You’ll want to stop for a few minutes in Brothers, mostly because you’ll be mind-numbed by the drive on US 20. It’s the only thing to see for miles. This semi-ghost-town offers just a few buildings and only one business.
After driving for the better part of an hour across the empty Oregon outback, I was ready for any excuse to get out of the car. The tiny town of Brothers offered a nice break.
US 20 runs through the middle of the tiny community. Obviously, it’s seen better days. This building once served some purpose, presumably as a business…
… since the ghost sign on the wall seems to be advertising coffee accessories. Would that be cups?
You can stop and eat here. The Brothers Stage Stop remains open for business, and it’s your only option for food or gas in the area.
There is also a red schoolhouse by the side of the road.
So why the name Brothers? If you’re looking at a map, you can’t help but notice there’s also a town called Sisters, named after the Three Sisters mountain peaks. One historical account says the name derives from the Three Brothers Sheep Camp, which was located near three hills in front of the three mountains. Another story attributes the name to several brothers who settled in the area.
Sheep ranchers and cattle ranchers moved into the area in the late 1800’s, competing for land. In the early 1900’s, the railroad arrived in Bend, and the government offered free land in the area, so the population boomed. But, farming in this area was difficult, and most residents eventually moved to Bend to find jobs there.
It wasn’t long before I was back on the road. Rainy weather lay ahead of me, and I couldn’t help but look in my rear-view mirrors, at the much brighter skies back towards Bend.
I can’t vouch for the food at the Stage Stop, since I didn’t eat there, and I’m sure the gas is more expensive than in Oregon’s bigger towns, but if you’re looking for a place to take a break from driving, Brothers is a good spot to stretch your legs.
Brothers, Oregon is located about 41 miles east of Bend, Oregon, and 88 miles west of Burns, Oregon, on US Highway 20.
Check out this time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from Bend, through Brothers, to Burns: