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Special Issues & Guides » Beyond Bend

Taking the Long View on the Hub City

Planning pays off in Redmond



Frank and Josephine Redmond settled here in 1905, and the rest, as they say, is history. In 1906 the town named for them was platted by the predecessor company to Central Oregon Irrigation, and was incorporated in 1910. The next year the Oregon Trunk Railway reached Redmond and things took off from there, for the Redmonds and for the town.

Frank and Josephine rest in peace in the pioneer section of the Redmond Cemetery. Another famous family also reposes there­—the McCall family. The late Gov. Tom McCall went to school at Redmond Union High School before attending the University of Oregon, from which he graduated with a degree in journalism. 

A few years ago we had a "Talking Tombstones" presentation.  One of the presenters represented Mrs. McCall, in her rocking chair with a rifle in her lap. She told the story of running off the bankers who had come to repossess some cattle pledged for what was then a past-due loan. I highly recommend Mrs. McCall's book, "Under the Rimrock."

Notable events in the life of Redmond the town included an annual potato festival. Back in the day potato was king of the crops from Bend to Madras. The Hodecker family had a large shipping facility in Metolius, the small community between Madras and Culver. Some of the storage buildings are still visible today.

Redmond is called the Hub City of Central Oregon, and for good reason.  It is nearly equal distance from Prineville, Bend, and Sisters, with Madras just a bit further off to the north.  It has become the hub of transportation due to the airport which has developed from a military base to a busy civilian airport. In addition, the Deschutes County Fair is held in Redmond each summer. Is there a rodeo? You better believe it.

As a very young fella' I lived in Redmond and recall walking to the fair when it was located at what is now Fred Meyer and Lowe's.  I can still recall my cousin rushing out on her horse when she was introduced as the Deschutes County Fair queen. Another fond memory is that of seeing a Tennessee Walking horse for the very first time.  What a magnificent long-bodied, long-legged animal.  It just seemed to float as it walked its famous walk.

Redmond's industrial area amazes me. The long range planning has really paid off.  There is plenty of room for development, adjacent to the airport, and the Central Oregon Community College campus in the middle of it.  The road running from the northwest edge of the airport, south toward the fairgrounds, and then hooking up with Highway 97, is a real bonus to those coming from Prineville to Bend and vice versa. It saves a lot of stops, and cuts down on the traffic from the old way through Redmond.  Somebody had a good crystal ball and plenty of foresight to plan as they did.  The only knock on the industrial area for me is that it is some of the very best view property in Redmond!

With the addition of Ridgeview High School a few years ago, the town gained not only another badly needed high school, but a very good auditorium for entertainment. One such event is the Redmond Community Concert series. The popularity of the series requires both afternoon and evening presentations at Ridgeview.  

Growth in Redmond is steady, and improvements seem to be ongoing. We have just one round-about, which is plenty for me. However, the downtown beautification improvements, Centennial Park, and the Highway 97 bypass are so appreciated. What is next?  Plans are underway for even more improvement at or near the airport. The industrial area continues to add business.  It is hoped that the Redmond Hotel will be purchased and reopened for the use for which it was intended.  The old Redmond High School (near where I spent some four years of my earliest life) is now under renovation to become City Hall.  Frank and Josephine Redmond would be pleased at what they started.

Miles Hutchins, age 80, moved to Redmond as a child in the 1930s and graduated from Bend High in 1954. He was high school editor of the Pine Murmurs, attended U of O and Lewis & Clark Law School. The retired father of four met his wife Bobbi three years ago volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul.

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