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History

Why is it called Hollinshead Park?

Many of the parks in the Bend Park & Recreation District have been named for people who played important roles in Bend’s history. Other park names commemorate significant locations or historical events.  Read on to learn why certain parks bear certain names.

Drake Park
Alexander M. Drake came from Minnesota to the Bend area in 1900. Drake was a capitalist and an ardent believer in development. He built a profitable mill at the south end of town, one of two mills built in 1901 that would set the stage for the lumber industry that dominated Bend’s economy for over 80 years.  Drake founded the Pilot Butte Development Company, platted out the townsite and built the dam that was Bend’s first power plant (forming what is now Mirror Pond). Drake also influenced railroad magnate James Hill’s chief engineer to relocate the proposed line closer to town.

Drake promoted Central Oregon’s resources and business opportunities through his many contacts across the country. There were only about 21 people living in the community when Drake arrived, but by 1904, 300 citizens voted for incorporation as a city. In 1910, Drake platted out the Park Addition that is now the Drake Park Historic District. In 1911, Drake sold his controlling interest in the Pilot Butte Development Company to Clyde McKay and his partners.

McKay Park
Clyde McKay, originally from Wisconsin, made numerous trips to Bend with his father to purchase lumber for a company located in Iowa. Clyde settled permanently in Bend in 1910, establishing the Bend Mill with a co-owner. The Bend Mill unfortunately burned to the ground in 1915. McKay was one of three owners of The Bend Company, which had purchased Alexander Drake’s controlling interest in the Pilot Butte Development Company as well as other Drake holdings, including the land that is now Drake Park.  The Bend Company was very successful as a real estate developer. Clyde was also a member of the committee that established the Bend Fire Department in 1919, and served as newly formed Deschutes County’s first Treasurer.

Stover Park
Byron A. “Dutch” Stover (1890-1984) first came to Bend in 1914. Following overseas service in World War 1, he returned to Bend in 1923, where he worked for the Bend Mill, was a bank teller, a theater owner and clothing retailer.  Dutch organized the first annual Bend Water Pageant. He represented Central Oregon in the State Legislature from 1951-1953 and later served on the City of Bend Park & Recreation Advisory Committee from 1967-1974. His leadership in community beautification contributed to Bend winning a national “Keep American Beautiful” award in 1970.

Dutch and his wife Ruth had no children of their own, but were devoted supporters of the youth of Bend.  If there was a need in the community that concerned children, Dutch and Ruth were involved.  As a theater owner in the 1930s he often invited children to see a movie for free.  He very much enjoyed being around children, and they were drawn to him. 

Dutch was both delighted and humbled to have a neighborhood park named in his honor. He shared groundbreaking honors in 1971 with Governor Tom McCall. The land had once been part of the Timberlane Ranch owned by Dean and Lily Hollinshead and was acquired and developed with the help of the Kiwanis club and grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Bureau of Reclamation. Stover Park was dedicated in 1972.

Sawyer Park
Established in 1931 as Robert Sawyer State Park, the State deeded the land to Bend Park & Recreation District in 1980. Robert W. Sawyer (1880-1959) came to Bend from Maine in 1912 after studying law at Harvard. He worked for a while at the Bend Mill and later went to work for George A. Putnam at the Bend Bulletin as a news writer, eventually buying Putnam’s interest. Sawyer was the Bulletin’s editor from 1919 to 1953, when Robert Chandler purchased the newspaper.

In addition to being one of the state’s leading newsmen, Sawyer was a prominent figure in the public affairs of Bend, Deschutes County and the State of Oregon.  He was involved in the split of Deschutes County from Crook County in 1917, was Deschutes County’s second judge, serving for seven years, and was a member of the Oregon State Highway Commission. He took a leading role in the Oregon Historical Society and was a key figure in the building of St. Charles Memorial Hospital.  An avid outdoorsman and conservationist, he served on the Pacific Northwest Regional Forestry Advisory Council and as Director of the American Forestry Association. Sawyer was recognized for his efforts to preserve recreation areas for public use.

Sawyer objected to honoring living people with dedications and hence was embarrassed when the State Highway Department named a park in his honor.  He avoided the park thereafter.

Al Moody Park
Dr. Edwin Albert “Al” Moody came to Bend in 1952 and was the city’s first pediatrician.  He was an ex officio member of the City fo Bend Park and Recreation Advisory Committee, and in 1974 when the Bend Park & Recreation District was formed, Dr. Moody was elected to the first Board of Directors. He served on the Board for 14 years. 

Dr. Moody was a dedicated public servant who sat on the City Commission from 1968-1972, serving as Mayor in 1971. In 1989 he won re-election to the City Council (formerly Commission), serving until 1992. He was also an active member of the Bend Kiwanis Club and devoted many hours to helping school children learn how to read.

Dr. Moody played an active role in numerous park land acquisitions and development, along with the effort to build and expand Juniper Swim & Fitness Center.  He was also an active participant in several of the district’s senior hiking and outdoor programs.

It seemed a natural fit for the Board of Directors to name Al Moody Neighborhood Park, which has so many features designed for children,  after the man who so dedicated his life to public service and especially to children.

It is interesting to note that the park property was the site of Bend’s original sewage treatment plant. When the plant was moved and this site closed down in 1993, the City deeded the 16.7 acres to the district for a future park. Al Moody Park was completed in 2008.

