The Last Grand Roundup is held near Ephrata in 1906.

  • By Kit Oldham
  • Posted 3/04/2003
  • Essay 5361
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In the spring of 1906, several hundred riders in the Columbia Basin round up thousands of wild horses in what becomes known as the "Last Grand Roundup" of the Old West. The Roundup is headquartered in Ephrata, then part of Douglas County, but soon to become the county seat of Grant County. From Ephrata, the rounded-up horses are shipped by railroad to buyers in the East.

Starting from several points around Ephrata, groups of experienced riders set out in coordinated drives to round up the horses. One group, led by Tom Burgen, started from Reard's orchard, about one mile south of Ephrata. As the riders set out, cattle cars waited on the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks to ship the horses to the Dakotas.

By May 14, 1906, the Wenatchee World reported that in a month of work 150 riders had rounded up 2,000 horses on Crab Creek and shipped them to a buyer in North Dakota, with more drives planned. Ultimately as many as 5,000 horses were captured and shipped east.

The Last Grand Roundup featured a picturesque group of riders and equipment, including horse-drawn chuck wagons, as well as "many colorful activities" (Pages of History) in Ephrata. Although small individual roundups occurred in later years, the Last Grand Roundup was seen in the area as the last big event of the Old West.


Back Through the Pages of History (Ephrata: Public Utility District of Grant County, 1967), 17-18; Charles C. Kerr, The World of the World (Wenatchee: Wenatchee World, 1980), 27.

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