The Reservoir Ranch is a historical site which is sits at the foothills of Ironside Mountain and is cut through by Willow Creek. A place where green grasslands and sage scour the terrain and the ponderosa pine trees scatter the hilltops.
Over the last two centuries, this ranch has only changed ownership three times, quite a unique thing for ranches of this size. The beginnings of this landmark ranch date back to the early 1800’s when a former Wisconsin native braved the Oregon trail and as one of Oregon’s true pioneers. Often deemed, “the Father of Malheur County,” Cyrus T. Locey was a well-regarded rancher and farmer in eastern Oregon.
Before laying stake in Oregon, Locey ventured to the California gold mines with his father for a couple years before returning at the age of 17 on his second trip on the Oregon Trail. After receiving two years of education at Pacific University, Locey spent approximately 10 years working for the Oregon Transportation Company as the superintendent. Later, Locey accepted an offer from his wife’s father south of Baker City. During this time he learned to help to raise cattle, farm food and log timber. Saving his money, Locey managed to purchase the Reservoir Ranch. A well rounded individual, Cyrus involved himself in shaping more than just the ranch.
Both Cyrus and his wife manage to accomplish much as they opened the first Sunday School in the county and ran various positions such as election clerk, county commissioner, weather recorder, notary, school teacher and Justice of the Peace.