7 Historical Haunts in Bend, Oregon

Scary haunted forest with thick mysterious fog

There’s no time like Halloween to bring out the spooky – and fun – stories of the haunted spots in Bend. Those moving to Bend may be interested in a tale or two to tell about all of these locations (some quite chilling). They’re also easy spots to visit on a tour around the city to really catch some local historic sites!

1. Deschutes Historical Museum

The Historical Museum isn’t just a museum, it’s also famous as the 1914 Reid School Building, the first modern school built in Bend, Oregon. Its history includes more than one ghostly story, including the death of George Brosterhous, a contractor who fell from the third floor and died during construction. It’s no surprise that rumors eventually arose that George was haunting the building, moving objects around, and walking restlessly in the upper stories at night.

2. McMenamins Old St. Francis School

It’s no surprise this old school made the haunted list. While it’s been converted to be a hotel, brewery, restaurant, venue and everything in between, there are still plenty of ghostly stories about the place. One of the most infamous involves guests spending the night and hearing children running or laughing upstairs…in a building that’s only one story high.

3. The O’Kane Building

Today the O’Kane building is known as an important center for shops in downtown Bend. However, the long history of colorful businesses and the fact that this is the third Hugh O’Kane building (the other two burned down) has led to a variety of ghost stories, from mysterious footsteps to ghostly voices shouting orders.

4. Lara House Lodge

On the surface, the lodge is charming bed-and-breakfast style location (and a good pick if visiting Bend for a weekend). However, those living in Bend also know that the 1910 Lodge has a reputation for being haunted, including stories of whispering noises, and mysterious sightings of a woman in a top floor window while that room was decidedly vacant.

5. The Old Platypus Pub

This old building has a rich history filled with rumors and more than one shady story. It most recently featured the Platypus Pub, located in the basement, and a favorite spot for ghost hunters to stop and by and see if they could spot any signs of the mystical or ghostly. Unfortunately, they probably won’t be able to enjoy that for much longer. Platypus Pub has been closed for some time, and the building is currently set for demolition (although it’s still uncertain if those plans will be carried out).

6. The McCann House

This 1915 manor was built for Thomas McCann, the first general manager of the famous Shevlin-Hixon Mill (now the Old Mill District). There are a number of stories among locals about families mysteriously suffering tragedies there over the years, and Ghost Stories of Oregon even reports sightings of a ghostly apparition, a woman who would occasionally be seen pacing back and forth in an old upstairs bedroom.

7. Sparrow Bakery

There’s not exactly a ton of evidence here, but there have been reports of objects unexpectedly falling, ghostly laughter, and other spooky signs. Plus, the bakery is infamously renovated from the old payroll office for local ironworking, with the dish room actually placed in the old walk-in vault section – which is just historic enough to be a little creepy. And hey, if it doesn’t seem too haunted at the moment, you can at least enjoy what’s widely considered the best bread in Central Oregon.

6 Best Business Resources in Bend

While Moving to Bend can help you plan on relocating and learning more about why Bend is such a great place to work, we know that serious entrepreneurs are looking for ways to get connected, learn the details, and find great advice about getting started in Bend. Here are the sources you should use ASAP!

1.Bend Chamber of Commerce

The Bend Chamber of Commerce remains a popular starting point for entrepreneurs interested in Bend. The city does an excellent job of keeping the site updated to help out local ventures and provide important economic and funding news. Membership is also a great way to make local connections and find out about local meetings where you can learn much more. Training and education programs are also available through this site.


EDCO, or Economic Development for Central Oregon, is another incredible portal for those planning to set up a venture in Bend. The organization’s goal is to help incubate promising businesses in Central Oregon, and it’s packed with information about financing, communities, and advice from experts for ventures in all stages of opening a business. There are targeted sections for tech and outdoor industries, two specialties of EDCO, but any business can benefit from checking out the general advice the site has to offer and what upcoming events may be useful.

3.SCORE of Central Oregon

SCORE is an organization designed to bring business leaders together for the specific purpose of helping entrepreneurs and new businesses succeed. The Central Oregon chapter is an excellent resource for those making plans.

SCORE has three primary services. It offers a library of templates and documents you can use to make business plans or proposals and meet government requirements. SCORE also holds workshops that teach topics meant for small business owners (currently somewhat disrupted because of COVID-19, but with consultations still available). Finally, the site lets you arrange for mentoring from Central Oregon leaders who are willing to provide private advice on starting a company in Bend.

