Welcome to the second edition of Mind Bend-ers, a special feature dedicated to offering you the inside scoop on Bend’s quirky trivia. As Halloween approaches and the Deschutes County Historical Society gears up for their annual Historical Haunts of Downtown Bend tour, we asked them to share one of their most goose bump-producing tales.
The building that houses the Des Chutes Historical Museum was constructed in 1914 by building contractors Ed and George Brosterhous. On Saturday, June 3, 1914, George was on the roof overseeing the delivery of some materials when he fell through the gaping hole of a staircase under construction. He fell three stories, and died instantly.
Not a very uplifting tale, right?
But the story doesn’t end there. Over the years, many people have sworn they’ve had contact with George in the building. Sometimes he lends a helping hand on a research project, and other times he just sits quietly.
In 2004, a concert pianist scheduled to perform in Bend visited the Des Chutes Historical Museum to warm up on their historic piano. An employee working on one of the upper floors heard the music and came downstairs to listen while she worked.
When the pianist finished playing, he stopped to chat with the employee.
“Who was that man across the room watching you while I was playing?” he asked her.
Confused, the employee insisted the two of them were the only ones in the room the whole time he played. Equally confused, the pianist said he was certain there’d been a man watching her work.
Shrugging it off, the pianist left the room and began to exit the building. When he reached the lobby, he froze.
“That’s him!” he said, pointing excitedly at a photograph on the wall. “That’s the man who was sitting beside you.”
It was a photograph of George Brosterhous.
Got goosebumps now? Want a few more? Join the Deschutes County Historical Society for their Historical Haunts of Downtown Bend tour October 25-27. Tours take place between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and last approximately an hour. There are 15 tours a night over the three-night period, and they’re offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. They always sell out, so don’t forget to pre-pay for your spot the morning of your chosen tour. For more info, visit the event page for the Deschutes County Historical Society.