Massacre Rocks got its name because of an Indian attack on the Adams wagon train on the Oregon Trail on August 9 and 10, 1862. It was one of a series of Indian attacks on emigrants that summer along both the California Trail and this part of the Oregon Trail. These attacks were perpetrated mainly by the band of Northwestern Shoshoni led by Chief Pocatello. At Massacre Rocks, ten immigrants were killed either in the original attack or in skirmishes following it.
(left) Culvert under the Oregon Short Line Railroad, Old American Falls townsite, (October, 1987).
(center) Wagon ruts of the Oregon Trail just east of Massacre Rocks State Park, south of Interstate 84. Some accounts place the 1862 massacre just east of here (October, 1987).
(right) Beds of fragmental volcanic debris blown out of the Massacre Volcanic center about 5 million years ago. Photo taken southeast of Interstate 86 at the Massacre Rocks exit (April, 1995)
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