• LOCATION 69 | The Modoc War: A Homeland Lost

    Brotherton Ranch

    Okay you should be stopped on the little connector road, somewhat perpendicular to Highway 50, with the fence on your left. Position yourself so you can see diagonally across the intersection. Look for the large metal entrance gate with a ranch scene depicted on the top of it. This is the old Brotherton ranch where William Brotherton and two of his sons were living when they were murdered in the surrounding fields by Hooker Jim's gang.

    One of William's other sons, fifteen year old Joseph, was also nearby with a neighbor, John Schroeder. Schroeder tried to escape the Modocs on horseback - and was shot down. In the confusion, Joseph ran across the field you're looking at toward home. His mother Sarah Brotherton, seeing her son fleeing the Modocs, rushed to meet him with a revolver in her hand. The youngest Brotherton son, Charley, called to his mother to come back. Instead, Sarah told Charley to grab his father's rifle, set the Modocs in his sights and blast them away. Twelve year old Charley did as he was told - as his younger sister wiped and handled the cartridges. Sarah was able to grab Joseph and make it back to the house, where she barricaded her family in the house with new sacks of flour. Sarah pushed loopholes in the walls and kept bombarding the Modocs with rifle fire until they left. For three days, Sarah and the remaining children of the Brotherton family stayed inside until Ivan Applegate arrived with help.

    Okay, we're going to continue, just as the Modocs did, toward the Lava Beds. So from here, inch forward to get back on Highway 50. When it's clear, turn left, keeping the old Brotherton farm on your right.

The Modoc War: A Homeland Lost