History of Bend

History of Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon—the largest city in central Oregon—is located along the eastern border of the Cascade Range and Deschutes River. Up until 1824, Bend was only known to Native Americans that flourished off the land through fishing the streams and rivers and hunting animals like bear, elk and mountain lions. In the early 1900’s after pioneers arrived and crossed over the Deschutes River at “Farewell Bend”, they developed a community around the bend and in 1905, that community of about 300 people was incorporated as a city.

After Bend was established, it wasn’t long before it experienced growth because after the Oregon Trunk Railroad was completed in 1911, two lumber companies established themselves in the area. These lumber companies shortly became the central component of the local economy. I suppose you can say that Bend, OR has remained true to its roots because, wood products remain one of Bend’s strongest economic factors to this day. Second to this, is the area’s tourist appeal. It also helps that Bend is the retail hub of Central Oregon.


Planning on visiting Bend, Oregon in the future? Bend attracts people from all over but particularly, nature lovers from California, Washington and other areas of Oregon. When it comes to Bend Oregon Tourism, here are some of the most popular attractions that currently bring people to this area.

Mount Bachelor

This ski and snowboard resort has been in operation since 1958 and is quite unique for it is actually, a dormant volcano that first formed between 11,000 and 15,000 years ago. With its 3,683 skiable acres and average of 462 inches of light and fluffy snow each year, Mount Bachelor is the perfect location for any winter sport enthusiast. Ranked by msn.com as one of the top ten ski resports in North America, Mt Bachelor fails to dissapoint. In addition to winter sports, Mt Bachelor also offers spring and summer activities like mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, disc golf, sunset dinners & more!

Cascade Lakes

Bend Oregon is currently known for its outdoor sports. In addition to winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding and snowshoeing—visitors flock to the region to enjoy nature and bike, birdwatch, camp, canoe, fish, golf, kayak, paddleboard, paraglide, raft, rock climb and sightsee. Cascade Lake is so beautiful it was even featured in National Geographic’s Drives of a Lifetime.

Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway– It should come as very little surprise that this location was featured as a drive of a lifetime. The 66 miles of historic highway guides visitors through a volcanic landscape while offering views of 14 different alpine lakes, Mt Bachelor, Broken Top and South Sister Mountain. Along with providing beautiful breathtaking views, this byway also provides access to many recreational activities for nature enthusiasts.

The Old Mill District

This historic area located in downtown Bend used to be home to two different lumber mills but has over the years, transitioned into quite the hot spot. The Old Mill District, which spans 270 acres along the Deschutes River, draws in large crowds due to its art galleries, cinema, restaurants, salons, shops and amphitheater.

Bend Ale Trail

For such a small city—Bend, Oregon definitely caters to ale lovers. In fact, Bend Oregon has more breweries per-capita than any other city in its state. With the largest beer trail in the west, the Bend Ale Trail attracts many tourists each year who flock to each of its 16 breweries. If this sounds interesting to you, be sure to check out this map of the Bend Ale Trail.

Deschutes Brewery– A must-try brewery in Bend is Deschutes Brewery. Established in 1988 as a small public house/brewpub, Deschutes Brewery has since expanded. In 2013, the family and employee owned business was the sixth largest craft brewery in the US. This popular craft beer company now ships their products to 28 states and the District of Columbia.

Wine Tasting

Not a beer fan? Not to worry! A visit to Bend, Oregon offers more than just ale-related adventures. With many award-winning wineries, Bend also caters to wine lovers by offering numerous wine tastings and tours throughout the area. In fact, there is even a Winter Wine Walk that takes place during Bend’s annual Winterfest.

For those considering vacationing to Bend, Oregon—it is a great choice! There are a countless number of fun things to do in the area from a variety of outdoor recreational activities to eating at delicious restaurants and visiting the different shops, breweries/wineries, museums and galleries. If the timing lines up correctly, you can even take in a show at the theatre, listen to a concert at the ampitheatre or attend one of the many festivals that are held in Bend, Oregon!

