Drought turns Mirror Pond into mud flat pond

Mirror Pond in Bend is at low tide.

Well, that’s not literally true, but man-made dams that control water levels in the Deschutes River as the earth and moon control ocean tides have made the Mirror Pond look like a coastal mud flat.

Deschutes County Water Master Bob Main said the river flow is so low that the Pacific Power & Light Company dam, which has several leaks, is letting more water spill through it than it’s holding back.

On top of that, Main said, local irrigation districts are siphoning off water to allow users to fill stock ponds. This has further reduced the water in the river.

Main said enough water usually is flowing down the river for the PP&L dam to make it back up.

But that’s not happening this year, Main said. Because of the summer and fall drought, Wickiup, Crane Prairie and other reservoirs have very low water levels. So the water master’s office is releasing as little water out of them into the river as possible.

The two irrigation districts are taking 260 cfs from the river. When they finish their draining later this week, Main said, Mirror Pond should begin refilling. He expects water levels to be back by Saturday.

Source: The Bulletin ©1987

Mirror Pond drainage project gets under way

By early this evening, Bend’s Mirror Pond may be well on its way to Redmond and points beyond as Pacific Power and Light this morning began releasing the water behind its dam.

Harold Baughman of PP&L said the water level of the pond will be lowered slowly in an effort to limit the amount of silt sent down the river.

The pond is being drained to allow the City of Bend to take several truckloads of silt out of the pond for testing. The silt tests will tell the city if the muck in Mirror Pond has commercial value. Sale of the silt for soil could help offset the cost of dredging the pond.

Silt covers the bottom of the pond to a depth of 10 feet in places.

Draining the pond also will give· PP&L a chance to do maintenance work on the dam and to install flood gates.

Water quality in the Deschutes River below the dam is being monitored by the Department of Environmental Quality to make sure the water from the pond does not result in excessive levels of turbidity, or muddiness.

Besides causing problems for fish in the river, muddy water from tho pond could contaminate Redmond’s water supply. The City of Redmond draws some of its drinking water from the river.

The draining project, originally set for Nov. 20, was delayed by cold weather. PP&L had to wait until Central Oregon Irrigation District could turn water into its ditches. By diverting water into the irrigation system south of Bend, less water will pass through Mirror Pond, reducing the amount of mud stirred when the water level is lowered.

Bend City Police have warned residents, especially children, to stay away from the drained pond. The silt covering the pond bed is dangerous and could trap someone venturing out into it .

The draining could take as long as two days, but Baughman said he hopes the water will be lowered by Wednesday morning.

The pond will be filled again by mid-December.


Source: The Bulletin ©1978

Bend Without Familiar Pond On Thanksgiving


Bend today observed Thanksgiving Day without its tradional feature, the Mirror Pond, for the first time since the Descutes was dammed.

Through the years, the big pond of the Deschutes has been a part of Bend’s Thanksgiving setting, with pines, standing like pilgrims, on the water’s edge, and with waterfowl accepting the Thanksgiving offering of visitors.

The pond was drained earlier this week to permit work on the power dam grates, and for the past several days the Deschutes has been flowing swiftly through mud bottoms formerly occupied by the lake.

Pacific Power & Light Co. officials said work on the dam will be completed Friday morning. Refilling of the basin will start about noon that day.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1957

Mirror Pond Will Be Filled Again Tonight

Emptied 12 days ago to permit contractors to pour concrete for Newport bridge piers, the mirror pond tomorrow morning will again be flush with its banks, if plans announced today materialize. Flood gates of the power dam were to be closed this afternoon and the mirror pond basin will slowly fill through the night.

Today, a city crew rushed to complete the destruction of a mud island out in the mirror pond that has been growing so rapidly in recent years that floats used in the Fourth of July pageant have frequently gone aground.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1936

Power Group Alters Name

Effective today, properties of the Deshutes Power & Light Co. and the Bend Ice Co. go under the direct control of the Pacific Power & Light Co., resulting in a change of name for the local companies and subsidiary units in Redmond, Prineville, Madras, Culver and Metolius according to an announcement this morning from L. R. Sheely, general manager of the Central Oregon power plants.

