Deschutes claims another victim

The Deschutes has reached out again.

This time it took the life of an 11-year-old boy in the upper reaches of the Mirror Pond near Gilchrist Footbridge.

Through the years, the Deschutes in the immediate Bend area has taken more than 20 lives. Nine persons died in the river in or close to bend the first year mirror Pond was filled following construction of the power dam in 1909.

One of the river tragedies occurred on a summer evening in 1928 when a candidate for president of the United States, representing a minor party, lost his life in an attempt to rescue a boy who, had fallen from the Drake Park span while fishing.

But despite the heavy toll taken by the river, the Deschutes is treated contemptuously. Disregarding a city ordinance, youngsters still fish from the Drake Park bridge.

They not only fish from the span, but dangerously dangle over the stream, swift and treacherous as the heavy reservoir flow races through the channel.

Only the other evening, a 3-year-old boy ran out on the bridge, crawled to the top rail and started to throw a leg across when stopped by a passerby.

During Mirror Pond Pageant days, youngsters played on the booms. They not only played, but ran down the swaying timber.

The Deschutes in Bend is a beautiful stream, but it is dangerous.

Parents might pass this information on to youngsters.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1962

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