Local Stories

The Great Land Rush to Central Oregon

August 4, 2014

The Great Land Rush to Central Oregon

One of the last great land rushed for homesteading occurred in Central Oregon shortly after the turn of the century. There had been an influx of settlers in the early part of the century but mostly in the Fort Rock basin, but with the coming of the railroad to Central […]

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First Football Game in Central Oregon Played in 1911

August 4, 2014

First Football Game in Central Oregon Played in 1911

Football was relatively unknown in rural Oregon in the early 1900’s but on a clear, cold and crisp day in the Fall of 1911 the sport was introduced to the frontier country of Central Oregon. The rising community of Bend and the long established frontier town of Prineville managed to […]

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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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