Deschutes River Eats Way Into Mud as Pond Drained

The Deschutes river, eating its way through mudflats, was nearing its ancient channel on the bottom of the Mirror pond today, as drainage of the big basin, to permit of repair work on the power dam, neared completion. Work releasing water was started yesterday evening, and the pond was lowered about six feet. Today, the gates were further opened, permitting the impounded water to rush into the channel north of the dam.

The silt-filled basin attracted wide attention today, as the river flowed swiftly through the muddy bottom. Swans, geese and ducks did not appear to be greatly bothered by the disappearance of the man-made lake. However, riverside residents report considerable noise by the waterfowl through the night, as the birds apparently sensed that something was happening. This morning, the waterfowl were scouting for food along the drying basin, and were finding plenty, especially aquatic weeds.

To reduce the direct flow of the river as much as possible, water was diverted into the Central Oregon canal upstream, and the Crane prairie gates were closed. It is anticipated that less than 300 second feet of water will be flowing through the channel while the power dam gates are open.

The pond will remain dry for a week or 10 days, power company officials report.

Several projects may be undertaken in the Mirror pond basin while the water is out. Bend pageant committeemen will investigate the possibility of erecting permanent concrete piers for the pageant arch, to replace the temporary rock-filled pier. At Pageant park, the city plans to start work on a waterfront wall. Rock for this work has already been assembled.

Pageant committee anticipates some difficulty in getting the concrete pier constructed, inasmuch as contractors do not appear to be interested in the project. There is a question of finding a solid foundation for the pier.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1941

Tests to Be Started for Foundation for Pageant Arch

Foundation tests for the Mirror pond pageant arch pier proposed to be constructed when the pond is drained this fall were to be started today, in an attempt to determine whether rock underlies the mud banks on which the present temporary piers are erected. Rods are to be driven into the underlying mud in connection with the test work.

No date for the draining of the pond has yet been set, W. A. Lackaff, local manager of the Pacific Power & Light Co. plant, reported this morning. Mirror pond is to be drained to permit of repair work on the power plant dam. While the pond is empty, for a period of four or five days, the Bend Stampede and Waer Pageant association plans to construct the permanent piers for the arches used in connection with the river pageants.

Recently, the city appropriated $400 for the pier project and the pageant association a smaller amount. It is planned to construct concrete piers.

Temporary piers are leaning badly and may collapse at any time.

It is known that a considerable mud bank exists in the location where permanent piers are to be erected, but the depth of this mud is unknown. Originally, the Deschutes flowed through Bend in a rather narrow channel, flanked by willows in pioneer days. After the power dam was constructed, sediments slowly accumulated behind the dam, in the  still water.

Twice in recent years the Mirror pond has been drained, exposing vast mud flats, banks of which caved as the river, its current increased, cut down toward its old channel.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1941

Redmond Ship Wins Prize in Pageant Here

A Viking ship, its red sails unfurled in the moonlight, drifted down Bend’s enchanted mirror pond before massed thousands Saturday night to win for Redmond first place in the fourth annual river pageant. Eight girls, clad in silver helmets and red dresses, rowed the make-believe ship, which, like the Viking boats of old, came out of the north to conquer. The mirrored oars of the fair crew flashed before a crown apparently enthralled by a water fete second to none ever presented in the northwest.

“Red Sails in the Sunset” was the name of the prize winning float, designed by Dr. Hal W. Rogers of Redmond. Its position was No. 4 among the caravels that majestically drifted through the massive, illuminated arch as Queen Ruth I, Miss Ruth McDermott of the Lions Club, and her four princesses, Margaret Johns, Ruth Sande, Telia Ann Houk and Annie Bilodeau, reviewed the colorful pageant from their court at the top of the arch.

Seated at the stern of the Redmond entry, timing the strokes of the oars whose bits of mirrors caught and reflected moon and river lights alike, was Maxine Cunning, with Marie and Marjorie Tetherow, Phyllis Means, Geraldine Burgess, Dorothy Croghan, June Wood, Pauline Talley and Doris Dorn pulling the Viking oars.

A replica of the new Oregon capitol, entry of the Bend fire department, won second place in the 1936 pageant and the Brooks-Scanlon Four-L float, a huge illuminated birthday cake with “1776-1936” emblazoned in red on its side, won third place.

Judges were Paul Hampson, Mrs. Frank R. Prince and Myra B. Lyons, all residents of Bend.

The crowd that viewed the pageant was the largest since the inauguration of the colorful water fetes here and, with the exception of the Pendleton Roundups, was probably the largest group to attend a civic event in the Eastern Oregon country. Many residents of nearby states and scores of tourists were among those present, with Frederic Marsh, moving picture star from Hollywood, included in the guests of honor. In the huge crowd also was state Senator Allan A. Bynon of Portland, critic of the plans selected for Oregon’s new capitol. There was spontaneous applause when the replica of the capitol moved through the arch.

Instead of the pioneer designed for the new capitol building, the Bend firemen used their mirror pond trophy of last year to top the dome of their replica. The entry was designed by Claude Wanichek of the volunteer fire department, with Everett Wiles and R.R. Brentano as other members of his committee.

The pageant was started at deep dusk, with the full moon well over the pines of Drake Park and the Three Sisters still visible against the western skyline. The announcer was W.E. Searcy.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1936

Queen Virginia Will Fly North

Miss Virginia Anderson, Bend girl who ruled over this city’s recent Mirror Pond Pageant and the Fourth of July stampede as Queen Virginia I, tomorrow will be taken on an airplane trip to Portland and will be guest of the Portland Lions at their noonday meeting in the Oregon Grille. Miss Anderson will be accompanied on her trip to Portland by Mrs. Edna Dutt, with Lawrence J. Sohler as pilot.

The Sohler plane will land at the Swan Island airport, where a delegation of Portland Lions will be on hand to meet the Bend girl and her traveling companion. The Lions of Portland are to entertain Miss Anderson. In the evening, Miss Anderson and Mrs. Dutt will be escorted back to Swan Island, for the return flight with Sohler to Bend.

The air trip to Portland in the Sohler plane was one of the awards won by Miss Anderson in placing first in Bend’s Fourth of July queen contest.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1935

The Celebration 1935

Bend goes about its usual business today with the pleasant feeling that once more it has put on a Fourth of July celebration complete and satisfying in almost every respect. Two days of entertainment and competitive sport came to a climax last night with a river pageant that will be remembered for many weeks to come.

Bend has this feeling, we say but it is to the managers, the committee members, the many other workers, the members of the chorus and of the band, and all who participated in the presentation of the floats that the most thorough satisfaction has come for they did the work. They were the ones who actually did the job in which the whole town takes pride.

It is, of course, the show on the river that gives character and individuality to the whole undertaking and makes of the Bend celebration the unique event that it is. With this successful third pageant there is a felling in everybody’s mind that there will be a fourth next year and so on. All are agreed that it should be an annual event.

The judges of last night’s floats had an extremely difficult task. We cannot quarrel with their decisions but we wish there might have been more awards and some special recognition of the floats that were offered by the groups of foreign born who went to such great pains to show a bit of their homeland.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1935

Thousands See River Pageant on the Deschutes

Subjects Applaud

Third Annual Fete Is Held on Mirror Pond on July Fourth

thousand-see-pageant-1935Out of Bend’s enchanted harbor, through a vast arch whose colors changed as bombs burst in the air, and into the mystic mirror pond last night drifted caravels of great beauty that enthralled 16,000 people crowded along the Drake Park shores. The occasion was Bend’s third annual Fourth of July water pageant, acclaimed the greatest ever presented on the picturesque mirror pond and probably the greatest of all fetes ever attempted in the northwest.

“Bubbling Youth,” a bowl with girls in its facets and iridescent bubbles ascending into the dark skies, won first place in the artistic division, and the Harding memorial of classic design, was awarded second place. In the unique division “Showboat,” a replica of the boats of fun that plied the Mississippi in olden days, won first place and “Covered Wagon,” drawn by four oxen placed second.

Meteor Aids Display

Not a single delay or misfortune, with the exception of a little flag that was broken from a mast as one of the floats came under the impressive arch, marred the 1936 pageant, and even the starry skies joined in adding color and mysticism to the spectacle. Low in the west, above the snow capped Three Sisters hung a crescent moon and brilliant Venus, and just as the queen float, a huge white swan, came under the arch of changing colors a meteor shot out of the east, its fragments falling in sparks as it blazed through the heavens. Because of great amount of fireworks being discharged, the big meteor was distinguished by few. It came from the east and its path was uncurving, differing from the trajectories of the fireworks sent up from the ground.

While the great crowd was still visible in the deepening twilight, Minor Welch, on the back bay side of the arch, pulled a switch on the receipt of instructions from W.A. Lackoff, in charge of illumination, and the vast arch was flooded with white light. Later, another switch was pulled and 100 Japanese lanterns, strung along the west bank of the mirror lake, burst into light and their rays were imprisoned and extended by the placid water. A few minutes later, another switch was closed and nine garden bowl shore designs, red and green, blazed along the east shore. Just as the first lights were switched on, an aerial bomb, shot into the sky by Ben Whisenand and Kenneth E. Sawyer, in charge of fireworks, burst with a terrific explosion and the sound of the detonation reverberated through wooded Drake Park, like a sharp crack of thunder.

Speedboat Leads

“Clear the river” came a call over the public address system, with W.E. Searcy at the microphone, and under the arch came A.E. Schuman’s speedboat, dividing the water into a “V” spray as it shot down the mirror lake with an American flag streaming in the breeze. The pageant was underway.

Feeling out the channel for the caravels of fairyland that were to follow, making certain that no enemies were lurking in the darkness of the water to menace Queen Virginia I. and her royal court, a destroyer flag ship, with Roy Cook at the helm came into the lake of mirrored memories as the arch lights were changed to red and green and the Bend Municipal band, directed by Fred Dallas, played “Anchors Aweigh.” Flares from roman candles, very resembling the tracers shells fired from convoys during submarine attacks in World war days, streaked from the flagship, entry of the Pilot Butte Inn garage.

