Oregon, is home to the city of Bend, which is rooted beside the
famed Deschutes River at the eastern foot of the Cascade Range.
The name of this city stems from the nickname “Farewell Bend,” a
moniker once utilized by pioneers to refer to the area alongside
the Deschutes River where travelers would rest before embarking
upon the rest of their journey. In later years, that area is where
the town sprouted. In its earliest stages, the area of Bend,
Oregon was a logging town. Today, this history has forged the way
to its current tourist status as an attractive site for hiking,
swimming, bird watching, camping, skiing, biking and other outdoor
1824, only Native Americans hunted, fished and thrived in Bend,
Oregon. However, in winter 1824, a fur trapping party led by
Peter Skeen Ogden visited the area. Many French-Canadian fur
trappers also welcomed the attractions of this central Cascade
Mountain Range property. French-speaking fur trappers even named
the Deschutes River “River of the Falls,” or Riviere des Chutes.
In later years, other pioneers such
as John Fremont and miscellaneous army surveyors visited the
region. John Young Todd built a bridge across the Deschutes River
in 1860. However, true formalized settlement did not occur until
the early 1900s, when Alexander Drake founded the Pilot Butte
Development Company. As the business grew, a small community also
developed in close proximity to the river. By 1904, the city’s
residents incorporated the city. The city was incorporated with
approximately 300 people. A.H. Goodwillie was appointed as the
first mayor of the area on January 4, 1905.
Bend prospered in the early 1900s
and even adopted its first fire protection system in 1905. In
1911, the Oregon Trunk Railroad was completed. James J. Hill and
E. H. Harriman also helped to lay railroad tracks in the area.
Those tracks helped open the door to burgeoning tourism, which
aided the logging industry. By 1914, lumber companies emerged as
the foundation of the local economy, thus giving rise to Bend’s
history as a logging town.
Residents created Deschutes County
in 1917. At that time, the county was created from a small portion
of the western area of Crook County. Bend was selected as the
county seat. Two years later, on February 24, 1919, the city’s
Fire Department was created by the City Council.
Population and economic growth were
gradual developments until Mt. Bachelor became a prime venue for
skiing. This attraction stimulated the tourist economy, and
eventually led to growth in the industrial and commercial sectors
as well. As more and more jobs were created, the population of
Bend also grew.
Today, visitors and
residents alike are able to observe Bend’s pride in their rich
history. Drake Park, for instance, is named after Alexander M.
Drake, one of the community’s first settlers. Fortunately, the
area is no longer solely dependent upon logging, but has now
shifted to Tourism as it's primary revenue source. There has
also been a great deal of effort by many who are working hard to
attract mid-size companies to the area to help alleviate the
dependency upon tourism as the only base industry in the area.