A Review: COCC geographer pens volume on Bend history

Compiled by a master researcher, Raymond R. Hatton of Central Oregon Community College, a compact, profusely illustrated book dealing with the history of Bend and attractions that have brought the rapidly growing city wide attention is being distributed throughout the state today.

The little volume, holding many rare and historic pictures, is “Bend in Central Oregon,” (Binford and Mort, $7.95) with an index that makes it a fine reference. On the front cover of the book is an autumnal picture of Mirror Pond, with clouds scudding around the Three Sisters.

“Bend lies right in the shadow of Cascade Mountains, the volcanic spine of Oregon,” Hatton notes. He touches on the volcanic story of the Cascades and devotes attention to the geology of the region.

But primarily, the little book deals with Bend, from pioneer days when wagons cut dusty trails across the High Desert and immigrants called Lava Butte, landmark of the area, “Red Butte.”

“Bend is one of the most rapidly growing cities in Oregon,” Hatton writes, adding that the city serves a region of some 75,000 persons.

In his book, Hatton possibly does not give as much attention to Bend’s pioneers as do other historians, but if the history story is sketched, pictures make up any gap. Hatton obviously has dug deeply into old home libraries of the area and has come up with many fine pictures of Bend in its horse and buggy days.

Hatton is a geographer at COCC, and it should be expected that he would give more than passing notice to the geography and geology of the region. Bend’s volcanic landscape gets attention and the Deschutes, in its lead from the high Cascades to the Columbia, is not overlooked.

Geographer Hatton recalls, from history sources, a gloomy day in Bend. That was in 1937 when F.A. Silcox of the U.S. Forest Service forecast that Bend was nearing its end as a thriving city. Silcox said the big local pine mills were overcutting their renewable supply of timber and gave Bend “about 20 years to live.”

But Bend survived, and virtually “outgrew its pants.” That growth continues as the city stretches its fringes in all directions.

A fine college took shape in the western hills; a big hospital was built at the desert’s edge; tourists flocked in from afar.

Hatton is a native of England who came to America on a track scholarship at the University of Idaho. He taught in various western schools and received his master’s degree from the University of Oregon. His master’s thesis was based on “The Impact of Tourism in Central Oregon.” That study led him into the writing field. In 1973, he completed his first book, “Bend Country Weather and Climate.” A second book, “High Desert of Central Oregon,” followed.

With “Bend in Central Oregon” completed, he is preparing for another book, one that will deal with the “high country of Central Oregon.”

The field sport, track, that brought Hatton to the Pacific Northwest continues as a major attraction, and he continues long distance competition.

The geographer, trackman, historian and author will be presented at an autograph party at the Book Barn downtown Bend on Friday, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Source: The Bulletin ©1978

Mirror Pond now a mud flat as PP&L lowers water level

The Mirror Pond basin, through which the Deschutes River raced as a trout-filled stream when Bend was a hamlet early in the century, was an ugly mud flat today.

Drainage of the big, lawn fringed basin was started last night, and by daylight this morning the river was meandering around mud banks as waterfowl fed in the main stream.

City officials were greatly pleased with the night selected by Pacific Power & Light Co. officials to drain the pond, to permit repairs to the impounding structures and to carry out other work: The mercury dipped to 16 degrees last night.

The sudden plunge of the temperature wilted aquatic weeds in the basin, apparently making unnecessary plans of the city to engage in an extensive weed-eradication project. This morning, weeds on mud flats were wilted over many acres.

However, the city will carry out other work while the pond level is down to stream channel. Part of this will include repair of rock walls in areas where cement did not hold. It is expected that there will also be an attempt to clean some unsightly debris from the basin.

Youngsters, en route to school, were on the job early this morning to make their survey of the muddy area, and found hundreds of crawdads dead in waterless areas, some of them on top of thin crusts of ice.

Work planned by PP&L includes the construction of a scenic water spout in the power pond area. It will be lighted. Also, a scenic wooden fence will be constructed on top of the spillway.

