Wetweather Spring, Waterhole was a Pioneer Drivers’ Haven

Wetweather Spring was located on the old wagon road south from Bend to Silver Lake and later to Rosland and LaPine. It was between Bend and Lava Butte about eight miles south of Bend. It was a popular stopping point for teamsters to and from Bend and points south as they watered their stock. It was an opportunity to share news with fellow teamsters or other travelers as they socialized around a roaring campfire. The spring yielded water throughout the year and in wet seasons an overflow resulted and the spring was named for the abundance of water during the wet season. During the winter months the spring was an important stopping place for stage operators. It was at this point that some of the south bound operators changed rigs and coaches to sleds for travel over the snow on stage routes. Northbound operators would switch from sleds to coaches or wagons at the snow line.

In the early years the spring was boxed and provided clear and cold water to weary travelers and their stock. Aune brothers located a logging camp at the spring site and operated at the site for a few years.

It appears that the spring served as a turning around point for social groups traveling for pleasure from Bend. Even when the first autos arrived a gathering of people drove south to the spring and returned to Bend on an outing. All early travelers found time to stop at the spring when traveling south from Bend or north from points south. Early motorists were not in as big of a hurry as modern drivers and enjoyed the opportunity to visit with fellow travelers.

The main wagon road passed by the spring but eventually The Dalles to California Highway (Highway 97) was constructed and bypassed the spring as it was no longer a necessary stop for autos as it was for horses. The rise of the automobile and a its fast paced traffic flow reduced the popularity of the spring. Later the once productive spring dried up and old timers believed it was due to the underground feeder for the spring was obstructed by construction of the railroad grade south of Bend.

Campfires no longer flicker at the edge of the spring and the ghosts of numerous travelers of the past are all that remain of one of the most popular stopping points in Central Oregon.

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