Everyone is always asking about the Old Mill District’s iconic smokestacks.

Here’s the story:

An iconic landmark of Bend’s past, the smokestacks have come to represent the old and the new. The first two smokestacks were erected in 1922 and stand 206 feet tall from ground level. The third south stack was added in 1933 and is 201 feet tall.  Housed atop Brooks-Scanlon’s Mill B powerhouse building, the space currently is the the home of REI.  It was renovated in 2004 and 2005, utilizing much of the existing powerhouse and electric shop. It’s now once again a “powerhouse” for Bend.

The second questions usually involves how do you get to the top. The inspections and maintenance on the stacks are done using a bosun chair.  The chair is attached to a cable inside each stack and it is lifted to the top for easier flag and light bulb changing. Nine guy wires, three for each stack, are attached to four concrete stanchions at 30 foot intervals.  The flag waving above the stacks flies from a 48 foot pole, of which 10 to 12 feet is inside the middle stack. This adds close to 37 feet to the total height for whopping 245 foot total height. No wonder you can see this landmark from nearly everywhere in the city!

So, take a look to the West…your view will most likely include the Old Mill District’s three gleaming smoke stacks. They’ll guide you to a great place to eat, shop, sleep, go for a run, walk your dog, see a concert or take in a movie, as well as giving you a little glimpse into our region’s rich history.  Share your best picture of the stacks, we love to see them!