PLSO The Oregon Surveyor Nov/Dec 2018

21 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | The Lost Surveyor titles. At the time, it was a popular belief that cattle could not graze lands that had been grazed by sheep. In an effort to drive out the thriving sheep industry and pro- tect the range, cattlemen gathered near Paulina and organized the Crook County Sheepshooters Association. The association was made up of vigilantes who carefully co- ordinated their attacks and controlled the politics in Crook county and Salem. Near our Lost Surveyor location a local set- tler, Shorty Davis, had arrived in 1881 and established a ranch near Sheep Rock where he became a successful sheep herder in the area. Then in 1900, Davis disappeared never to be heard from again. In a murder mystery that spanned from Prineville to Greece, his death was never solved and his body was never found. Like many set- tlers of the time, little was known of his past. After his disappearance, an extensive multiple year search led to his homeland and family in Greece. The residue of his estate was eventually dispersed to his brothers in Greece, one of whom visited our location to claim his brother’s estate. Davis’ death was a high profile killing of a respected sheep rancher and marked the beginning of some of the most extensive bloodshed of the war. By 1904 the Crook County War was reach- ing its peak with 8,000-10,000 sheep being killed by the Sheepshooters that year. Sheepherders lived in fear as it was well known that vigilantes with faces masked and blackened could arrive at any moment (often at night) and wipe out a flock by run- ning it over a cliff, shooting indiscriminately or scattering them to the wind for coyotes and cougars to dispose of. In 1906 the federal government stepped in and created grazing allotments as well as turning control of the land over to the Bureau of Land Management. While this greatly decreased the slaughter, it did not bring it to an end. In 1906, 2,200 sheep were driven off a cliff near Fort Rock, killing 1800 of them. In 1915 two men were arrested for burning down a Congressman’s sheep shearing facility. Finally in 1934, the Taylor Grazing Act was passed which closed the open range and regulated the use of it. By this time the slaughter had largely ceased and the Crook County War was brought to a close. The control of the Sheepshooters over the area is notable. No jury in Ore- gon ever convicted anyone for any murder committed during this range war. All of this history was centered around one tiny roadside town in Oregon. Have you guessed it yet? Today the “town” in- cludes a few houses, a country store and a no longer used grange hall. It was recent- ly for sale for $535,000 and according to the listing included 1.9 acres, a home, rec- reational vehicle hookups, and a general store with a gas pump. Post, Oregon was established June 6, 1889 and was settled by Walter Post who was the first postmaster. As you now know, it was once the center of the Crook County War and the host of one of the few woman owned homesteads in Oregon. Today the store at Post, Oregon is best known for its meat loaf sandwiches and its milkshakes, but its other claim to Oregon fame rele- vant to surveyors is that it resides at the Geographic Center of Oregon. A small mon- ument about one quarter mile northeast of the store commemorates this location. The monument is located on private land. Although it appears to be visible from the road, it was inaccessible to this Lost Sur- veyor at the time of my visit.  x The Post Store, Gas Station and eatery welcoming you to the center of Oregon.