Makenzie Elliott rides Lenny the horse on a trail ride with Black Butte Stables.

Step into Sisters, and it’s like being transported into the Old West.

Local businesses line the streets with false fronts, old-timey signs and saloon doors. Lampposts are designed to look as though they’re hanging lanterns. Even the local McDonald’s looks like the type of place two feuding desperados might meet at high noon to resolve their differences.

The town’s style is no coincidence — it’s literally written into the city code. The city passed an ordinance in the 1970s that required commercial buildings to have the iconic Wild West look as a way to give the town an identity that would lure tourists. The idea has worked pretty well.

“You don’t have this feeling in many places,” said Pat Lieser, a board member of the Three Sisters Historical Society. “In many towns, you get this mix of modern and old and it’s unsettling a little bit. In Sisters, (the Wild West) atmosphere is consistent.”

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