The change in name of the midstate properties will no result in any change of policies or personnel, it is explained by Sheeley. Other companies involved in the name change are the Sherman Electric Co., the Enterprise Electric Co., the Grangeville Electric Power & Light Co., and the Yakima Central Heating Co. Placing of the various companies under the operating organization will result in a number of economies, it is explained.

Change of the name of the Bend company is the second effective here in recent years. A year ago last August, Bend Power & Light Co. was changed to the Deschutes Power & Light Co. In the future the local company will be known as the Pacific Power & Light Co.

The Pacific Power & Light Co. has been the operating company in Bend for a number of years, taking over Bend Power & Light in 1923. The Deschutes Power Co. was taken over in 1926.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1928

Take New Name As Final Step In Power Union

Merger Completed

L. R. Sheely, Vice President of New Company, Manager of Development


As the final step in the merging of electric power development interests in Central Oregon, begun with the purchase of the Deschutes Power Co. stock by the Bend Water, Light & Power Co., both corporate names pass out of existence tomorrow and jointly take the name of the Deschutes Power & Light Co.

Announcement of this new phase in power activities of the mid state region was made today by L. R. Sheely, general manager of the Bend Water, Light & Power Co., who becomes vice president and manager of the new combined interests. Coincident with his announcement came the filing of supplementary articles of incorporation in Salem for the Deschutes Power & Light Co. Tomorrow the names of the Bend Water, Light & Power Co. and the Deschutes Power Co. will have passed into history.

Change Explained

Reasons for the change, as explained by Sheely, were first seen after the company operating in Bend sold its domestic water rights and water distribution system to the city. The old corporate designation became a misnomer at that time. Purchase of the Deschutes Power Co. was followed by combining the two companies not merely as to ownership and organization, but in actual physical connection. As the first important move in this connection is the construction of the high tension line between Bend and Redmond, tying in all power plants in Central Oregon, and offering the advantage of all to each of the communities which now enjoy, or which may enjoy electric service.

This merging offered an additional reason why a name should be chosen which would be applicable to both of the companies merged, and after long consideration the one now being filed at Salem was decided on.

Officers of the new company are: Guy W. Talbot, president; John A. Laing, vice president; L. R. Sheely, vice president and manager; C. W. Platt, secretary and treasurer; M. J. Wilkinson, assistant secretary and assistant treasurer; F. Dement, H. A. Miller, H. E. Allen, R. S. Hamilton, L. R. Sheely, John A. Laing and Guy W. Talbot, directors.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1926

Pacific Power Officials Come To View Plant

To Join Operations

 Bend Water Light & Power Co. and Deschutes Power Co. Under Same Control

Coming to Central Oregon for the purpose of looking over the Deschutes Power company, property recently purchased subject to approval by stockholders, officials of Pacific Power & Light company arrived here this morning from Portland. Shortly after their arrival here they left for the Cove, accompanied by L. R. Sheeley, manager of the Bend Water, Light & Power Co., and Rhea Luper, state engineer. Luper arrived here this morning from Salem.

Members of the party of Pacific Power & Light company officials who came to Bend on this morning’s train are Lewis A. McArthur, general manager; George C. Sawyer, sales manager; J. H. Siegfried, superintendent of power, and R. J. Davidson, assistant engineer.

Immediately following the purchase of the Deschutes Power company by the Inland Power & Light company, subsidiary of Pacific Power & Light company, it was announced that the Central Oregon companies were to be operated as a unit. The Pacific Power and Light company is owner of the Bend Water, Light & Power company. The purchase of Deschutes Power company was part of a $1,850,000 deal in which the Inland Power & Light company became owner of the W. C. Sivyer interests in Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho.

