(Photo above: Pilot Butte Canal | Photo Courtesy of Central Oregon Irrigation Canal)
Downtown Redmond Segment Historic District Listed in National Register of Historic Places
The Pilot Butte Canal: Downtown Redmond Segment Historic District in Redmond, Deschutes County, Oregon is among Oregon’s latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places. It is listed under the Carey and Reclamation Acts Irrigation Projects in Oregon 1901-1978 Multiple Property Documentation.
The Pilot Butte Canal is the backbone of one of the two irrigation systems that form what is known as the Central Oregon Project in the Upper Deschutes River basin. The Central Oregon Project was a prominent example of an irrigation project resulting from the provisions of the Carey Desert Land Act (Carey Act), and one that had a tremendous impact on the formation and development of Central Oregon. As a principal element of the Central Oregon Project, the Pilot Butte Canal is closely associated with early homesteading and settlement efforts in the Upper Deschutes River basin, and the use of irrigation as a
means to improve agricultural production, overcome harsh environmental conditions and provide a sustainable livelihood with limited resources in the region.
Throughout its history the Pilot Butte Canal provided water for agricultural use in Deschutes County, leading to the founding, initial development and continued growth of the cities of Bend, Redmond and other communities. The Pilot Butte Canal: Downtown Redmond Segment Historic District is approximately 6,780 feet long, from approximately NW Dogwood Street at the south, where the open canal emerges from underground pipe, to approximately NW Quince Avenue at the north, where it returns to pipe. This portion of the canal is directly associated with the founding of Redmond, which was laid out along it, adjacent to the site of the Frank T. and Josephine Redmond homestead.
Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation recommended the canal segment’s nomination in their February 2017 meeting. It is one of 41 historic properties in Deschutes County that are now listed in the National Register, which is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.