The History of Hells Canyon Muledays

In the Spring of 1981, local ranchers and packers met with representatives of the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce and USDA Forest Service to explore the idea of putting together a new county event. 
As a result, the mule - tough, intelligent, individualistic, often maligned, but the mainstay of the many packers and outfitters working in Wallowa County - was elevated to center stage for the first annual Hells Canyon Mule Days celebration on September 19 - 20, 1981.

Hells Canyon was an appropriate title because that area owes most of its early settlement and development to the mule which predominantly served as a major means of transportation to gain access to this rugged region of the county.

Given the well-known independence of Mule Days’ long-eared star, the entertaining , action-packed event has met its initial goal - both mule skinners and spectators alike can be part of this family oriented mule show, with events and games for all ages

 

HCMD 2019 Grand Marshal Julie Kooch

 

 

Hells Canyon Muledays Grand Marshals

 

1981 – WADE HALL & ETHEL THOMAS
1982 – MIKE & JOYCE McFETRIDGE
1983 – GLEN HAWKINS & GRACE BARTLETT
1984 – LEE MANES & LYNN MITCHELL
1985 – JESS EARL & CLARA HEARING
1986 – LAWRENCE & ILENE POTTER
1987 – CARMEN MAXWELL & A. L. DUCKETT
1988 – JOE McCLARAN & MARY MARKS
1989 – OAKLEY JOHNSON & HAZEL BARTON/FLEET

1990 – JOE ONAIDIA & GUS MALAXA
1991 – EMORY CRAWFORD
1992 – MAX & MARCEL WALKER . 
1993 – JIM & JEAN BROOKS
1994 – JIM & LOIS BLANKENSHIP
1995 – GENE & MILDRED MARR
1996 – SAM & LAURA LOFTUS
1997 – DICK & BETTY HAMMOND
1998 – PEARL INGLE
1999 – DELBERT (DEB) WART

2000 – FRED TALBOTT
2000 – Noel & Genie Wright • Honorary
2001 – MANFORD & VERA ISLEY
2002 – MEREL HAWKINS
2003 – ARNOLD SCHAEFFER

2004 – BENNIE BANKS
2005 – DOUG & JANIE TIPPETT
2005 – Bonnie Shields • Honorary 
2006 – BOB CASEY
2006 – Gerald Perren • Honorary
2007 – BLANCHE MAXWELL                                                                                                                     
2007 – Gene & Bonnie Westberg • Honorary
2008 – JUANA MALAXA & MARIE ONAINDIA
2008 – Mike Brennan • Honorary
2009 – CARMEN KOHLHEPP
2009 – R. A. “Ace” Barton • Honorary

2010 – BIDEN & BETTY TIPPETT
2010 – Ben Tippett • Honorary
2011 – LEO TIPTON “Tip” PROCTOR
2011 – George Hixson • Honorary
2012 – GRANT & BARBARA WARNOCK
2012 – Duke & Rhee Lathrop • Honorary
2013 – LARRY & JUANITA WATERS  
2014 – DICK WALKER
2014 – Art Galbraith • Honorary (3-28-1937 • 7-11-2014)
2015 – DENNIS & PEGGY BRENNAN
2016 – MARVIN LOVELL
2017 – ROBERT “BOB” BALES 
2018 – ORAN MCCRAE  
2019 – JULIE KOOCH