Living in Bend, Oregon

In 2015—Men’s Journal selected Bend as one of the top 10 best places to live. Why is that? Known as the jewel of central Oregon, Bend offers many benefits to its permanent residents. The benefits extend far beyond the picturesque landscape, which is why it should come as little surprise that the area has really taken off in the past decade. To point out a few of its greatest benefits.


When people think of Oregon, they tend to assume it is always raining and that the atmosphere is damp and dreary. However, that is not the case! Sure, there are places in Oregon—like Portland (which is located on the coast)—that receive a lot rain but it isn’t like that across the entire state. The average yearly rainfall for Bend, OR is only 12 inches and the climate is actually, extremely pleasant. In fact, according to the Bend Chamber, the weather in this area is one of the best kept secrets in all of Oregon. I mean, what is not to love about minimal rainfall, cool nights in the summer (that average 30-40 degrees below the daily highs), mild winds and an abundance of sunshine?

Sure—winters can be long but isn’t that the same for the majority of comparable locations? If not for long winters, other locations often have long unbearable summer months. Even for those that may dislike snow, it really isn’t that bad because the winter is quite mild. Bend receives an average of about 34 inches of snow each year. However, the snow that falls hardly ever accumulates to be more than a few inches so their is rarely snow that piles up unless of course, you head southwest of Bend to the local ski resorts!

Affordable Homes

There are many different housing options available if looking to move to Bend in Deschutes County, Oregon. One of the greatest aspects for those looking to relocate is that this area offers affordable homes within quality neighborhoods. According to livability.com, the average monthly mortgage payment for a home in Bend is $1,614. While this number is slightly higher than the national average, it is important to consider other statistics. For instance, about 93% of homes in Bend were built after 1990 and 67% of them, have at least three bedrooms so home buyers are getting quite a lot for their money. Another perk for those with children are the public schools. According to the city’s ratings, which are based off of each school’s’ testing results, Bend Schools score an 8/10.


The overall lifestyle in Bend is similar to other areas of Oregon because it is typically, very laid-back. With a population of just over 80,000, it is small city that has a small-town feel because it is full of very nice welcoming people! Bend also promotes a healthy lifestyle for its permanent residents by offering homes in areas considered to be “walkable neighborhoods”. For those interested in living in a walkable area (where most errands can be completed on foot or by bicycle), pay close attention to Old Bend because this neighborhood is designated as one of the most “walkable”. According to walkscore.com, Old Ben received an 82/100 for its walk score and a 95/100 for its bike score.

Family Life

Bend is great place to raise kids because there are families everywhere participating in events and doing things together. Plus, with so many outdoor nature-related recreational activities and so many beautiful parks in the area, there is never a dull moment.  


According to Joseph Ditzler of the The Bulletin, and The University of Oregon Central Oregon Business Index, economic growth is continuing in Central Oregon. Bend also ranks well in areas such as job creation and increased wages, which according to a Milken Institute research economist—Minoli Ratnatunga, may be due to the appeal Oregon cities are having on high-tech firms.

Oregon State University Cascades- Oregon State University recently expanded OSU-Cascades (a branch of the main campus) into a four year university, which welcomed its first freshman class this fall. The expansion of Oregon State University is for helping to meet Oregon’s “40-40-20” goal for education. The intent is to increase opportunities for citizens of Oregon by pushing for more education. The objective is to obtain a population where 40 percent of citizens have a bachelor’s degree, 40 percent have an associate’s degree or an equivalent certification and the remaining 20%, have high school diplomas. The idea is to also have a zero dropout rate for high school.

Expanding the college in Bend has also had a positive economic impact on the area because it has helped with job creation and with stimulating annual spending. For example, aside from tuition and fees—with each additional student, there is an average of  $11,000 that is spent that directly benefits local businesses. So, with OSU-Cascades planning to expand their enrollment from about 1,200 to 5,000 by the year 2025, the local economy will be looking even better as time progresses.

As you can see, Bend Oregon is a beautiful place to not only visit, but live as well. With a strong local economy and a reasonably priced housing market, it is a great time to make the leap and start living the dream in Bend! If interested in more real estate information because you are thinking of moving to Bend, Oregon—visit bendreal.estate today!