4.COCC Small Business Development Center

Central Oregon Community College has a Small Business Development Center that’s entirely focused on helping new ventures start or grow after they launch. There are many hands-on opportunities to learn through workshops, valuable advice, management training and much more. While some services and classes cost money, others are available for free. Moving to Bend also notes that the Center also recently launched a financial initiative designed to help struggling entrepreneurs in Central Oregon get emergency loans. And yes, their services remain open in the era of coronavirus.

5.Opportunity Knocks

Opportunity Knocks is a peer-to-peer service that’s designed to link owners and entrepreneurs with others who have been in the industry longer and have valuable experience to share. It’s a good option for entrepreneurs who need to tackle very specific challenges in their unique industry and would like some advice from others who have been in the same situations.

6.Bonus suggestion: Business Xpress

This is Oregon’s one-stop webpage for business owners learning everything they need to know about doing business in the state. It includes all the links you need for registration, compliance, aid programs, trade shows, training options, employee materials, and much more.

How to Start a New Business in Bend

Are you interested in starting a new business in Bend? Moving to Bend can help you understand the city and learn more about the advantages of running a business in Bend, but it’s also important to tap into the wider business community. Here are several key tips for entrepreneurs who want to set up shop here!

Find Local Organizations to Help Out

Many, many organizations in Bend exist to help out those looking to start new ventures. The Bend Chamber of Commerce is an obvious place to start, and that’s a great beginning. We suggest you get involved in Score of Central Oregon, which helps link you up with mentors and workshops that are designed from the ground up for people who want to start new businesses. Get involved ASAP and get the on-the-ground advice you need to make good decisions. We also suggest spending time with EDCO and researching local requirements at the City of Bend.

Additionally, all of these amazing resources have plenty of advice on working in the latest conditions, including dealing with social distancing requirements, mask rules, and much more.

Scout Out Locations and Competition Early

Bend is one of the most entrepreneur-friendly cities in the country, and that leads a lot of competition for customers and dollars. It’s important to start as early as you can thinking about locations, looking for rental possibilities, and researching traffic/popularity. You should also waste no time seeing what similar businesses in Bend are doing, and if you can compete with them directly or not. From renting a small studio garage in Old Mill to setting up a new restaurant near COCC, start as early as possible so you’re ready to go.

Take Some Classes

Speaking of Central Oregon Community College, the college also has a Small Business Development Center that focuses on practical training, useful workshops, and one-on-one advice from experienced professional trainers. This can provide excellent hands-on education for starting a business in Central Oregon, especially to those who are newer to entrepreneurship.

Look for Incubators and Accelerators

There are also more specific incubators and accelerators in Bend designed to help and even fund new ventures in very specific industries. The previously mentioned EDCO is one broad example of these organizations, while others include BendTECH, FoundersPad, and Outdoor Worx. We also suggest taking a look at incubators in Portland and Eugene, which often like to help new companies with potential in Central Oregon as well.

Join Social Media and Work on Partnerships

Focusing on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Google My Business may seem a little silly when first setting up a business, but it’s actually very helpful for new ventures in Bend. Small businesses in the city are great at following each other on social media and supporting each other, so it’s easy to start drumming up a presence early. It’s also more important than ever to start posting and sharing your good reviews to get more positive ratings, since that’s how most people in Bend tend to make buying decisions. This can also help you contact stores, taphouses, and local shops that may be interested in carrying your products.

Finally, remember that Moving to Bend is happy to keep you updated on the latest Bend news, relocation advice, and what you should know about doing business in the city!

6 Things Made in Bend

Hydro Flask is one of a number of popular products made in Bend.

Bend is packed with entrepreneurs and some very helpful incubators for a variety of businesses, so it’s no surprise that the city is the source of many popular products with brands rising in fame (in addition to the already famous beer, of course). If you’re looking for something to take home with you as you start the process to relocate to Bend, give to a friend while moving to Bend, or just try out, these are our top picks!

1. Hydro Flask

Few Bend product companies grew quite as fast or became quite as popular in the 2010s than Hydro Flask. The company produces extra-durable insulated canisters, flasks, and bottles that are made for the roughest outdoor use while still keeping your drink warm or cool throughout the adventure. The rugged design is backed by a double wall “TempShield” vacuum insulation. Their products have a variety of designs for different types of beverages or traveling (including food options). The sheer number of imitators that have arisen in recent years is a testament to their success, but there’s only one Hydro Flask.

