Tucked into the southern folds of the Ochoco Mountains of Central Oregon, the quiet little town of Germaine straddles beautiful Tamarack Creek as it winds its way down into the South Fork of the Crooked River. Situated on the borderland between the forest and the great High Desert of Eastern Oregon, in a hidden space at the intersection of Crook, Deschutes, and Harney Counties, Wilbur County is beginning to awaken from its sleepy past, ready to take on the contemporary world.
Towns in Wilbur County include Germaine, the county seat, Charlebois Springs, North Plains Junction, and Nine Mile. Although none of them are particularly easy to get to, other nearby towns are Izee, Suplee, Seneca and Paulina. The nearest city of any size is Burns, on U.S. Highway 20.
Wilbur county’s success can be attributed to its people and their spirit of community, co-operation and public investment. The people of Germaine, like true Americans everywhere, also pride themselves on their individualism and self-sufficiency.
Population and Demographics:
The population of Wilbur County has changed substantially since the last census. If we were to estimate, we’d say between 1000 and 15,000, depending upon the day of the week. We will give you updated figures from the Census Bureau, as soon as they become available. The ethnic breakdown is approximately as follows:
Native American 16% (mostly self-identified)
African American 1%
Asian American 1%;
$19, 238 and growing
Average Home Price:
Average Home Value:
Germaine is proud of its schools.Chief Paulina Elementary and Middle School has an award-winning teaching team, and Old Paiute High School has produced some of the finest citizens in the State of Oregon.Besides the public schools, Germaine is also home to a Christian school, and a private secular school.
While the road to Germaine is not yet well traveled, it has strategically positioned itself as a way-station on the Information Superhighway. High tech firms in Bend, Prineville and Burns have recently shown interest in relocating to our lovely valley.
We have a strong and active Chamber of Commerce, our own locally-owned bank, and a county credit union.
Germaine also has its own manufacturing sector, anchored by A-Gro Cultures, Inc., an organic fertilizer firm, whose patented products are sold to organic farmers worldwide.
Wilbur County farms raise mint, potatoes and lots of alfalfa, which helps to supply the big Harney County cattle ranches. But we are also famous for our Tamarack Valley Honeydews.
We like our meat and potatoes here, but as one cowboy said, “Honey, dew give me one of them big tasty melons.”
McCoy Industries operates a successful experimental farm in the southeast corner of Wilbur County, developing the next generation of non-gmo crops.
Theater and the Arts:
Theater and the arts are important element in the life of Germaine and Wilbur County. We have our own community theater group, The Strawberry Mountain Players, which is renowned throughout Central Oregon. Germaine sports a couple of art galleries, and an open-mic poetry scene. We also have our own local bands. Jasper and the Germaines, is an old-timey country band, and The Kowboy Killers is a youth-oriented “Punk” group. The old Germaine Opera House is the place to pick up a live performance.
Germaine is a stop-over for visitors taking the back roads into the Ochocos. The Outdoor Survival Store at North Plains Junction provides outdoor supplies of all kind, as well as workshops on survival and skills for simple and ecological living.
Beautiful Lake Germaine in north Wilbur County is famous in these parts for its fishing and its duck hunting marshes.Old Paiute Lodge and The Longhouse Restaurant provide a destination resort for newagers and nature lovers of all kinds. Great camping and hiking are also a good reason to visit.
Wilbur County Historical Society and Pioneer Museum
Eastern Star Grange of Wilbur County
Daughters of Germaine Passing on the vision of Little Germaine Van Bibber for the past 150 years. Daughters of Germaine is a charitable civic organization, making Germaine a better place to live. The Daughters of Germaine also operate The Little Shop of the Grotto on Old Mill Rd.
Go Organic Go Organic is an organization to promote organic agriculture in Wilbur County. It is supported by North Wilbur Food Co-op, McCoy Agricultural Industries, A-Gro Cultures Inc., and other area businesses.
Wilbur County Cherokees
Churches, Mosques, Temples, and Synagogues:
Calvary Baptist Church of Germaine 1827 Van Bibber Road
Germaine Church of God 569 Blue Bucket Ln
Germaine United Methodist Church 423 N Elm St.
Germaine Unitarian Fellowship 127 N. Childers St
Mary of the Immaculate Heart Catholic Church 512 N. Childers St.
Wilbur County Friends Meeting Where the Spirit Leads.
Buddhist Temple of Wilbur County (meets in Unitarian Church)
Reformed Synagogue of Wilbur County (meets in Unitarian Church)
Mosque of Islam (meets in Unitarian Church)
Local Business Directory:
Arratola’s General Store Hardware, groceries. You need it, we probably have it! 30 N. Main, Corner of Germaine Blvd.
Brenda’s Butchery Located in the old Hotel Germaine. Corner of N. Main St and Germaine Blvd
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