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Bend, Oregon
City
City of Bend
Looking west from Pilot Butte
Looking west from Pilot Butte
Location in Oregon
Location in Oregon
Country United States
State Oregon
County Deschutes
Incorporated January 4, 1905
Area
 • City 33.27 sq mi (86.17 km2)
 • Land 33.01 sq mi (85.50 km2)
 • Water 0.26 sq mi (0.67 km2)
Elevation 3,623 ft (1,104.3 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 76,639
 • Estimate (2013) 81,236
 • Rank US: 398th
 • Density 2,321.7/sq mi (896.4/km2)
 • Urban 83,794 (US: 344th)
 • Metro 165,954 (US: 245th)
Demonym(s) Bendite
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 97701, 97702, 97703, 97707–97709
Area code(s) 458 and 541
FIPS code 41-05800
GNIS feature ID 1137914
Website www.bendoregon.gov

Bend is a city in, and the county seat of Deschutes County, Oregon, United States. It is the principal city of the Bend, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bend is Central Oregon's largest city, and despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population density of that area. Bend recorded a population of 76,693 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census, up from 52,029 at the 2000 census. The estimated population of the city as of 2013 is 81,236. Bend's metro population was estimated at 165,954 as of July 1, 2013. The Bend MSA is the fifth largest metropolitan area in Oregon.

Bend map income
A average median household income map of Bend.

Bend is located on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range along the Deschutes River. Here the Ponderosa Pine forest transitions into the high desert, characterized by arid land, junipers, sagebrush, and bitter-brush. Originally a crossing point on the river, settlement began in the early 1900s. Bend was incorporated as a city in 1905. Economically, it started as a logging town but is now identified as a gateway for many outdoor sports, including mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping, rock climbing, white-water rafting, skiing, paragliding, helicopter tours and golf. In 2015, Men's Journal ranked Bend as one of The 10 Best Places to Live Now.

History

Bend Oregon Main Street 1920
Downtown circa 1920

The name Bend was derived from "Farewell Bend", the designation used by early pioneers to refer to the location along the Deschutes River where the town was eventually platted, one of the few fordable points along the river.

For at least 12,000 years, until the winter of 1824, the Bend area was known only to Native Americans who hunted and fished there. That year, members of a fur trapping party led by Peter Skene Ogden visited the area. John C. Frémont, John Strong Newberry, and other Army survey parties came next. Then pioneers heading farther west passed through the area and forded the Deschutes River at Farewell Bend.

Constructed in May 1901, the Pilot Butte Development Company's little plant was the first commercial sawmill in Bend. The original location was at the rear of the Pilot Butte Inn of later years. Steidl and Reed also set up a small mill in Bend in 1903. This was on the Deschutes River just below the Pioneer Park area. The mill was operated by water power. A small community developed around the area, and in 1904, a city was incorporated by a general vote of the community's 300 residents. On January 4, 1905, the city held its first official meeting as an incorporated municipality, appointing A. H. Goodwillie as the first mayor. The settlement was originally called "Farewell Bend", which was later shortened to "Bend" by the U.S. Postal Service.

In 1910, Mirror Pond was created by the construction of the Bend Water, Light & Power Company dam on the Deschutes River in Bend. The dam provided the city with its initial source of electricity. The dam has been owned by Pacific Power since 1926 and still produces electricity that supplies approximately 200 Bend households. In 1916, Deschutes County, Oregon was formed from the western half of Crook County and Bend was designated as the county seat. In 1929, Bend amended the charter and adopted the council-manager form of government.

Geography

Drake Park (Deschutes County, Oregon scenic images) (desD0054b)
Mirror Pond from Drake Park during autumn
PilotButteBend
Pilot Butte
Drake Park
Mirror Pond from Drake Park during the winter

Bend sits on the boundary of the Eastern Cascades Slopes and Foothills, a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, and California, and the Deschutes River Valley, a Level IV ecoregion within the Blue Mountains Level III ecoregion. The Deschutes River runs though Bend, where it is dammed to form Mirror Pond. Bend's elevation is 3,623 feet (1,104 m).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.27 square miles (86.17 km2), of which, 33.01 square miles (85.50 km2) is land and 0.26 square miles (0.67 km2) is water.

Inside the city limits is Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint, an old cinder cone. Bend is one of three cities in the continental U.S. (with Portland, Oregon and Jackson, Mississippi) to have an extinct volcano within its city limits. It is reached by U.S. Route 20.

A lesser known characteristic of Bend, the Horse Lava Tube System enters and borders the eastern edge of the city.

Just south of Bend is Newberry National Volcanic Monument on U.S. Route 97.

Climate

Weather chart for Bend, Oregon
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
1.5
 
41
24
 
 
1.1
 
44
24
 
 
0.7
 
51
28
 
 
0.7
 
57
30
 
 
0.9
 
65
36
 
 
0.8
 
72
42
 
 
0.6
 
82
48
 
 
0.5
 
81
46
 
 
0.4
 
74
40
 
 
0.6
 
62
33
 
 
1.4
 
47
28
 
 
2.1
 
39
23
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: NOAA

Bend's climate is typical of the high desert with cool nights and sunny days, classified as semi-arid (Köppen BSk). Annual precipitation averages 11.2 in (280 mm), with an annual average snowfall of 23.8 inches (60.5 cm). The winter season in Bend provides a mean temperature of 31.1 °F (−0.5 °C) in December. Nighttime temperatures are not much lower than daytime highs during the winter. According to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, annually, the lowest nighttime temperature is typically −5 °F (−21 °C) to −10 °F (−23 °C).

