Thousands of years ago, flowing lava cooled forming a natural fortress. The surrounding area later became the center of the Modoc Indian homeland. A series of events made this lava stronghold a focal point in the war to remove the Modoc from their land in 1872-1873.
Time line, left to right:
1846 - The blazing of the Applegate Emigrant Trail brings Modoc and settlers into increasingly frequent contact.
1864 - After years of conflict with settlers, the Modoc reluctantly sign a treaty to give up their homeland and move to a reservation in Oregon with neighboring Klamath and Yahooskin.
1870 - Extreme hardship on the reservation and clashes with the Klamath prompt a group of Modoc, led by Captain Jack, to move back to their homeland on the Lost River and demand a reservation there.
November 1872 - A botched attempt by the U.S. Army to arrest Captain Jack and other leaders at their Lost River village marks the beginning of the Modoc War. While a small band of Modoc under Hooker Jim retaliates by killing 14 settlers, the majority canoe immediately to the safety of the Stronghold.
December 1872-April 1973 - About 63 Modoc men, along with women and children, hold off some 600 U.S. troops and occupy the lava fortress - now known as Captain Jack's Stronghold - for almost five months.