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Alder Creek Stone House

This page features information about the old two-story stone house (AKA The Rock House) near I-84 southeast of Baker City.

Baker County Library staff field questions regularly from curious passersby about the striking cluster of stone buildings about 12 miles southeast of Baker City near the I-84 highway . This page provides an unofficial history of the property.  

May contain: nature, outdoors, countryside, rural, and village

Here is a Google Map view of the property from I-84. If you zoom out, you can see that the site is located near Alder Creek.

According to late local resident Sid Johnson, who was raised on a nearby ranch, the stone buildings are "on the north side of a small seasonal watercourse named 'Dogtown Creek,' " and were constructed in the early 1900s, "about the same time the Baker County Courthouse (1909), Baker City Hall (1903), St Francis Cathedral (1905-1907) and other buildings in Baker City were erected from the volcanic tuff stone quarried at Pleasant Valley."

Rumors of the buildings being a "stage coach stop" are unfounded.  Local historians and library researchers have not found any evidence for that. In addition, since railroad service to Baker City began in 1884 and the stone houses were built twenty years later around 1905, it is unlikely there was a need for the buildings to serve as a stage stop. There was also no reliable supply of water there for a team of horses as Alder Creek typically runs dry early in the summer. 

For the full text of Sid Johnson's 2001 letter in which he provided his personal recollections of the history of the property, click below. 


Ownership history *Unconfirmed*

  • Early 1900s:  Pierce (Pearce) family
  • 1930s: Franklin and Dora Miller family
  • 1960s: Lester and Barbara Briske family
  • 1980s: Marc Sackos
  • Current: GS Cattle Ranch 

In 2002, Sid Johnson published a book about the natural history of the area in which he grew up.   Alder Creek : ancient & new; Johnson, Sid.