La Pine. Small Town Bright Future!
Looking at the sign at Triangle Park a visitor might be aware that the new little city must have a lumber history and that they believe they are ready to illuminate anyone who comes near about their growing opportunities to grow up with La Pine! A saw blade featuring Newberry Crater in front of a blue sky- all embedded in the natural stone from the surrounding area makes it clear you are in monument country, in forest lands, under big skies and that La Pine wants… well, more!
Oregon’s newest city, La Pine, has been here for over 100 years, becoming an official Post Office in September of 1910, when Rosland (now in north La Pine) gave up their mail delivery and the mail service was transferred to the little community two miles south.
La Pine was centered in an area full of timber, but it was also an established vacation spot for people from the valley who wanted to escape the rain in order to get in on the 320 days of sunshine instead. If you did not cut trees for a living, or were an official tourist, chances are, you tried to settle on a piece of land, that with extraordinarily hard work, would yield up a modest garden, support a few beef cows and some chickens for eggs and the eventual stew pot.
The two season town was famous for warm summer days, cold nights and harsh- what the weather savvy Lapinites call- extreme winter weather! When you made your decision to move to La Pine you took on the weather as a condition of living here. The other conditions were much less challenging! Abundant water was available. There were plenty of trees for building cabins and the few folks who settled here first, cut through the trees and made roads that were used to convey property owners to and from town.
The usual small town amenities were established with a general store, bank, hotels, livery stables, blacksmith and other service businesses. La Pine boasted a pretty good doctor who drove an automobile around the back country and eventually there was a newspaper called the La Pine Intermountain that covered everything between Eugene and Bend.
During the years when the railroad men were fighting to see who could establish rail service, La Pine was poised to have rail passenger service to the town, but, that ended up in Bend instead. Before that, anyone who lived out in the desert would come through La Pine on their way to Shaniko to pick up monthly supplies. The trips from Christmas Valley and Fort Rock were a week long and La Pine was a halfway stopover for many travelers who were coming and going.
Tourism was always big for La Pine. It was a destination for hunters and fishermen. It was not long until the Paulina Peaks resorts were destinations for visitors, too. East Lake is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Paulina Lodge is ninety. (Established in the 1920s) When the Crane Prairie, Wickiup Dam and other lake projects were started in the 30s, the people came to work, returned to visit and then moved to La Pine to build in the woods.
La Pine still boasts a reputation for being outdoor centered. It is home to one of Oregon’s national monuments: the Newberry Crater. It has easy access to all of the lakes and rivers of the area and two miles south, La Pine opens up on the high desert areas to the south and east. More than that, it offers plenty of space for residents who want to get away from close urban areas and spread their wings! The results? The sixteen hundred residents who live inside the City limits are joined by another twenty thousand who live in the trees and foothills that surround our town. No one who comes to La Pine goes away without feeling like they have made new friends. We have a motto here:
Come here to play, then move here to stay,
because when you talk to the folks who are your friends and neighbors about how they got here they will quickly tell you that they came to camp or hunt or fish and loved it so much, that they came again and soon they decided that they liked the small town feel and the family friendly atmosphere in the middle of everything they love about the outdoors. After that it was them trying to figure out how fast they could move here.
La Pine still has affordable land for residential and industrial use and when it comes to business, HWY 97 runs through the town giving perspective businesses a way to bring materials in and send products out to customers. We do have a rail line through La Pine and industrial spurs are an approved part of the industrial applications to start up business in La Pine.
La Pine is ready to brand itself and while they look for the image they want to live with in the forever of their future, the volunteers and leaders of the community are working hard to start and finish smaller projects one at a time to move La Pine into the process of becoming the City they want the world to remember!
La Pine is changing. Not too much or too fast, but they understand that change is inevitable and they want to direct it and shape it into what they want for their community. As long as the people do not lose the core values they believe in about family and small town feel, neighbors helping each other while they give each other space, maintaining affordability, and keeping a slower pace, you are invited to explore the opportunities waiting for you in La Pine.
We are a small town with a bright future- and it is beginning to show!
Posted in La Pine News, Newberry News by Teri Myers with no comments yet.