2. Ruffwear

No place is better suited for a company that wants to make sure your dog is ready to adventure with you – so it’s no surprise Ruffwear found success in Bend. These are far cries from the sweaters or kerchiefs that other dog owners may use: Ruffwear offers durable, outdoor-ready coats, boots, harnesses, packs, flotation devices, collapsible bowls, and much more to ensure your furry friend can join you no matter what you’re doing (nor how much they like to gnaw on things).

3. Cairn

Subscription boxes have been immensely popular for the past several years, but no one quite does what Cairn does. Headquartered in Bend, the company offers monthly or quarterly boxes specifically filled with outdoor items to test out and enjoy. That includes hammocks, trail snacks, handwarmers, bug spray, stuff packs, gel insoles, lip balm, flashlights, hoodies…pretty much anything you may need to enjoy the outdoors, no matter what you like.

4. Picky Bars

Energy bars can be a tough sell, but Picky Bars hit on a brilliant formula. Their bars are surprisingly delicious, gluten-free, avoid both soy and dairy, and include non-GMO ingredients like oats, chia seeds, goji berries, matcha green tea, ginger, and many other combinations. They’re designed for athletes, but perfect for anyone who wants a snack or wants to stay on a diet without enduring bland or fatty food bars.

5. DANI Naturals

Started by in the 1990s, DANI Naturals focuses on using hands-on techniques and natural ingredients for a variety of cosmetics and health products. Today, their line stretches from skincare to body wash, bath bombs, candles, diffusers, and lots more. Each product is made with organic ingredients, 100% vegetable oil bases, and 100% soy-derived products where possible. It’s a great option for people looking for healthy, paraben-free lotions and soaps, those shopping for vegan friends, or people looking for a new way to pamper themselves.

6. Crater Lake Distillery

If you’d prefer to bring home something a bit (or a lot) more alcoholic, Crater Lake Distillery is one of the most popular in Central Oregon. They offer whiskeys, ryes, gins and vodkas in traditional styles made with Cascade water and carefully purified, but they also have plenty of inventive, tasty variations like sweet ginger vodka, northwest berry, hatch green chili, and hazelnut espresso spirits.


Meet Matt Carey from Townhouse Painters

It all began in 1988 when I came to this small town for college. I loved central Oregon’s weather and soon met my wife of now 29 years in this beautiful town. Eventually, we moved back to Beaverton and I began working for a company where I would continue to work for them the next 17 years. All while my wife and I were raising two growing boys and both working. It was then when I was feeling the constant stress of being away from my family that I began observing one of our painting contractors who appeared to have a good balance between life and work. I reached out to the contractor and he agreed to mentor me and still does to this day. It quickly became clear to my family that Bend would be a natural fit as my wife is 5th generation bendite. After moving to Bend, my first job was to paint a mile-long fence. That one fence was the start of my business. A business that has developed and expanded beyond anything we could have ever imagined.

Townhouse does things differently than your average competitive painting company. We let the quality of our work speak for itself. Instead of expensive advertising, catchy brochures our business is built on mostly referrals and word of mouth. Building positive and trusting relationships with our customers is the first step to a job well done. One of our best qualities is how much we value our community. We love to be involved with other local businesses and find ways to support our community.

Job sites are typically very family-oriented. This means safety is most important to us because we know that small children, animals, and adults are constantly moving through the site. We always make sure that we have a safe environment for not only our workers but the families we are working with and once we start a project we do not stop until it is completed and that you are satisfied with the outcome. Making sure we provide notice and coordinate schedules with onsite staff is all in a day’s work.

Inadequate funding? Let us help you devise a strategy to keep your investment’s exterior maintained with good curb appeal and at a budget you can afford with a phased approach.

Communicating and working with our customers to ensure that we are doing all we can for them while sticking to a budget that fits their interests and needs is important for us. Owner, Matt Carey brings 15 years of experience in property and asset management. This expertise allows customers to trust that their expectations will be exceeded and that ensuring the best possible product within a realistic budget is met.

You can contact Matt at Townhouse Painters Bend at (541) 410-1932.