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A Little History of Prineville, Oregon

By Forrest Smith, July 6, 2009

Hi: Forrest H. Smith here & where is hear,Well head West to  PRINEVILLE,OREGON located in CROOK COUNTY,we are almost in the center of the State. ” A little History of our area”, to the West is the Cascade Range with the 3-Sisters Mts. named HOPE,FAITH & CHARITY all of them are over 10,000′ ft. high,by the Settlers as they where trying to get to the Willamette Valley,Also there is MT.Jefferson & MT. HOOD further to the North. To the South is what we call the High Desert with Thousand’s of acre’s of BLM & USFS land,amongst the large Cattle Ranches.To the East is the Ochoco & Maury Mtns. & the Fertile John Day Valley, with a mixture of Irrigated fields & ranches. Bend,Oregon is approx. 28 miles to the SW famous for the MT Bachelor,Ski Area.,Redmond, approx.18 miles West & is the major AIR PORT,with service to Portland,Seattle,Denver,San Francisco,& ect. ( A Little History of CROOK County: In 1825 the first Settlers in what was to be CROOK COUNTY called it the “Ochoco Country”, pronounced Och’-a-co, is a Paiute Indian word said to mean Willows.Hudson Bay Trapper’s led by Peter Skene Ogden looking for Beaver in the Ochoco Creak & Crooked River in December 1825,& are felt to be the First White Men here.They left in a blinding snow  storm in January 1826. It is said Kit Carson visited the valley briefly in December 1843,then came the MEEKS “LOST WAGON TRAIN” of 1845,in the same area,it is said they picked up GOLD NUGGETS in a Blue Bucket for some time before they recognized them as Gold, & the place where they found them is yet to be found.PRINEVILLE was founded in 1868 when Barney Prine settled on the banks of the Crooked River,where he built a Blacksmith Shop,Tavern & Store.In 1882 the County was separated from Wasco County & named for General George Cook in recognition of his efforts in Quelling the Banncock Indian uprising of 1878. Cattle & Sheep was the main industry & then Gold was discovered in the Ochoco Mtn’s,& there is still some small claims being worked.Prineville was the 1st. & only town within the 10,000 sq.miles,bounded by the Dalles on the North,Linkville(Klamath Falls) on the South,Eugene City on the West & Canyon City on the East. The first High School was organized in 1902,& Prineville was the main trade center till 1911,when the Union Pacific & Oregon Trunk Railway was extended from the Columbia River to Bend.The citizens of Prineville built there own Railroad to a connection of the UP & OT Railroad North of Redmond. Because of this Ponderosa Pine Lumber was shipped over the City of Prineville Railroad & resulted in the Title “The Largest Ponderosa Pine Shipping Center in the World”. and the Railroad is still in operation.”RECREATION” We have average to good Hunting & Fishing through out the area,for Mule Deer,Rocky Mtn. Elk, Antelope,Special hunt’s for ,Black Bear,& Cougar,along with Coyotes & Varmints. Fishing is average to good in the High Lakes,& Rivers such as Crooked River,Deschutes River,many Reservoir’s,& Streams,Crooked River also has a catch & release season for the beautiful Brown Trout. We have a number of  Modern Farms,from the small family ,having some Cattle,sheep,horses & ect. to the Large Cattle Ranches,from a few hundered acres to several  thousand acreages, In the Irrigation areas they will be growing Onions,Carrot’s, potatoes,wild flowers,rye grass,fescue & others for seed that is shipped all over the world. “Climate:” Summer time we may see a few days of 90-100,& also see a drop of 20-30 degrees by nightfall,helps you to sleep,Low’s in the Winter can be 5-20 below zero in the morning’s & up to 50+ by noon,We usually have sunshine during the day.We will have an average of 6 1/2″ to 1 1/2′ of snow in the lower Elevations. And we hope for 5′-20’of Snow in the higher Elevations.this area has always been looked at as a Diversified Recreation Area,Summer & Winter.HILL & ASSOC.REAL-ESTATE is one of the oldest Real Estate Agent in Prineville,we handle all types of property,from homes in town:&  MY SPECIALTY large Farms-Ranches,Hunting Property,Timber Land,& bare land for that special home or  special project to be built.  Our market has had a step back,like most other area’s,with the exception of the large ranches & farms which seem to be holding there own. I have been in the Real-estate sale’s & development work since 1972,also carried a State of Oregon Real-estate Appraisal Lic. for approx 15yrs.I am a native to this area,& feel I know it well,I have always said to be a good Realtor you need to Specialize in what you are good at. If you are accustom to selling a special property then stick with it & be the best you can.I like to let Buyers know if they are looking for that special property in a new area,seek out the Agents that have been there for a long time as they know the GOOD,the BAD & the UGLY.When I sell someone a property I hope to have made a new Friend not just a sale.

Please see my Oregon Land For Sale on

Thank You,


Forrest Smith, Hill & Assoc. RE LLC

Hill & Assoc. RE LLC.

1470 NE Third St

Prineville, Oregon


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