Bend has a history of property rentals and property management since 19th century.
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 was eventually platted, one of the few fordable points along the river.
For at least 12,000 years, until the winter of 1824, the Bend area was known only to Native Americans who hunted and fished there. That year, members of a fur trapping party led by Peter Skene Ogden visited the area. John C. Frémont, John Strong Newberry, and other Army survey parties came next. Then pioneers heading farther west passed through the area and forded the Deschutes River at Farewell Bend.
Constructed in May 1901, the Pilot Butte Development Company's little plant was the first commercial sawmill in Bend. The original location was at the rear of the Pilot Butte Inn of later years. Steidl and Reed also set up a small mill in Bend in 1903. This was on the Deschutes River just below the Pioneer Park area. The mill was operated by water power. A small community developed around the area, and in 1904, a city was incorporated by a general vote of the community's 300 residents. On January 4, 1905, the city held its first official meeting as an incorporated municipality, appointing A. H. Goodwillie as the first mayor. The settlement was originally called "Farewell Bend", which was later shortened to "Bend" by the U.S. Postal Service.
In 1910, Mirror Pond was created by the construction of the Bend Water, Light & Power Company dam on the Deschutes River in Bend. The dam provided the city with its initial source of electricity. The dam has been owned by Pacific Power since 1926 and still produces electricity that supplies approximately 200 Bend households. In 1916, Deschutes County, Oregon was formed from the western half of Crook County and Bend was designated as the county seat. In 1929, Bend amended the charter and adopted the council-manager form of government.
Bend sits on the boundary of the Eastern Cascades Slopes and Foothills, a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, and California, and the Deschutes River Valley, a Level IV ecoregion within the Blue Mountains Level III ecoregion. The Deschutes River runs though Bend where it is dammed forming Mirror Pond. Bend's elevation is 3,623 feet (1,104 m).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.27 square miles (86.17 km2), of which, 33.01 square miles (85.50 km2) is land and 0.26 square miles (0.67 km2) is water.
Inside the city limits is Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint, an old cinder cone. Bend is one of three cities in the continental U.S. (with Portland, Oregon and Jackson, Mississippi) to have an extinct volcano within its city limits. It is reached by U.S. Route 20.
A lesser known characteristic of Bend, the Horse Lava Tube System enters and borders the eastern edge of the city. Just south of Bend is Newberry National Volcanic Monument on U.S. Route 97.
Bend's climate is typical of the high desert with cool nights and sunny days, classified as semi-arid (Köppen BSk). Annual precipitation averages 11.2 in (280 mm), with an annual average snowfall of 23.8 inches (60.5 cm). The winter season in Bend provides a mean temperature of 31.1 °F (−0.5 °C) in December. Nighttime temperatures are not much lower than daytime highs during the winter. According to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, annually, the lowest nighttime temperature is typically −5 °F (−21 °C) to −10 °F (−23 °C).
Central Oregon summers are marked by their very large diurnal temperature ranges, with a July daily average of 64.5 °F (18.1 °C), and an average diurnal temperature variation approaching 35 °F (19 °C). Hard frosts are not unheard of during the summer months. Autumn usually brings warm, dry days and cooler nights, and Bend is known for its annual Indian summer.
Bend's growing season is short; according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Resources Conservation Service, in half of the years between 1971 and 2000, the USDA weather station in Bend recorded the last below-freezing temperatures after July 3 and the first below-freezing temperatures before August 31. Based on 1981–2010 normals, the average window for freezing temperatures is September 13 thru June 19.