Fortynine Camp

The Applegate Trail was a southern trail into Oregon beginning in 1846, reaching its peak of 10,000 emigrants in 1849. A significant point along the trail was the '49 Camp' or 'Fortynine Camp', apparently so named for the distinctive rock where an early traveler painted the number 49 in axle grease during his trip that year*. In addition to the camp, the 49 name was also lent to numerous natural features nearby. Fortynine Camp was the last place to camp and procure clean water before trekking across the desert to Surprise Valley and the Warner Mountains (then believed to be the Sierra Nevada). Sometime following its use as a stop for emigrants, Fortynine Camp - or Fortynine House - became a station on the freight stage road between Surprise Valley and Camp McGarry, Denio, and beyond to Northern Nevada and Southeastern Oregon. A two-story wooden house was built, which stood until roughly the 1980s before it burned. Only the 49 Rock and a Trails West marker remain to mark the site.

*While the story of 49 Rock is the generally accepted local lore, journals from the emigrant days make no mention of the eponymous rock. The numbers were painted and repainted many times over the years, and at one point were supposedly nearly an inch thick due to the buildup of layers.