Central Oregon summers are marked by their very large diurnal temperature ranges, with a July daily average of 64.5 °F (18.1 °C), and an average diurnal temperature variation approaching 35 °F (19 °C). Hard frosts are not unheard of during the summer months. Autumn usually brings warm, dry days and cooler nights, and Bend is known for its annual Indian summer.

Bend's growing season is short; according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Resources Conservation Service, in half of the years between 1971 and 2000, the USDA weather station in Bend recorded the last below-freezing temperatures after July 3 and the first below-freezing temperatures before August 31. Based on 1981–2010 normals, the average window for freezing temperatures is September 13 through June 19.

Monthly and Annual Average Temperatures (deg F), Bend, 1981–2010
Parameter Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Mean number of days

Max 90 or more

0 0 0 0 0.2 1.2 5.8 5.5 1.3 0 0 0 14.0
Min 32 or less 24.6 24.0 24.1 19.2 9.8 2.1 0.3 0.3 5.1 14.9 21.0 26.9 172.5
Max 32 or less 4.4 2.7 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 1.2 5.1 13.7
Min 0 or less 0.3 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.3 1.0 2.2

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1910 536
1920 5,415 910.3%
1930 8,848 63.4%
1940 10,021 13.3%
1950 11,409 13.9%
1960 11,936 4.6%
1970 13,710 14.9%
1980 17,263 25.9%
1990 20,469 18.6%
2000 52,029 154.2%
2010 76,639 47.3%
Est. 2015 87,014 67.2%
source:
U.S. Decennial Census
2013 Estimate
Bend-Prineville CSA
Location of the Bend-Prineville CSA and its components:      Bend Metropolitan Statistical Area      Prineville Micropolitan Statistical Area

Bend is the larger principal city of the Bend-Prineville CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Bend metropolitan area (Deschutes County) and the Prineville micropolitan area (Crook County), which had a combined estimated population of 216,310 by the United States Census Bureau in 2008.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 76,639 people, 31,790 households, and 19,779 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,321.7 inhabitants per square mile (896.4/km2). There were 36,110 housing units at an average density of 1,093.9 per square mile (422.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.3% White, 0.5% African American, 0.8% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.4% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.2% of the population.

There were 31,790 households of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.8% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 36.6 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30% were from 25 to 44; 25.1% were from 45 to 64; and 12.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 52,029 people, 21,062 households, and 13,395 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,624.8 people per square mile (627.4/km²). There were 22,507 housing units at an average density of 702.9 per square mile (271.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.98% White, 0.28% African American, 0.79% Native American, 1.00% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.75% from other races, and 2.12% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 4.61% of the population.

There were 21,062 households, out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42, and the average family size was 2.92.

The age distribution was 24.5% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,857, and in 2006 the median income for a family of four is $58,800. Males had a median income of $33,377 versus $25,094 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,624. About 6.9% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

Museums and other points of interest

Tower Theatre, Bend, OR - 2012
Tower Theatre, Bend, OR - 2012
Museums
  • Deschutes Historical Museum (located in the historic Reid School building)
  • High Desert Museum
National Register of Historic Places
  • Bend Amateur Athletic Club Gymnasium
  • Charles Boyd Homestead Group
  • Downing Building
  • Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District
  • George Palmer and Dorothy Binney Putnam House
  • Goodwillie–Allen House
  • N. P. Smith Pioneer Hardware Store
  • O'Kane Building
  • Thomas McCann House
  • Trinity Episcopal Church
Venues, restaurants, and shopping
Natural history
  • Mirror Pond
  • Pine Mountain Observatory

Parks and recreation

Farewell Bend Park, Bend, Oregon
Farewell Bend Park
  • Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
  • Deschutes National Forest
  • Deschutes River
  • Drake Park
  • Lava Butte Lookout
  • Lava River Cave
  • Mount Bachelor ski area
  • Newberry National Volcanic Monument
  • Oregon Badlands Wilderness
  • Pilot Butte State Park
  • Tumalo State Park

Transportation

Air

The nearest commercial airport is Roberts Field (RDM) in Redmond, 18 miles (29 km) north. Horizon Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and American Airlines (flying as United Express, Delta Connection and American Eagle) provide direct service to Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. The U.S. Forest Service operates an air base and training center for firefighting, and Butler Aircraft, a fixed-base operator, flies DC-4 aircraft for firefighting efforts.

Bend Municipal Airport (KBDN) is located 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of the city and serves general aviation. Several significant general aviation companies are based at Bend Airport, including Precise Flight, which develops oxygen systems, speed brakes, landing lights and other modifications for general aviation aircraft, and Epic Aircraft.

Bus

The Bend Hawthorne Transit Center is a hub for the Cascades East Transit center with connections to intercity bus services including the HighDesert Point, Eastern Point, and the Central Oregon Breeze.

Bend was previously the only metropolitan area west of the Mississippi River without a public bus system. A measure that would have created a transit district was on the November 2004 ballot, but was defeated 53 to 41 percent. As of August 2006, however, funding was acquired and the B.A.T. (Bend Area Transit) bus service began on a limited basis. Buses have been running since September 27, 2006.

During the Summer of 2007, not a single bus purchased was in operation (though several were due to weak A/C systems) and litigation was underway.

Roads and highways

Bend lies at the intersection of U.S. Route 20 and U.S. Route 97. The latter runs on an expressway alignment through the city known as the Bend Parkway; a business route for US 97 runs along 3rd Street. The city is also served by the Century Drive Highway No. 372 which provides access to Mount Bachelor.

Rail

A BNSF mainline runs north-south through the city; there are numerous spurs off of the mainline which serve industrial rail customers. The closest Amtrak service is in the town of Chemult, approximately 65 miles (105 km) to the south; this station is served by the Coast Starlight route.

Sister cities

Bend has multiple sister cities:

Images for kids


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