Compiled by Don Hoiness from archived copies of The Bulletin at the Des Chutes Historical Museum.
100 YEARS AGO
For the week ending
Jan. 19, 1913
School growth continues
With 101 primary pupils enrolled under two teachers, Bend’s growing school confronts another problem which the board proposed to solve by employing another teacher and getting an additional room for the new class. By having a third teacher, the 101 children can be divided into three classes of about equal number, thus ensuring a far better instruction and personal supervision than can be given under the existing circumstances.
Where the new classroom will be, or who is to be the new teacher, has not been definitely decided as yet. The teachers now handling the two big primary classes are Miss Sidner and Miss Dolsen, the former having 60 pupils.
Power plant is rushed
Work upon Bend’s new power plant is being pushed vigorously and the excavation for foundation, done under contract with Tom Murphy, is nearing completion. Monday night J.C. Bogle, one of Kempster B. Miller’s Chicago force, arrived. Mr. Bogle, who is an engineer, will assist T.H. Foley, the local manager of the B.W.L. & P. Co., and will have general supervision of the construction of the plant. The building that is being erected now will be 40 by 61 feet, of which the superstructure visible above water will be 27 by 39 feet, the remainder being submerged.
The completed building will house four units each containing a turbine that will generate 350 kilowatts. The first unit that is being installed now will contain a 250-kilowatt turbine and generator. The turbine is being shipped from York Pa., and the generator from Schenectady, N.Y.
The structural steel will be secured on the coast. Everything that can be purchased locally is being bought here.
75 YEARS AGO
For the week ending
Jan. 19, 1938
Skyliners ski jump will be tried Sunday
Bend Skyliners today completed plans for the first ski jumping exhibition on the new jump at their playground, one of the finest ski hills in the Pacific Northwest. Two feet of snow blanketed the playground today as storms swept over the Cascades.
Providing the new jump can be put in shape, Olaf Skjersaa and Ole Amoth, Skyliners representatives in northwest ski meets, will initiate the hill next Sunday. All available skiers have been asked to help pack the snow on the jump Saturday and Sunday. Skjersaa and Amoth will be there to direct the work.
Plans for the dedication of the big jump were outlined at the Skyliner conference that was held last night. Downhill and slalom races between members of the club have been arranged for the next six Sundays. This competition will be open to men, women and girls and boys. The men’s race will be over the new course, from the highest point of Swede Ridge, just above the jump. Elimination contests will be held each Sunday, the winning contestant not to be eligible for the first award on the following Sunday.
The final race will be between the highest ranking contestants. Jere Gillis, former president of the Skyliners, will be in charge. Entrants can register with Leonard Standifer at the Buster Brown store or with Bert Hagen, Viola Avery or Norman Symons. Skjersaa and Amoth are to be sent to the various northwest meets, and in turn other clubs will enter contestants in the Skyliner’s meet here on March 6.
Symons last night told of the growing interest of skating in Bend and reported that 500 skaters used the Tumalo hatchery rink during the few nights it was available. Symons suggested that the Skyliner’s next major project be the construction of a rink near the Skyliner lodge grounds. It is believed that a rink can be successfully operated in the higher country three months out of the year. A site only 100 yards from the lodge, has already been selected. A covered rink has been proposed.
Portland holds slot machines
Booked as defendants today before Municipal Judge Julius Cohn were 121 slot machines, named in proceedings started by Jack Seabrook, deputy city attorney, who charged the devices were “inherently dangerous to the morals of the city."
If the machines are found “guilty," they will be subject to destruction under a city ordinance. They were confiscated in Portland warehouses in a vice campaign engineered by City Commissioner J.E. Bennett.
Jantzen Beach reports death of swan from Bend
Lela, once proud co-ruler of the Mirror Pond, is dead and her mate, Clyde, is very lonesome. Harvey Wells, president of the Jantzen Beach amusement park in Portland, has notified Ward H. Coble.
Wells would like to see what can be done to secure a companion for Clyde, but he would like to have people of Bend know that Lela died through no fault of the park management. The two old swans were given to Portland last May by the city of Bend.
Recently Lela was found dead one morning under her shelter in the park pond. No evidence could be found indicating that the big bird met with foul play. The poisoning theory was also discounted.
50 YEARS AGO
For the week ending
Jan. 19, 1963
Marking of shelter sites is underway
The Civil Defense marking program started yesterday in Deschutes County. Within the next day or two, 11 shelter sites will be designated. There are four buildings and six caves in the Bend area, with a total capacity of 7,646 persons, and in the north end of the county, Redmond Caves, with a capacity of 450.
