Prineville (Images of America)

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A group of local citizens decided that justice could not wait and formed the Committee of Vigilance, more commonly, known as the Vigilantes. The hotel was stormed by masked riders, and the prisoner was shot and killed.

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A hired man of the victim was considered guilty by association. Found in a boardinghouse, a rope was thrown around him, and he was dragged through the streets to a wooden bridge on Crooked River and hanged. The rule of the Vigilantes had begun. The violence of the frontier created concern, and local legislators managed to pass legislation to establish a new county in Central Oregon so government would be more locally based. Crook County, named for Gen. George Crook, was created out of Wasco County in October , and Prineville was selected as the county seat.

The first election for the new county was held in , and with the establishment of an elected government, the Vigilantes began to be forced out of business. Prineville began to boom as the major community between The Dalles and Lakeview; it was the only sizeable community in Central Oregon.

More businesses were established to cater to the growing population. A new wooden courthouse was built in , and justice was brought to the wild frontier.

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Further violence later erupted between sheep men and cattlemen, which lasted into the early years of the 20th century. After the turn of the 20th century, a homestead boom came to Central Oregon, and Prineville served as the base for hundreds of homesteaders trying to find their piece of paradise. The homesteaders found the harsh desert to be a difficult place for their farming enterprise, though, and many soon became disillusioned and abandoned their claims. Unfortunately for Prineville, the rail lines bypassed the major community in the region. Soon upstart communities such as Bend, Redmond, and Madras began to grow with the arrival of the railroad.

A grand new stone courthouse was built in Prineville in , and an outcry from the newly developing communities along the railroad led to petitions to form new counties. Jefferson County was created out of Crook in , with Madras serving as the county seat, and Deschutes County was carved from Crook County in Bend became its county seat. The once huge Crook County was diminished to its current size. The communities along the railroad soon became the new commercial centers for Central Oregon. The residents of Prineville, concerned that the community would become a ghost town if it did not have a connection to the railroad, passed bond issues, and in , a city-owned railroad was built to the main rail line just north of Redmond.

The new railroad provided a rail market for livestock and crops, but industry still did not arrive in Prineville. The rail line floundered for several years until the lumber industry arrived in the s, and it began to boom. Because there were plentiful ponderosa-pine forests in the surrounding region, several large mill operations were established in the community.

The railroad provided a means to get lumber to a large market.

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By the end of World War II, Prineville was once again a booming community, with plentiful jobs in the lumber and logging industry. The lumber industry continued until the s, then gradually began to decline, which caused the railroad to face some hard times. You can easily choose your hotel by location.


Many photos and unbiased Prineville hotel reviews written by real guests are provided to help you make your booking decision. Luxury hotels including 5 star hotels and 4 star hotels and cheap Prineville hotels with best discount rates and up-to-date hotel deals are both available in separate lists. Always bear in mind that with Maplandia. We search over approved car hire suppliers to find you the very best Prineville rental prices available. Choose Prineville car hire supplier according to your preferences. The booking process is secured and is made as simple as possible.

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The bass, catfish and crappie fishing is best between May and October. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fishing report. Visit the U. Bureau of Reclamation website for current water levels and boat ramp elevations. Other recreational activities include waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, star gazing and wildlife viewing.

There are numerous year round camping opportunities within the state park on the reservoir.

Prineville, Oregon (Images of America Series)

In the developed areas there are deluxe cabins with full amenities, full hook up RV sites and tent sites. Flush toilets and hot showers are also available. For those who like to rough it, there are many primitive drive in and boat in campsites around the reservoir as well.