Prineville is the only incorporated town in an area historically dominated by cattle ranches, farming, and logging. Other communities include Powell Butte, Brasada Ranch, Post, Paulina, and Suplee.
Prineville (el. 2,868′) is the only incorporated city in and the county seat of Crook County. It is roughly twenty miles east of Redmond on HWY 126 and thirty miles southeast of Madras on HWY 26. The city was founded in 1877 and named for the first merchant in town, Barney Prine. Prineville was the major town in central Oregon until 1911, when a north-south railroad line from The Dalles by-passed the town entirely and instead passed through the towns of Redmond and Bend. To keep from becoming a ghost town, the residents of Prineville established their own railroad line that connected to the north-south tracks.
Les Schwab Tire Centers was founded in Prineville in 1952 and maintained it's corporate headquarters there until 2008, when they were relocated to Bend. The company still maintains a large distribution center in Prineville. Facebook established a large data center in town in 2010 with Apple following suit in 2012.
The sparsely populated and unincorporated Post (3,383') is located twenty-five miles southeast of Prineville in ranch country on HWY 380. It consists of a general store/tavern and a post office. It also has the claim to fame of being the geographical center of the State of Oregon.
Paulina (el. 3,688′), named for Paiute Chief Paulina, is a further thirty miles east from Post on HWY 380. Suplee (el. 4,564’) is another nineteen miles on from Paulina. Both Paulina and Suplee are unincorporated ranching centers.
The unincorporated community of Powell Butte (el. 3,117’) can be found in Crook County roughly halfway between the towns of Redmond and Prineville on the northern slope of Powell Butte. The post office was established in 1909. The destination resort, Brasada Ranch (el. 3,300’) was established in 2005 on the southwest slope of Powell Butte. It is fourteen miles from Redmond and twenty miles from either Prineville or Bend.
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