California Historical Landmarks in Sierra County
California Historical Landmark 971
Sierra County Sheriff's Gallows
Galloway Road and Courthouse Square
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.
California Registered Historical Landmark No. 971
Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the County of
Sierra and Sgt. Lee Adams, Project Director.
October 16, 1988
The Sierra County Sheriff's Gallows is also National Register Listing #90000118.