The Ahmann's

In 1967, we bought our first ranch property in San Juan Bautista, California. Two years later, we added cattle and more land. From that time on, we always kept cattle and a few horses. The cattle allowed us to live in the country, as the profit from the sale of calves covered the property taxes, and the animals kept the grass mowed! From 1970 through 1993, we lived on our ranch and also operated our voting equipment mfg. business in Napa, California, employing 30+ people, and supplying equipment, ballots, and consumable supplies to 45% of the counties in the U.S. When we retired (not really), we bought our ranches in Oregon and developed a much bigger cattle business. We decided to preserve our oldest ranch house, and made it into a B&B. Now we have ranching locations in California, as well as the Oregon ranches, and the Blue Bucket Inn. We still do supply voting equipment to customers today, on a much smaller scale. It keeps us busy!

3E Ranch History

The 3E Ranch is one of the original Pacific Livestock Company (PLS) ranches in Oregon. Originally known as the “Swamp Ranch,” it was part of a million-acre empire owned by Henry Miller and Charles Lux. PLS bought the land in the late 1870s and established first water rights on the central fork of the Malheur River in 1881; water diversions were created to irrigate and grow natural grass hay, and the same tradition continues today.

Many small homesteads were established on this land, as well as a working saw mill at “Milldale.” Evidence of these are found in old fruit orchards, cabin ruins, banks of yellow roses, and old cottonwood trees. An abundance of spring water and a beautiful location on the river made this valley a very desirable spot.

In recent history, George Riley owned this land for over 50 years and expanded the ranch to over 7,000 acres. After Mr. Riley’s death, a succession of owners reduced the size of the ranch over a 20-year period. In the 1980s, improved cattle treatment areas and hay storage buildings were built.

Today, the ranch is 8,600 acres, including three miles of river and the following wildlife: elk, deer, antelope, badger, coyote, rabbit, pheasant, quail, sage hen, cougar, black bear, and sand hill crane. John and Judy Ahmann bought the ranch in 1992, and they continue the tradition of raising cattle and hay started so many years ago by Henry Miller and the PLS.

This unique way of life has become more and more threatened with extinction due to ignorance and ill-advised government legislation. Come share the experience now, while you can still be part of the Old West.

The “Blue Bucket Inn” is the original ranch house, enlarged by George Riley in the 1950s. It is named for Blue Bucket Creek, which converges with the Malheur River just north of the ranch boundary. History tells us that children of the tragic Meek Party wagon train collected pretty gold rocks in a blue bucket while searching for water ... the source was never found!

Come join us where history and wildlife abound, along with pine-covered mesas, rim rocks, sage-covered hills, and brilliant green meadows along the river.

John & Judy Ahmann


Phone: 541-493-2375

Email Us Here

82457 Ahmann Ranch Rd.

Drewsey, Oregon