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Deschutes County was named after the Deschutes River and was created from the western portion of Crook County on December 13, 1916. Its county seat is located in Bend. The name Bend was derived from "Farewell Bend," the designation used by early pioneers to refer to the location along the Deschutes River where the town eventually was platted. Redmond, Sisters and La Pine are the three other cities that comprise Deschutes County, along with several communities such as Sunriver, Tumalo and Alfalfa.
Early settlers were sheep, cattle, wheat and potato farmers. In fact, potato farming was so popular that the Deschutes County Fair was actually first known as the Annual Potato Show. The arrival of the lumber mills brought a large building boom and rapid expansion of the county's population. In 1916, when the county was formed, the population was just 5,000 people. By 1920 it grew to 9,622, almost doubling in size in just four short years.
By 1980 Deschutes County's population had reached the 50,000 mark and Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company sold their timber interests to Diamond International symbolizing the end of the logging era. With that, came the shift in the main industry from logging to tourism. During the past 10 years, Deschutes County has experienced the most rapid growth of any county in the state largely due to its invigorating climate and year-round recreation activities. Central Oregon offers downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, fishing, hunting, hiking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and golfing. Deschutes County is proud to be the host of diverse annual events including the Cascade Festival of Music, the Bend Art Hop, Bend Brewfest, Pole Pedal Paddle, Sisters Rodeo, Sunriver Sunfest, and the Cascade Cycling Classic.