Explore the history and legacy of Robert Sawyer.
When thirty-two year-old Harvard Law School graduate Robert Sawyer came to Bend in 1912, the town was just beginning its rise as a metropolis in Central Oregon. The railroad had arrived in 1911 and by 1916 there were two large sawmills ready to turn the region's pine forest into a bonanza. Sawyer recognized the economic potential and soon found himself the editor/owner of the Bend Bulletin, where he boosted the town and its prospects from a conservative and pro-development point of view. But what also caught his interest was the overwhelming power of the area's natural beauty, especially its forests and rivers, and is where the story of Sawyer and Bend gets interesting, because without Sawyer this place would likely not be a recreational paradise.
William L. Lang is a professor of history at Portland State University, where he teaches environmental and public history. He is author or editor of seven books on Pacific Northwest history, including "Great River of the West: Essays on the Columbia River" and "Two Centuries of Lewis and Clark: Reflections on the Journey of Discovery."