“Behold the queen”–hardly had these words reached the vast audience than the big white swan, made under the supervision of T. D. Sexton, appeared under the varicolored arch and a murmur passed down the thickly massed eastern bank of the river. As the royal float slowly moved under the arch and into the mirror lake, color spray ascended from the mirror pond fountain, designed by Lackaff and made possible through the cooperation of the Bend fire department.

Royal Court on Swans

Queen Virginia I.–Miss Virginia Anderson–rode high on the swan that slowly drifted in the mirror pond, home of “Clyde” and “Lela” and numerous swan descendants. Perched on each side of Queen Virginia were her princesses–Helen Donovon, Margaret Van Metre, Joan Helfrich, Monica Ivancovich and Helen Sprangler. The murmur grew to applause as the majestic swan and its royal passengers were picked up by the shore lights, flashed from points in Drake park. The applause advanced from point to point as the swan float continued down the half mile channel, finally to disappear around the bend in the river.

Continue reading.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1935

Arranging the Heavens

Not entirely satisfied with a majestic arch of futuristic design that will stretch across the river below the Drake Park footbridge, nor with the fountains of light that will illuminate the west bank of the mirror pond, the committee in charge of Bend’s 1935 water pageant, so we have been told, has arranged for an unusual celestial scene for the late evening of July 4. On that evening, a beautiful crescent and star will hang in the western skies.

To the thousands massed along the east side of the mirror pond, from the bridge down past Drake Park point, the crescent and star will hang directly above the great arch, through which the gayly decorated floats will glide into the stream behind the royal barge holding the celebration queen and her attendants.

It has taken no little work to arrange this celestial spectacle for the late evening of July 4, Walter G. Peak, chairman of the pageant committee reports. On that evening, the crescent moon will be only four days old. Its starry companion will be lustrous Venus, also a crescent when viewed through a telescope. Brilliant Venus will be just a little north of the thin, new moon, about 4 degrees distant.

Very careful calculations were required to arrange properly this extra show for the water pageant, crowning feature of the Fourth of July celebration, the committee in charge intimates. One day sooner and the moon and Venus would have been entirely too far apart. One day later and the crescent would be well up the evening sky, a bit too remote for the bright evening “star” to be unusual or spectacular.

But when deep twilight comes to the Deschutes Basin on the evening of July 4 and thousands of people take their places along the banks of Bend’s picturesque mirror pond, the setting will be ideal — a crescent and star in the western heavens above a mighty arch thrown into relief through the use of subdued lights. Through this big arch will come the royal barge.

There was no such beautiful setting as this, even for Cleopatra in those days when she dazzled the rulers of Rome as she drifted in queenly splendor down the Nile.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1935

Big Celebration One Month Away

One month from today, Bend’s Fourth of July celebration will be in full swing.

This fact was recalled here this morning as committees got down to work, preparing a two-day “show” that is expected to attract people here from all parts of the interior country and even from Western Oregon. Highlights of the celebration will be rodeos, baseball games, various athletic contests, a parade of pets, an outside show of more than 200 people and, to climax the two days of fun, the annual Mirror Pond water pageant.

First group to announce a candidate for queen of the celebration was the Bend club of Lions. Kenneth Cruickshank, in charge of the contest for the clubmen, early in the day announced that Miss Margaret Van Matre, member of the Bend High School graduating class of 1935, will represent the Lions in the queen contest.

Various local civic, service and fraternal groups are being asked to participate in the queen contest, and in addition outside towns will be invited to cooperate. Last year, Lois Maker of Shevlin won the contest and reigned over the impressive water pageant, viewed by more than 14,000 people, as Queen Lois I. All entrants will be princesses of this year’s celebration.

Plans for the rodeo are well under way, Art Seale, of Mollala fame, has announced. Seale is to be arena director, with Fred Van Matre manager of the rodeo and J.D. Donavan chairman of the committee in charge. Seale plans to bring to Bend the meanest horses that can be found on the Central Oregon plateau. He also has the promise of the “ZX” riders of the Chewancan valley that they will be here in force.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1935

Fourth of July Events Planned

Climaxed by a river pageant ever more picturesque than that of 1934, Bend is to sponsor another all-Oregon Fourth of July celebration this year. M.P. Cashman was named general chairman of the event at a committee meeting. Various committee chairmen are to be announced in the near future.

This year’s celebration is to be a two-day affair on July 3 and 4, preceded on the night of July 2 by a prize fight and dances.

One of the highlights this year will be a two-day rodeo, with prizes to be offered that will attract to Bend leading riders and rangemen of eastern Oregon. Other features of the celebration will include a frontier parade, in which Indians, cowboys and cowgirls will take part; a parade of pets for the special benefit of children, ball games and dances.

The Mirror Pond river pageant, a water feature that has already attracted statewide attention, will be held on the river while fireworks blaze in the sky over Bend. Last year’s water pageant attracted to Bend the greatest crowd ever to witness a spectacle in the eastern part of the state, the Pendleton Roundup alone excepted. It was estimated that around 14,000 people watched the majestic floats as they moved slowly down the picturesque Mirror Pond last July.

Members of the committee are confident they can put on a “show” this July that will be even better than that of last year.

Source: Bend Bulletin