Thomas and Ruckle Road

The Thomas and Ruckle Road, also known as Ruckles Road or Ruckels Road, was a wagon road over the Blue Mountains.

George Thomas was a stagecoach driver who came west to California in 1849, before moving to Walla Walla.[1] Colonel J. S. Ruckle arrived in Oregon in 1855 as a steam boat pilot for the Oregon Steam Navigation Company (OSN) along the Columbia River.[1][2] Eventually Ruckle left the OSN and ran his own boat along the river.[1] The two men planned and built the road in 1864 and 1865, as well as a stage line from Walla Walla to the Idaho Mines.[1] The road ran from the northwest to the southeast, offering a more direct connection to Walla Walla, despite being longer than the Meacham Road.[1]

The Ruckle Road, as well as others over the Blues, charged $3 to $5 per wagon.[1] Several towns were platted along the road: Summerville in 1873, and Cove sometime in the 1870s.[3] Mail was delivered over the road, causing it to bypass La Grande in favor of Union and Summerville, helping Union become elected as the county seat in 1872.[1]

The road washed out in 1886 and was never rebuilt.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Deumling, Dietrich (May 1972). The roles of the railroad in the development of the Grande Ronde Valley (masters thesis). Flagstaff, Arizona: Northern Arizona University. pp. 13–15, 27–28. OCLC 4383986.
  2. ^ Bancroft, Hubert Howe (1888). History of Oregon. II. p. 481.
  3. ^ a b Bailey, Barbara Ruth (1982). Main Street: Northeastern Oregon. Oregon Historical Society. p. 106. ISBN 0-87595-073-6.