Wilbur County Online

Header image

About Germaine and Wilbur County

Location:

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:

  • Caucasion  67%
  • Native American 16% (mostly self-identified)
  • Hispanic   11%
  • African American 1%
  • Asian American 1%; 
  • Basque  1%
  • Won’t Say  4%

Median Income:

$19, 238 and growing

Average Home Price:

$35,729

Average Home Value:

Priceless

Schools:

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.

Business Climate:

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.

Agriculture:

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.

Recreation:

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.

Organizations:

  • 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.
  • EcoSurvival Village
  • Wilbur County Cherokees

Churches, Mosques, Temples, and Synagogues:

  • Calvary Baptist Church of Germaine
  • Germaine Church of God
  • Germaine United Methodist Church      
  • Germaine Unitarian Fellowship
  • Mary of the Immaculate Heart Catholic Church
  • Wilbur County Friends Meeting
  • 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!<br>31 W. Main (Corner of Germaine Blvd.)
  • Brenda’s Butchery
    Located in the old Hotel Germaine. Corner of Main St and Germaine Blvd
  • Charlebois Corners Grocer
    Groceries, videos, sundry items. Charlebois Market Road and N. Wilburman (10 miles west of Germaine)
  • Charlebois Hot Springs
    Charlebois Hot Springs Retreat is a bed and breakfast with saunas and hot tubs, located at Charlebois Springs.
  • Germaine Coffeehouse & Cybercafe
    Coffee, community and cyberspace. Light breakfast and lunch fare. 123 W. Main
  • Jasper’s Garage
    Automotive repair and salvage. 725 S. Old Paiute Rd.
  • Hedrick’s Haberdashery
    Haberdashery, what else? 135 W. Main St
  • Little Shop of the Grotto
    Souvenirs and Guided Tours. 2430 Old Mill Rd
  • North Wilbur Food Co-op
    Collectively owned and operated food cooperative. Old Paiute Rd. at North Plains
  • Reeltime
    Movie house and video store. 54 W. Applegate
  • Singing Firs Funeral Home
    Attending the physical needs of the dearly departed. 428 E. Main St
  • Wilbur County Credit Union
    Serving the community since 1996. 101 N. Germaine Blvd
  • Wilbur Feed & Seed
    Farm and outdoor supplies. 34 S. Germaine Blvd
  • Germaine Hotel Restaurant
    Germaine’s oldest and finest eatery. Corner of Main St. and Germaine Blvd
  • New Dawn Realty
    Owned by Angie Arratola, Germaine’s premier realtor.
  • Honey-Do Tavern
    An American Establishment. United We Stand. 1507 N. Old Paiute Rd
  • Old Paiute Pub & Brewery
    Home of Old Paiute Porter and the world-famous Germaine Honeydew Cider. 222 W. Main St
  • The Round-up Tavern
    Watering hole where the real cowboys gather. 815 E. Forest Lane
  • The Longhouse
    Celestial cuisine for the vegan connoisseur, with a Native American flavor. Home of the Tofulo Burger. On Lake Germaine, at the end of Old Paiute Rd.
  • Red Nation Enterprises
    Owners if Indigenous Ways Retreat Center on Lake Germaine.