History of Dillon's Grill in Prineville, Oregon
Late 1800 - Early 1900s
Lot 2 supported transportation with liveries, food stores and blacksmith shops, with a rich history of supporting early transportation, IN 1895, L. Dillon purchased the site and parcels running north to Ochoco Creek. He constructed and opened "Dillon's Saloon and Livery" on Lot 2. Dillon was also a known for rolling and selling his own cigars and cigar boxes.
In 1901 the site changed hands, Swalley and Son opened a blacksmith shop just north of Dillon's Livery and feed station. W. H. Young purchased the business from Swalley in 1903. Alex Baldwin purchased Dillon Feed yard and ran a livery stable called "Baldwin's Barn" from 1907 - 1908. The newspaper reported that Mr. Baldwin died from injuries sustained in a horse accident in April 1908. From 1908 - 1910, the livery site was then run by a series of businessmen, including B.F. Wilhoit and J.M. Montgomery, In 1910, Hughes and Lee bought Young's blacksmith shop in October 1910 and continued to conduct a black smith and horseshoe business. In 1918 the site changed use when A.M. Hardenbrook opened a vulcanizing business.
In 1905, J.G Cantril purchased Lot 3 for a livery stable at the old Dillon stand, according to the Crook County Journal (November 16, 1905). This site also housed horseshoeing business operated by F.J Cramer. In 1906, Ennis and Hill, horse buyers. formed a company to buy , ship and market horses from Crook County. They leased the Dillions Feed yards and used them as a dept.
In 1905, a saloon called "The Bucket," opened on the site. RC Danly owned "The Bucket." Oral history of the notes on early photographs refer to the saloon as "THE BUCKET OF BLOOD."
In 1908, Crook County became a dry county for one year. White & Gullford acquired the saloon in 1909. They opened a soda works in the old Bucket Saloon, manufacturing soda pop. A confectionery store was connected to the soda-works.
Dillon’s Grill has a short but interesting architectural and business history. This location is a hub of Prineville’s business community. In 1852, L. Dillon purchased this parcel of land, constructing and opening Dillon’s Saloon & Livery. Because of the colorful history of the region, the Saloon was nicknamed “Blood and Buckets.”
In the early 1900’s, the property operated as a blacksmith shop, a feed yard and livery, a horseshoe business and bought and sold horses. Families who have been a part of Dillon’s history were Swalley & Sons, W.H. Young, Alex Baldwin, B.F. Wilhoit, J.M. Montgomery, Hughes, Lee, Hardenbrook, J.G. Cantril, Ennis & Hill and Ron Hudspeth. Many of these families are still part of the Prineville community.
In 1928, the buildings burnt down and the property was used by BLM and others as a storage site until 2001. Dillon’s Grill opened in 2006 by restaurateurs Ken & Glenna Nelson who also purchased and operated Club Pioneer – a historic restaurant located in Prineville since 1942. In 2013, Jim & Donna Roths became the current proprietors of both Club Pioneer & Dillon’s Grill.
Dillon’s Grill exists to be a fun & casual local gathering spot where people gather to enjoy good food and good friends. We hope you will stop in and enjoy authentic BBQ, gourmet burgers and a large selection of Northwest craft beers.