Largest in Eastern Oregon
Will Have a Capacity Sufficient for Five of the Biggest Sawmills in the United States.
Surveys have recently been completed by the Central Oregon Development Co. which demonstrate that Bend has one of the grandest sites for a mill pond in the entire country. Not a pond that will accommodate two or three ordinary sized mills, but rather one with a capacity sufficient for five or six of the largest mills in the United States.
The Central Oregon company has recently purchased the John Sisemore property south of Bend, It has long been known that this land furnishes an excellent site for a mill pond at some future day, but It was not realized that the possibilities in that line were as great as they have been proven to be by these recent surveys. The surveys show that an area of 265 acres can be covered with water with an average depth of nine feet. A pond of that size — nearly half a section in extent — is practically an inland lake and would be one of the greatest artificial log ponds ever known. John Steidl, who certainly understands the logging and milling business, says that such a pond would furnish logs sufficient for an output of 5,000,000 feet of sawed lumber per day. And Mr. Steidl says that capacity would accommodate five of the largest sawmills in the United States.
Very few of our people realize what such a pond will some day mean to Bend. It can be positively stated that there is no pond to equal it in Central or Eastern Oregon; and furthermore that there is not another site like it on the entire length of the Deschutes river. A full significance of such a situation is more fully understood when the recent statement of an experienced lumberman is taken into consideration. This man is a representative of a large and wealthy lumber firm that has extensive holdings of timber in this section. He stated that he had been worried about securing a pond site sufficient in size at which his company could manufacture its lumber. He had gone up and down the river looking for such a site but could find nothing that was large enough, The other day Mr. Steidl took him out and showed him the possibilities of the pond heretofore referred to; showed him how easy and with what little expense the river could be dammed and an immense pond created. The man was at once satisfied and that day wrote to his employers in the East stating that a pond with abundance of room and to spare had been found.
What does this mean? It means that pond sites on the Deschutes are few and far between and that Bend has the only practical one of any size for many miles up and down the river. It further means that when the railroad comes Bend will have at least four mills of large capacity. That means a pay roll of thousands of dollars every month, and that brings prosperity. The fact that Bend has the only practical mill pond on the river will force the railroads to come here. The tonnage that the roads will get from the mills will be one of the first and greatest inducements to bring them into this section, and they will be obliged by the very nature of circumstances to come where the mills can manufacture their lumber. Thus the pond will be the means not only of giving Bend several large mills with big pay rolls, but with also play a dominating influence in bringing the railroads to Bend.
Four large companies with extensive holdings hereabouts have signified their intention to build mills at Bend as soon as transportation is furnished. When that day comes — and come it will — Bend will begin a growth that will make it the leading city of the state east of the Cascade range, and it will become in truth what some now call it, “the Spokane of Oregon.”
Source: Bend Bulletin