side of her aunt (Meme) as a young teen. When she graduated from high school in 1953 at the age of sixteen, Jo met her husband-to-be Dick, (who died in 2012), as she was readying for her freshman year at the University of Texas and he was embarking on an Air Force career. The following year, Jo made the decision to marry her love and take on the life of an officer’s wife. They were promptly stationed for many years in Mountain Home, Idaho, which led to a lifetime of learning and using all aspects of entertaining skills.
It was thirteen years and five children later, in 1967, that Jo had the opportunity to return to college, this time at Texas Tech in Lubbock. There, she earned two degrees and entered into a full-time teaching career. Dick, in the meantime, finished his Air Force career and went back to school himself, gaining two degrees to become a wildlife biologist. Dick’s new career brought them back to Idaho from Texas, where they had been since his 1966 tour in Viet Nam.
Dick now had a job on the Dworshak Dam project and Jo settled into teaching in a two-room school outside of Orofino. The couple bought a piece of property and worked for 10 years to build their dream earth-shelter home. All the while, Jo’s cooking and entertaining continued, eventually developing into a catering career for both of her and her husband.
After a few years of catering, they needed a professional kitchen. What visitors of the Inn see now is what has developed from simple plans for a bigger place to cook! Today, with Richard and Cathy as co-proprietors of the business, the Inn has blossomed into a full-service bed and breakfast with accommodations and amenities to host large events like weddings and family reunions or intimate getaways like a romantic anniversary celebration.
Giving Back to the Community
When Jo Moore retired after over 30 years of teaching, she renewed her interest in working with nonprofits. Her catering business came in handy as a way of helping with fundraising. Her first volunteer position was Executive Director of the local hospital foundation, where she spent about nine years doing volunteer catering for annual fundraisers.
When the Orofino library lost their event space, Jo got involved. She spent seven years putting on summer events for the volunteer friends group, until she was asked to form a foundation to raise funds for an expansion to the library. She’s a part of this foundation to this day. Each year, the High Country Inn hosts events in the Sunken Garden, while the prep work and cooking is carried out in the Inn’s commercial kitchen.
The Expansion Project for Orofino’s library remains a top priority for Jo. She stays busy thinking and working on ways to raise almost a million dollars to fulfill this commitment!
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