Local Stories

Prineville’s First Baseball Team

August 4, 2014

Prineville’s First Baseball Team

Baseball was a serious sport in rural America near the turn of the century. It was a game that could be played almost anywhere and frontier towns took great pride in supporting their teams. Prineville was one of the first communities to establish a baseball team in Eastern Oregon in […]

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Prineville Planing Mill Provided Finished Lumber for Many Early Homes

August 4, 2014

Prineville Planing Mill Provided Finished Lumber for Many Early Homes

Lumber mills were among the first industrial operations in Central Oregon. Mostly rough cut lumber was produced at small mills for construction purposes. As early as 1878 attempts were made to establish a planing mill in Prineville and included construction of a water ditch to power a planing ill. The […]

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Bannock Indian War of 1878 Caused Panic in Local Settlers

August 4, 2014

Bannock Indian War of 1878 Caused Panic in Local Settlers

The Bannock Indian uprising of 1878 created a tense situation that resulted in many outlying settlers of Eastern Crook County moving to the safety of Prineville and other communities. The Bannock Indians ranged along the Oregon-Idaho border and were a relatively peaceful tribe until they were confined to Ft. Hall […]

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Early Freighting was Often a Hazardous Occupation

August 4, 2014

Early Freighting was Often a Hazardous Occupation

Early freighters of Central Oregon were hardy men that managed slow plodding horse or mule teams over narrow, dusty, muddy and sometimes hazardous roads. Freight to Central Oregon came by two main routes. Shipments arrived either from the Willamette Valley over the Santiam Wagon Road or from The Dalles along […]

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Gold Discovered on Ochoco Mountains in 1871

August 4, 2014

Gold Discovered on Ochoco Mountains in 1871

Ochoco Mine or more commonly known as Mayflower Mine was located along Ochoco Creek just northeast the present Ochoco Ranger Station site. Central Oregon had missed out on the early gold mining activity that had occurred in eastern Oregon, but in the fall of 1871 a gold discovery was made […]

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Lynchings Lead to Opposition of the Vigilantes

August 4, 2014

Lynchings Lead to Opposition of the Vigilantes

Violence reigned supreme in Prineville just before Christmas in 1882. Al Swartz was killed by a shotgun blast in a local saloon on the evening of December 22 and early the next morning the bodies of two men staying at his ranch were found hanging from a juniper tree near […]

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Forest Fires Took Huge Toll in Early Days

August 4, 2014

Forest Fires Took Huge Toll in Early Days

Central Oregon has had numerous large forest fires over the years but until recently none were of conflagration type. Although large acreages burned the damages were mostly limited to the timber stands and natural resources. Early news reports of fires outlined some of the fires and the results of the […]

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Arnold Cave was the Source of Bend’s Ice Supply in Pioneer Days

August 4, 2014

Arnold Cave was the Source of Bend’s Ice Supply in Pioneer Days

Pioneer settlers in Central Oregon managed to harvest ice from frozen rivers and ponds during the winter months for storing of perishables and to keep beverages cool. But during summer months it was often difficult to procure ice. The residents of Bend discovered ice in Joe Cave, later to become […]

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Wetweather Spring, Waterhole was a Pioneer Drivers’ Haven

August 4, 2014

Wetweather Spring, Waterhole was a Pioneer Drivers’ Haven

Wetweather Spring was located on the old wagon road south from Bend to Silver Lake and later to Rosland and LaPine. It was between Bend and Lava Butte about eight miles south of Bend. It was a popular stopping point for teamsters to and from Bend and points south as they […]

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Local Cascade Peaks First Scaled in 1923

August 4, 2014

Local Cascade Peaks First Scaled in 1923

The summits of two peaks of the Central Oregon Cascades, Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Washington were first climbed on successive weekends in the summer of 1923. The conquerors of the two peaks were a group of six Bend boys who had trained for the epochal accomplishment by climbing the North […]

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