Before you start your hike, back track a few feet down the road you just drove down and visit the Plunkett House.
Built about 1875, the Plunkett House is typical of Kings Valley farmhouses of the period. It was owned by ashnah Norton Plunkett (1847-1933), the first pioneer child born in Kings Valley, whose parents Hopestill King and Lucius Norton came across the plains in 1845.
Described by Oregon histornian J.B. Horner as "the beautiful daughter of Lucius Norton," Ashnah Norton was the oldest girl in a family of twelve. In her later years, Ashnah described how she met her husband: "I wasn't much of a hand to go to dances. My folks didn't approve of them, but I went to a dance given in Kings Valley and was introduced to one of the California soldiers. His name was James Plunkett." Ashnah, 18, and James, 32, married on June 28, 1864. by 1883, they had seven sons and two daughters.
Ashnah took ownership of this house and property in 1886. Ashnah, James and the Plunkett family lived a generally self-sufficient life on the property, with garden, fruit trees, farm animals and hunting activities common to farm life. Supplies, services and social life were available at nearby Kings Valley with its general store, grist mill, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse and church.
A notable feature of this farm was its outhouse that sat over a diversion trench of running water fed from nearby Plunkett Creek. The trench water ran back to the creek after passing under the outhouse.
James Plunkett died in 1911, but Ashnah continued to live on this property until her death in 1933 at age 86. She had a reputation in the valley for being productive and busy, bringing her crochet, quilting and knitting projects whenever she went visiting. Family members recall her large spinning wheel and huge carpet loom, which she used to weave rag carpeting and hall runners for King valley homes.