The other day, I wandered down into the old part of town. The part of Bend where the first settlers set up camp.
The town of Bend sits on the banks of the Deschutes river. This particular part of the Deschutes is … well, a bit “bendy”.
Before the town came to be, around the year 1877, there was a ranch not far from the present-day old town. The ranch didn’t really have a name at first, but as the ranchers were departing, for whatever business they needed to attend to, they would see the bendy parts of the river nearby, and so they started to refer to the ranch as Farewell Bend.
Eventually, the settlements near the river started to come together as a full-blown town. The young town then also came to be known as Farewell Bend.
In 1905, the town was officially incorporated. The post office department in Washington D.C. determined that Farewell Bend was too long of a name, and shortened it to just Bend.
I haven’t a clue as to why Farewell Bend was thought of as too long. It doesn’t seem so long. Only two words. But, that’s what happened. Perhaps words were precious back in those days, due to having to manually arrange press type and so forth. In any case, there you have it. Bend, Oregon. A weird town on the river Deschutes, with lots of craft beer breweries.
The local Bend government had the graciousness and foresight to allocate much of the riverfront as a city park. Because of this, I was able to walk the nicely manicured trails along the river and enjoy its natural beauty. Drake park, which is the city park along the river, is very nice and I would recommend visitors to check it out. You almost can’t avoid it, as it takes up a large chunk of the old town.
The old downtown part of Bend is right adjacent to the park. It’s pretty much your typical Western American town. Lots of little arts and craft shops, coffee, and did I mention great craft beer breweries?
Like many towns in the Western U.S., Bend started out as a logging camp, with ranches nearby.
During the last couple of decades, as the logging industry petered out, Bend has transformed into more of an outdoor sports town, with a robust arts scene. The tech scene is also starting to take off. Especially as more techie brogrammers, like myself, move to towns such as Bend to escape the big city soul-sucking traffic congestion, crowds, and stratospherically high cost of housing.
Oh, did I mention, the Bend craft beer brewery scene?
There you have it. My crack at a post having something to do with history. I hope you enjoyed it, and please don’t hesitate to subscribe to my blog. Perhaps, you should just do it right now, eh. 🙂