Escallier Crater State Park

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Escallier Crater State Park is a location in Barlow County in the Melisende Dulac Series.

Details

Located on Shatter Hill in southern Barlow County, Escallier Crater was the site of an infamous sheep-shooting during the Oregon Range Wars. It is also the location where Jake Escallier's body was discovered in "The Sheepshooter's Funeral."

Historic Marker

An historic marker in the center of the park describes the events which led to the crater being commemorated as an Oregon State Park.

Casualty of Sheepshooters’ War

Between 1895 and 1906, conflict raged in central Oregon as Cattlemen fought Sheepmen over grazing rights on open rangeland. So-called “Sheepshooter Associations” were known to raid flocks they deemed to be grazing on cattle lands.

On the night of April 21, 1904, a company of seven masked men attacked the herd gathered in the crater, killing more than 1,200 sheep. Of the herd’s three tenders, two escaped, but the assailants left Julius Escallier bound on the frozen ground. By the time the others returned the next day with help, Escallier had succumbed to the elements.

Only one of the attackers, Hywel Upjohn, was ever identified. Charged with manslaughter and property destruction, he was freed after the jury deadlocked and the prosecutor declined to retry the case.

The range wars came to an end when the U.S. Department of the Interior established grazing allotments. In 1978, the Oregon Legislature established Julius Escallier Crater State Park in memory of the valiant shepherd.

Appearances