The waters of Rock Creek and the grass that grew along its banks provided a welcome oasis for travelers traversing the arid Snake River Plain. This combination caused the area to become a favorite camping site for Oregon Trail emigrants and a crossroads during the development of nineteenth century roads.
In 1864, Ben Holladay chose this site for a home station on his Overland Stage Line.
The U.S. Army established Camp Reed near here in 1865 to protect travelers, and James Bascom built the Rock Creek Store. The store soon became a popular stopping place for emigrants, freighters, miners, and cowboys. On August 31, 1888, Sarah Hall Pulliam noted, "this Rock Creek Store is a great blessing to the emigrants.... So as they can get a Sack of flour for their selves, and something to feed their starving teams on...."
In 1876 Herman Stricker purchased the store and remained the proprietor until it closed in 1897. One of the cellars behind the store served as the first jail for the area. In 1878 Chief Buffalo Horn and his followers camped in the vicinity only days before the start of the Bannock Indian War. Stricker and his wife, Lucy, built the house just east of the store in 1890. It replaced one destroyed by fire the previous year. A small cemetery nearby contains the graves of emigrants.
The Stricker Store and homesite, also known as the Rock Creek store and stage station, consists of an 1865 log store and an early twentieth-century, two-story frame house. A small cemetery that includes the graves of two emigrant children, a freighter, a murder victim, a horse thief, a gypsy woman, and an early local resident is situated just west of the store. The site and buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See Ralph W. Macy, "Stricker's Store," Overland Journal 4, no. 2 (Summer 1986): 25-35.
About 8 miles southeast of Twin Falls, Twin Falls County, Idaho. NE1/4, Sec. 22, T11S, R18E.
Idaho State Historical Society, 210 Main St., Boise, ID 83702
The site is administered by Friends of the Stricker Ranch, Inc., P.O. Box 2218, Twin Falls, ID 83303
The site is open to the public, but permission is required to tour the house. A caretaker lives in a portion of the house and is willing to provide tours of the house and site if contacted in advance. The caretaker is Tom Lloyd, 3715 Stricker Cabin Road, Hansen, ID 83334. 208.423.4000
Take the Hansen Exit from I-84. Go 5 miles south of Hansen and 1 mile west.