Jim Brown from the Corps of Engineers, Portland, is directing the program, assisted by William C. James, Deschutes County Civil Defense director. Yesterday signs were put on the courthouse, Bend Junior High and St. Charles Memorial Hospital, and near the entrance of Horse Caves. To be marked today were the Bend post office building, and Wilson, Lewis, Stevens, Skeleton and Lava River Caves. Lava River Cave, south of Bend near Lava Butte, is a state park. Its capacity is listed at 3,270 persons.
Each site must also provide one cubic foot of storage space per person. Emergency rations and other supplies are at Troutdale, and at least the buildings will be stocked in the near future. Storage of supplies at caves without custodians presents a problem.
Skeleton Cave, about 12 miles south of Bend, is a lava tunnel nearly a mile long, described as being wide enough that two railroad trains could run side by side along the floor, Its capacity is estimated at 1,300 persons,
Redmond Caves are about half a mile south of Redmond, and easily accessible. They have three parts, with capacities of 164, 220 and 66, for a total of 450. The other caves are all east of Bend, within six miles of the city center. The largest, Horse Cave, has a capacity of 565 persons, plus storage.
The others are Lewis cave, capacity 375; Wilson Cave, capacity 146 and Stevens Cave, 245. Capacities of the buildings to be used in Bend are as follows; Courthouse, 610; St. Charles Memorial Hospital, 565; Bend Junior High, 515; and Post Office, 245. A few of the caves are infested with bats and rodents. James said. The Health Department is investigating and making recommendations for pest eradication practices.
25 YEARS AGO
For the week ending
Jan. 19, 1988
Will this building be saved?
The shouts of boxing fans have long since died away in the Bend Amateur Athletic Club building on Wall Street. So has the loud applause of theater patrons, the booming speeches of town leaders and the raucous dance music of the 1950s and ’60s.
The only sounds inside the three-story brick building today are the cooing of pigeons and the “plop, plop, plop" of raindrops dripping on the floors. It is hard to believe that this cold, dank place is the same building that played host to most of the social and athletic events in Bend for more than half a century.
The Bend Amateur Athletic Club building was used as a junior high school gymnasium as recently as 1978, when it was abandoned for the new Cascade Junior High built on Century Drive. The building’s sad state of disrepair today — only a decade since it was in daily use — is testimony to how quickly a community landmark can be damaged by neglect.
There are indications, however, that someone will step in to save the building before it is too late and the structure goes the way of the Pilot Butte Inn and the Shevlin-Hixon mill buildings. Those historic structures were demolished after being allowed to wither for years.
The park district foundation is interested in the building, but it is waiting to see if private business is ready to tackle the project, said Bill Olsen, a Bend banker who is chairman of the foundation board.
“There is something here of value that this community could never replace," said Olsen. “This is the kind of building that we should be saving for future generations."
Olsen, a Bend native who spent a lot of time in the athletic building in the 1960s, toured the building this week with a report. He was saddened by what he saw. Rainwater seeping into the building has curled the hardwood gymnasium floor that once stood up to basketball games, foot-stomping community dances and crowded town hall meetings.
Dead pigeons littered the box seats where fans sat to watch wrestling and boxing matches on the gymnasium floor below. Sunlight streaked through cracks in boarded-up windows and illuminated the names of dozens of young actors and actresses scrawled on the walls behind the stage. “This is a sad thing that has happened, but we think this building is retrievable," said Olsen.
The Bend Amateur Athletic Club, which was formed in 1910 with 500 members, raised money for the construction of the building. It was built from 1917 to 1918 at a cost of $50,000. Even before the building was officially opened to the public in May 1918, it was pressed into service as an auxiliary hospital during a flu outbreak in Bend. The building had its own heating plant, auditorium, stage, dressing room and box seats in the balconies. The seating capacity was 1,200 people. The building hummed with enthusiasm and activity during its heyday, according to historians.
It included a four-lane bowling alley, the community’s first indoor swimming pool, club rooms with fireplaces, reading rooms, a small library and a padded wrestling room.
Bend School District purchased the building in 1925 for use as a high school gymnasium. High school plays and commencement ceremonies were held on the stage for a number of years. Engineers examined the building in the mid-1970s and came to the conclusion that it would be costly for the school district to bring the building up to safety standards.
Note to readers: In later years the building was saved and now serves as the Bend Boys and Girls Club.