“Mirror Pond”, Bend Oregon
Downtown Bend, Oregon
Bend, Oregon’s Mirror Pond reflects the Three Sisters on a gorgeous spring morning. Located in Drake Park, Mirror Pond offers an iconic view of beautiful Bend, Oregon.
Mirror Pond was formed when a dam was built on the Deschutes River in 1909 by the Bend Water Light and Power company. The company was started by Alexander McClurg Drake. Drake had traveled West from Minnesota as a reaction to the Panic of 1893. He was accompanied by his wife, Ada Florence Williams and Charles Cotter, who had previously traveled to what was then known as “Farewell Bend”. Cotter, Drake’s guide, handyman and cook had described the natural beauty of the glimmering Deschutes River and its abundance of trophy trout.
Drake built a log cabin on the site that is now the Mirror Pond Parking lot because of its elegant views of the Deschutes River and the distant Three Sisters Mountains. His Pilot Butte Development Company platted the streets for downtown Bend, which was incorporated in 1905 at which point its name was changed from “Farewell Bend” to simply, Bend. The Bend Water, Power and Light company produced the city’s first electricity on November 2, 1910. At that time, 375 lights were serviced and electricity was available during select, high demand hours and. Electricity was not available from midnight and 4:00AM and from 8:00AM to 4:30PM.
In 1921, Bend’s “Women’s Civic League” started a signature gathering campaign to protect what is now Drake Park from residential and industrial development. One of the champions of that campaign was, Mrs. May Arnold, who personally gathered 1,500 signatures in an attempt to convince the City of Bend to put the purchase of the Drake Park land on the May 1920 ballot. The ballot measure easily passed and the lands was purchased from the Bend Company for $21,000. Has any city ever regretted having too much common park land?