Welcome to Wilbur

If it is outdoor recreation you’re after, Wilbur is the place to be!

Visitors are always welcome to stop by the semi-private Big Bend Golf and Country Club at the west end of town to enjoy a round or two on the challenging nine-hole golf course.

The course features well-maintained greens on a relatively level course with a few sand traps. Rental clubs and carts are available and lessons can be provided for a novice golfer. The clubhouse gives visitors a place to relax and enjoy a cool drink or a bite to eat.

Emerson Park at the east end of town belongs to the school district, but is available for public use. You can enjoy a jog around the track, a fast-paced game of tennis, or bring a group of family or friends for a game of baseball or touch football.

Downtown, you can relax in the shade of one of the most beautiful city parks around. The well-kept lawns are framed with splendid old trees and a rustic footbridge crosses Goose Creek, which flows through the center of the park. The Centennial Pavilion at the south side of the park is available for public use.

Across from the creek is the public swimming pool. The Wilbur pool is open throughout the summer months, and for a small fee, local residents and visitors can take advantage of the opportunity for a refreshing swim. The west end features a diving board, and a wading pool for younger children is available at the east end of the facility.

A couple of blocks to the west of the pool, you can find an outdoor rink for in-line or roller skating. Hockey has become a year-round activity at this site.

Extensive recreational opportunities are available within a short distance of town. Hunting, fishing, boating, camping and water skiing are among the most popular of these activities.

If you decide to stay around for a few days at one of the town’s RV parks or motels, be sure to take advantage of the Hesseltine Public Library, located at city hall, a block north of Highway 2 on Division Street. More than 1,000 books are just waiting to be read and enjoyed.

The Big Bend Historical Society Museum, located in a former church building a block north of Sandy’s Thrift, allows the visitor to step back into Wilbur’s past. Among the many items on display is the gun taken from the hand of Wilbur’s founding father, Samuel Wilbur Condon, after he was killed in a shootout over a woman in January 1895. Condon, more commonly known as Wild Goose Bill, and a young man named Barton Parks, were both killed in the shootout.

Another important display involves the outlaw Harry Tracy who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a wheat field east of Creston in August, 1902. The wounded Tracy was surrounded by a Creston posse, and apparently saw no chance for escape when he chose to take his own life rather than face capture.

The museum is open on a limited basis, but volunteers are usually available to open the facility for anyone wanting to pay a visit. Call (509) 647-2359 or city hall at 647-5821.

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