Hollinshead Park
In 1939, Dean and Lily Hollinshead bought 160 acres that had been held by a series of owners since the homestead was first patented in 1908. They leased the Timberlane Ranch to Jim and Virginia Matson who sharecropped the land and raised dairy cows from 1940 – 1947. The Hollinsheads moved to Timberlane in 1949 and raised Tennessee Walker and American Saddlebred horses, at first leasing and then selling off the dairy operation. Dean preferred horses to cows and logging to farming! Besides logging, Dean was also a packer for dude rides into the mountains and provided horses and equipment for movies being produced in the area. Dean and Lily even appeared as extras in some of these films. Lily was a teacher and a 4-H leader for the Red Riders mounted drill team, and the Hollinsheads were charter members of the Rim Rock Riders Club. Timberlane was often the site for buckaroo breakfasts and fundraising events.

Dean Hollinshead was recycling and repurposing decades ahead of the current sustainability movement. He moved cabins to Timberlane from old Camp Abbot and Wickiup, and moved seven houses and a large barn to Timberlane from the Fort Rock area. The horse barn was dismantled to be moved, and Dean hired a craftsman to rebuild the barn exactly as it had been originally constructed. Several of the original buildings remain on the property, most notably the beautiful Hollinshead Barn.

In 1956 the Hollinsheads began to sell off parts of Timberlane to developers until they retained just 16.5 acres of the original 160. At the 1971 groundbreaking for Stover Park, which had once been part of Timberlane, Lily Hollinshead expressed the hope that their remaining land would eventually become a park. Discussions began between the Hollinsheads and Vince Genna in 1974 for the district to purchase the land. Fundraising efforts were not successful, and in the end the Hollinsheads donated 11 acres, selling the rest to their neighbors and friends, George and Shirley Ray. The district was finally able to purchase the remaining acreage from the Rays in 1984 through a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.

The community gardens were started in 1988. The horse barn was renovated as an event venue and opened to the public in 1995. The daughter and son-in-law of Jim and Virginia Matson restored the original Sharecroppers House (now containing a museum) in time for Virginia’s 80th birthday in 1997.

Harmon Park
Land for this riverside park was acquired in 1925 by the Kiwanis club with a donation from William E. Harmon (1862 – 1928). The park was developed in 1945. Harmon was a noted New York philanthropist whose favored causes included donating park land to small cities. Harmon was also an advocate for civil rights, whose Harmon Foundation purchased thousands of pieces of African-American art and poetry. His collection is now housed in the Smithsonian. He was known to make anonymous donations to individuals under the name of Jedediah Tingle, one of his grandfathers. Other Harmon Parks can be found in Decatur TX, Tacoma WA, and Lebanon OH, William Harmon’s original home town.

Pageant Park
Developed along with Harmon Park in 1945, the name of this tiny park commemorates the annual Bend Water Pageant held over the 4th of July from 1933 – 1965. A giant floating arch was constructed each year and placed on the Deschutes River near the present location of the park, and this was also the staging area for the Pageant floats (literally, floats), which would pass under the lighted arch in a grand procession. In the event’s heyday, the population of Bend would nearly double during the multi-day festival.

Vince Genna Stadium
The ballpark in southeast Bend was built in 1946 and renamed in 1972 to honor Vince Genna, who came to Bend in 1954 as an assistant recreation director and served as park and recreation director until his retirement in 1991. Vince was once quoted as saying, “My job is all I’ve done. Maybe a lot of people think that is sad, but I don’t see it that way. When I see a kid in a baseball uniform riding his bike… riding to one of our parks for a game, that’s my kind of recreation. That’s what makes me a happy man.” Click here to read more about Vince Genna.

Farewell Bend Park
This riverfront park just south of the Old Mill District is on the site of the old Farewell Bend Ranch. The first claim on this land was filed in 1874; other claims to the land were made and relinquished until in 1877, John Y. Todd came down from Tygh Valley with a thousand head of cattle, bought the claim for $60 and two saddle horses, and established a working ranch. The name Farewell Bend was attached to the ranch by travelers passing through the area, saying “farewell” to the Deschutes River.

Todd sold Farewell Bend Ranch to John Sisemore after Todd suffered heavy financial losses from an ill-fated cattle drive to Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1880. Sisemore applied for a post office under the name of Farewell Bend in 1886. Postal authorities shortened the name to Bend, because the name Farewell Bend had already been used by a community on the Snake River. Farewell Bend Ranch land would become part of the Shevlin-Hixon mill, built in 1915.

Overturf Park
The park is named for its site on Overturf Butte, which in turn is named for James Overturf and Ruth Reid Overturf. Ruth Reid was a schoolteacher who came to Bend in 1904 and became Bend’s first school principal. In that year, a three-story wood-framed building had been built to replace Bend’s first schoolhouse, a cabin built in 1887. In 1913 the citizens of Bend passed a school bond to build a “modern” school building, which was named Reid School in Ruth’s honor. The old Reid School now houses the Des Chutes Historical Society. Ruth Reid married James Overturf in 1910. Overturf was the office manager for Alexander Drake’s development company. In 1916, the Overturfs built a Craftsman style home in what is now the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District.