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Sly operated early post office that lasted only a few months near what would become La Pine

COURTESY PHOTO: BOWMAN MUSEUM - George Sly and his wife Sarah homesteaded south of present day La Pine in 1899.

Sly was an early post office site near Long Prairie about five miles south of La Pine near the Deschutes/Klamath county line. The post office was established on Jan. 17, 1900, but was soon rescinded on May 12, 1900. The post office was named for George T. Sly, who was the first postmaster and the office operated out of the family home.

George Thomas Sly was born in Illinois in about 1852. He married Sarah Simpson in 1882 in Jacksonville, Oregon. Sarah was born in 1861. They came to Central Oregon to homestead south of Rosland in 1899. Rosland was then near present La Pine. Their homestead was known as the County Line Ranch because it was located at the Deschutes/Klamath county line.

George patented his homestead claim on Dec. 6, 1906. Both he and Sarah patented additional claims west of the original homestead. After filing his initial claim George went north toward the site of Farewell Bend (the site of present Bend) to seek farm work as it was difficult to make a living from their homestead. Sarah stayed at the homestead to maintain their home.

Eventually, the family moved to Rosland in 1905 and George operated a blacksmith shop. The family moved back to the homestead when Rosland moved a little south and was renamed La Pine. They built a large two-story house that burned in 1928. They continued to live on the homestead for many years. George died in 1942 and was buried in the Masten Cemetery near La Pine. Sarah lived on for a few years and moved into Bend. She died on Feb. 13, 1949. She is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Bend.


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