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News Release
City of Prineville_Credit Martin G. Morisette Collection
City of Prineville_Credit Martin G. Morisette Collection
City of Prineville to Celebrate Major Milestones (Photo) - 08/06/18

City turns 150; Railway turns 100

(PRINEVILLE, Ore.) – The City of Prineville, Central Oregon’s oldest city is turning 150 and the Prineville Railway, the longest-running, city-owned-and-operated railroad in the country, is turning 100 this summer.

The city is celebrating its sesquicentennial and Prineville Railway is celebrating its centennial with two days of family-friendly events and train rides Aug. 24 and 25, 2018.

Prineville was founded by Barney Prine in 1868 as Prine and was renamed to Prineville in 1872. The first freight train arrived in Prineville Aug. 24, 1918. A century later the Prineville Railway continues to spur economic development and evoke community pride.

“Prineville was originally built by timber, ranching, and the railroad. But it was also built by a pioneering spirit that continues today. The first settlers who came here 150 years ago found the same thing the city offers today: abundant land, opportunity and a ‘never say quit’ mentality,” said Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe.

As the oldest and most prominent town in Central Oregon in the early 1900s, citizens of Prineville believed their town would be on the route of any railroad built in the region. Citizens were shocked when they were twice bypassed by railroads in favor of the new town of Bend. Several private investment groups failed, and July 7, 1916, the Prineville City Council passed Ordinance 234, which authorized the city to build a railroad line and issue $100,000 in bonds to finance construction and levy taxes to cover bond obligations. The ordinance went to the voters and was approved by a vote of 348 to one.

Today the railway provides a vital link between businesses and consumers. Businesses such as Les Schwab Tires, Pacific Firs, McCall Oil, Superior Carriers, Envirotech Services, Parr Lumber, Malheur Lumber Company and Fontana Wood Products depend on productivity gains from partnering with Prineville Railway.

City sesquicentennial and Railway centennial celebration events will take place Aug. 24 and 25 and include rides on the city’s diesel locomotive.

“150 years of history and economic development deserves a celebration, and we invite everyone to join us,” said Mayor Roppe.

CITY SESQUICENTENNIAL AND RAILWAY CENTENNIAL CALENDAR OF CELEBRATIONS

Friday, Aug. 24

  • Bowman Museum hosts the Prineville Chamber Perk, open to the public 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. 

Museum is open Friday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday, Aug., 25, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Don’t miss the special display highlighting the City of Prineville Railway.

  • 150th Celebration in Pioneer Park, Soldier reenactments, vintage fire equipment demonstrations, food vendors.

12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  

  • History of Prineville and the Railroad

Presentations, showing of 1955 movie and refreshments. Bowman Museum , 6 p.m. 

Museum is open Friday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday, Aug., 25, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 25

  • City of Prineville Railway Free Diesel Locomotive Ride, free but tickets required

Eight-mile roundtrip between Prineville and Redmond

TICKETS

  • 150th Celebration in Pioneer Park

Soldier reenactments, vintage fire equipment demonstrations, food vendors.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Ochoco Valley Model Railroad Display at Crook County Fairgrounds

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

  • Prineville Farmers and Makers Market 

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  

About the City of Prineville

Located east of the Cascade mountains in Oregon’s high desert, the City of Prineville is a resurgent rural community that has preserved its small-town, ranching roots and Western lifestyle while embracing smart growth in a business-friendly environment. With a population nearing 10,000 residents, the county seat of Crook County attracts a diversity of business and lifestyle interests, including tech giants Facebook and Apple, recreational enthusiasts and thriving agricultural industry. Incorporated in 1880, City of Prineville operates the oldest continuously running municipal short line railway in the U.S., as well as a public golf course, and airport. Prineville boasts numerous recreational assets, including the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River, and remains a popular destination for anglers and hunters. For more information on City services and programs visit cityofprineville.com .