The sale is subject to approval of stockholders and examination of title by purchaser by March 1.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1926

Related: Spokane Men Get $1,850,00 For Oregon, Idaho Power

Spokane Men Get $1,850,00 For Oregon, Idaho Power

Purchase of the W.C. Sivyer & Son company electric power and light interests in eastern Oregon. Central Oregon and western Idaho by the Pacific Power and Light company, a subsidiary of the American Power and Light company, was announced Wednesday by Guy W. Talbot, president of the Portland company. The purchase price of the properties as given by Mr. Talbot was $1,850,000. The sale is subject to the approval of the stockholders of the Sivyer companies, and to examination of title by the purchasers.

Three companies are included in the deal. They are the Deschutes Power company and the Enterprise Electric company of Oregon and the Grangeville Electric Light and Power company of Idaho.

In making the announcement, Mr. Talbot said tat two transmission lines will be built by his company for the Grangeville and Deschutes companies costing $175,000, making the total expenditure by the Pacific Power and light company $2,025,000.

Negotiations for the sale of the property have been quietly continuing for a year. The final action was taken Wednesday when Mr. Talbot, accompanied by officers of his company, closed the deal with W.C. Sivyer and his son, Bert Sivyer, at the Davenport hotel in Spokane.

The three companies purchased by the Portland interests will be owned by the Inland Power and Light company, a holding corporation, and operated by the Pacific Power and Light company.

The territory to be served by the consolidation companies takes in a large sweep of the southern Inland Empire. The Deschutes Power company serves the Prineville, Redmond, and Madras, Ore. country, The power plant is at Cove on the Crooked river, north of Bend. The company also furnishes domestic water at Prineville.

The Enterprise Electric company takes care of Joseph, Wallowa, Enterprise, Loatine and the surrounding country.

Includes Caman Prairie Towns

The Grangeville Electric company takes in the Camas prairie district, Grangeville, Nez Perce, Craigmont, Cottonwood, Orofino, Kamiah, Reubens, and Greer. The purchase includes the water companies at Nez Perce and Grangeville.

“We propose to build a $75,000 power line from Lapwai to Reubens, Idaho, through Culdesac,” said Mr. Talbot. “This line will connect with the Grangeville Electric company at Reubens. The work will start as soon as the weather permits.”

“Another transmission line costing $100,000 will be built from Culver, Ore., to Bend. This line will connect the Descutes Power company with the Bend Water and Power company at Bend.”

“The Pacific Power and Light company has felt for some time that a consolidation of the Inland Empire power companies was justified in that the service could be eventually linked together and better service given to a section that is growing now and will be so greatly productive. I cannot see but that the future will witness a great expansion in the Inland Empire and we wish to be prepared.”

The officers of the Pacific Power and Light company who accompanies Mr. Talbot to Spokane are Lewis A. McArthur, vice president and general manager; John A. Laing, general attorney; M.J. Wilkinson, assistant secretary and treasurer; and Mr. Schoolfield, chief engineer.

L.J. Simpson, general manager of the Grangeville Electric company, was also present. Frank T. Post, Spokane attorney, handled the legal end of the transaction.

The three companies sold have 354 stockholders. The Grangeville Electric Light and Power company has 172; the Enterprise Electric company 103; and the Deschutes Power company 79.

Directors of Companies

Directors and principal stockholders of the three companies are: Grangeville Electric company– W.C. Sivyer, president; L.M. Simpson, vice president and general manager; Bert L. Sivyer, secretary and treasurer; Charles McDougall, Spokane, and L.J. Smith of Grangevill. Mr. Smith is general superintendent of the Grangeville company.

Entrerprise Electric company– W.C. Sivyer, president; L.M. Simpson and Adolph Galland, vice presidents; Bert L. Sivyer, general manager, and R.J. Fursythe of Enterprise, general superintendent.

Deschutes Power company– Adolph Galland, president, W.C. Sivyer, vice president; Bert L. Sivyer, general manager; Julius Galland and L.M. Simpson.

The stock of the three companies has a par value of $100 a share and has been selling at par. Mr. Sivyer stated the stockholders would receive a substantial premium. They may take cash in whole or in part; or preferred 6 percent shares in the American Light and Power company. The shares, however, may not be obtainable.

Final settlement will be made March 1.

Source: The Spokesman-Review ©1926

Related: Pacific Power Officials Come To View Plant