by Michele Morseth

Plainview began being settled in 1900 when families of Gist, Post, McAlister, and Phillips constructed the first irrigation ditch from Three Creeks which supplied the farmers with water to grow grains and vegetables. Charles Gist established a post office in his home in 1907. The same year the Gist School was built, saving children the long ride to the school in Sisters. The building cost $1,300, including furniture. By 1915 the school had 36 students. Like many schools serving rural areas it became a community center and church.

Plainview seemed destined to grow and in 1914 the Columbia Southern Irrigation Company started construction of 2 dams and 85 miles of ditches and canals to service the area. A boom arrived with tent camps and services south of the dam. In 1917 a community center was built to accommodate the growing population. The water was not to come to Plainview, however. Geologic faults caused the Tumalo Reservoir to leak. A series of dry years in the 1920s caused a population decline throughout the region as homesteaders had a hard time growing needed crops. Grain prices dropped as the country slid into the Great Depression, further impacting homesteaders. The Plainview post office closed and residents began to be served by the Tumalo post office. The Plainview school however operated until about 1937. A victim of arsonists, the school building burned in the 1950s—no longer an historic landmark.


Copyright © 2006 Sisters Country Historical Society