Level of the Mirror Pond will remain low for two weeks.

Source: The Bulletin ©1968

On page 8 in Sports: Kiki Cutter, Julie Meissner get thirds in respective ski races

Plans taking final shape for 1962 Mirror Pond Pageant

A program for Bend’s 1962 Mirror Pond Pageant, to be presented on July 27, 28 and 29, was taking final shape today as the framework of a huge arch loomed over the fete scene, the Deschutes River.

Through that arch, of entirely new design, will move floats that will depict “America’s Moments of Greatness,” from the time the Pilgrims landed until John Glenn orbited the earth.

Pageant committeemen, headed by Dick Maudlin, said script for this year’s pageant is being prerecorded. Included will be Lincoln’s second inaugural address narrated by Richard Boone of “Have Gun, Will Travel” fame.

Working on Script

Other portions of the script will be taped by members of the Bend Community Players and various Bend residents. John Stenkamp of KBND is writing the script.

This year’s river fete is being prepared as a Pacific Northwest event, with travelers to and from the Seattle World’s Fair being invited to stop over to view a water fete considered unique on the continent.

Floats to be presented in the pageant are being built by professional decorators, J.W. Huserik and Sons, Inc., Portland.

As preparations for the pageant moved into high gear for the first showing on Friday night, July 27, Maudlin said work parties will be on the job each night for the remainder of the week and on Saturday and Sunday. He said more volunteer help is needed.

Maudlin said outside groups taking part in the fete will include the colorful “Vikings” who seasonally present a Scandinavian festival in Junction City.

Highlights Listed

Square dancing, American Legion baseball games, art exhibits, a gem and geology show, a buckaroo breakfast and a golf tournament will highlight this year’s program.

The pet parade, one of the top features of the river fetes of former years when they were held over the Fourth of July holidays, will again be held this year, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 28. Children of Central Oregon are being invited to groom their pets for this event, most colorful of all uptown attractions in connection with the pageant.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1962

Swan Population Swells to 7

The swan population of Bend’s Mirror Pond stood at seven today, following the arrival of three birds of wide wing spread that joined the four imported last year from the East.

Arrival of the strangers caused quite a stir on the Mirror Pond, with the unrest continuing this morning when the three strangers, drifting downstream, met the four easterners near the Drake Park footbridge. There was an exchange of greetings in a ceremonial in which two of the big white birds touched bills.

Then the three strangers took off, winging upstream. The four Mirror Pond residents, their wings clipped, attempted to take off, but, with one exception, were only able to skim the water. The exception was a swan with a partly clipped wing that got airborne, then made a forced landing in the area of the Bob Thomas residence on Harmon.

The swan wandered into the Tumalo Avenue Bridge area and temporarily halted 7:30 a.m. traffic. An unidentified woman in the area flagged down traffic and aided the swan to get over the bridge and back into the river from the east side.

Dr. J.C. Vandevert said the three strange birds landed in the Mirror Pond Sunday afternoon.

The visiting swans, it is the belief of W.A. Lackaff, Riverside resident, were from the upper mill pond area, where five out of a brood of seven from last spring’s hatch survived and are now big birds.

Despite the unrest when the strange swans moved into the Mirror Pond, there was no fighting, river-edge residents report.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1961

Footbridge over Deschutes placed in use 40 years ago

Forty years ago this month Bend residents started crossing the Deschutes river on a new footbridge.

The bridge crossed the Mirror Pond about half way between the Bend Power & Light Co. plant and the Tumalo Avenue wagon bridge. The span was build by M.J. McDanielson, local contractor. He ended his work in February to permit the rustic railing of pine poles to season.

The bridge was sturdily built, to prevent a repetition of the accident in the previous December when a flood swept away the Bend Company footbridge.

Promise by City Engineer R. B. Gould that the river would be kept open to boating were fulfilled: The new span had a maximum clearance of five feet.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1960