Iconic Bend landmarks that date from our town’s beginnings are few. The dam, the brick building housing the equipment to generate electricity, and Mirror Pond are all that remain as evidence of those early, vital efforts.
Most places in the world, and the citizens who inhabit them, cherish their particular histories. They manage somehow to preserve and maintain those artifacts which connect them to their past, their beginnings – landmarks that represent their story, instill community pride and advertise their uniqueness to the world. That sentiment seems sadly missing from Bend’s current leadership and citizenry.
Someone at one of the recent Mirror Pond meetings told me that for most people now days, history is only a generation old. If that is true, then efforts to save Mirror Pond are useless and futile.
Theories as to how the river would flow and how its banks would evolve should the dam be removed are speculation, at best. What’s certain is, that Bend would lose its most widely recognized downtown feature: Mirror Pond, and that physical connection with it’s past.
Bend’s history is short, relative to Oregon, to the United States, and certainly to the rest of the world. Viable remedies for preserving Mirror Pond certainly exist. To erase this remaining connection feels short-sighted, selfish, and lacking in community spirit.
Mirror Pond Editor’s Note: Terry Foley is the grandson of Terrence H. Foley.