NO. 971 SIERRA COUNTY SHERIFF'S GALLOWS - On November 27, 1885, 20-year-old James O'Neill was hanged from this gallows for the August 7, 1884 murder of Webber Lake dairyman John Woodward. That execution, conducted by Sheriff Samuel C. Stewart approximately 100 feet west of this site, was the last legal execution in Sierra County and the only time this gallows was used. Changes in State law in 1891 ended local executions in California, and further changes in 1941 ended hanging as a means of legal execution within the state.
Sierra County Jail Yard, Downieville
After leaving CHL #421 Henness Pass Road, we decided to head to CHL #971. Our navigation system directed us to take County Route S401. It looked much shorter that going all the way back to Hwy 49, so we went for it! Yikes! BIG mistake! We have 4 wheel drive and by the time we got to Downieville, our brakes were smokin'! It seems more like a bootlegger's road. Approach this site from HWY 49.