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Central Oregon Canal Historic District
Proposed Central Oregon Canal Historic District, Bend Vicinity, Deschutes County

This page describes what a historic district is, the listing process, and the benefits and responsibilities of owning a listed property. 

The State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation  voted to table the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Central Oregon Canal Historic District on October 20, 2017. See "Project Timeline and Important Dates" for more information. Tabled nomination may be resubmitted. The next submission is November 1, 2017. The SACHP will meet February 15-16, 2017. Public notice for the February meeting will be posted in December 2017.

Use the links below to navigate to specific information.

What Is The National Register of Historic Places and a Historic District?
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of buildings, districts, structures, sites, and objects important to local, state, or national history. The program is run by the National Park Service in Washington DC, and administered locally by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), an office of the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department.
A historic district is an area, neighborhood, or a concentrated collection of related structures that together convey their shared historical significance. To be eligible for listing in the Register, the district must be able to convey that significance by maintaining sufficient historic integrity.
What Is The Central Oregon Canal Historic District?
The proposed Central Oregon Canal Historic District is an approximately 3.5-mile long stretch of the approximately 40-mile Central Oregon Canal, a historically significant structure built in the early years of the twentieth century. Together with the Pilot Butte Canal, the Central Oregon Canal provided water to the farms and ranches of central Oregon, turning the land from an arid desert landscape to the highly-productive, irrigated agricultural land it is today, dramatically influencing the historical development and fortunes of the central Oregon area, and playing significant roles in the foundation and growth of the cities there, including Bend and Redmond, among many others. For these reasons, the Central Oregon Canal Historic District is nominated for listing in the National register of Historic Places for its significance in the areas of Exploration and Settlement, Agriculture.
The proposed Central Oregon Canal Historic District represents a segment of the Central Oregon Canal, just southeast of Bend, between Ward Road and Gosney Road. Boundary Map. Construction began in 1903 at the intake diversion on the Deschutes River. In 1905, the nominated segment was constructed, and the canal was completed to Powell Butte in 1908. By 1912, the main canals were completed, and lateral canals and ditches were being constructed. The nomination asserts that the segment under consideration for listing was a
critical and difficult section of the canal to construct, due to the overall topography of the system’s planned delivery area, flow and volume needs, and, most importantly, the difficult, rocky terrain through which the canal had to pass in order to achieve the goals of the development.

A full copy of the draft nomination document can be downloaded by clicking on the following links:

     View the National Register nomination [pdf] 

How Does The National Register Nomination Process Work?
Any person or organization can nominate a property or district for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by submitting a nomination to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. A complete nomination for a historic district includes the nomination form, property list, maps, photos, and exhibits. Once received, SHPO staff reviews the document for completeness, and then provides the preparer with a memo, if needed, outlining required changes to meet the minimum standards set by the National Park Service and making suggestions to improve the document.
Nominations that meet the minimum standards are forwarded to the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP), a nine member, governor-appointed body of citizens with expertise in fields relating to historic preservation. The nomination document is also provided to the City of Portland for comment. The City will hold a separate public hearing on the nomination.
At its meeting, the SACHP considers comments by local officials, staff, and interested citizens and recommends to the SHPO and the National Park Service to accept or reject a property or district for listing in the National Register, or defer the nomination for future consideration. Only the National Park Service can list a property in the Register. A draft agenda is posted below.
A project timeline is below. As part of the process, local officials and the general public are invited to participate.
Project Timeline And Important Dates
July 3, 2017 – SHPO received the draft nomination from the preparer.
October 20, 2017 – State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation votes to table the nomination for the Central Oregon Canal Historic District pending additional documentation.

     View the Annotated SACHP agenda (post meeting) [pdf]

     Post SACHP Revision Memo; October 25, 2017 [pdf]

     View the first draft of the nomination [pdf]

November 1, 2017 - Next submission date for nominations to the National Register of Historic Places for the February 16, 2018 meeting of the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation.

December 15, 2017 - The amended version of this nomination will be heard at the February 16, 2018 State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation meeting in Carlton, OR 
     View the meeting agenda [pdf]              

What Does Listing In The National Register Of Historic Places Mean?
The SHPO and the federal government do not regulate private property unless the owner chooses to take advantage of federal and state tax incentives or grants. Local county and city governments, however, are required by state law to protect properties listed in the National Register. Because local laws vary from place to place, property owners or those looking to purchase properties through which the nominated canal passes should contact Matt Martin at the Deschutes County Community Development Department at (541) 330-4620, matt.martin@deschutes.org, for more information.

View the SHPO National Register webpage the outlines Benefits and Responsibilities for listed properties, the National Register process, and how to list a property here:
View information on Oregon grants that are available to owners of National Register properties and other cultural resources and institutions here: 
View information on SHPO tax incentives programs available to owners of National Register properties here:
How Do I Object Or Support Listing In The National Register of Historic Places?
Owners of private property may object to listing their property in the National Register by submitting a notarized statement to the SHPO certifying that the individual is the sole or partial owner of the property and that they object to the listing. The proposed district will not be listed if a majority of the property owners object. Supporters do not need to submit a notarized statement.
Each owner of private property in a district has one “vote” regardless of how many properties or what part of the one property that individual owns, and regardless of whether the property contributes to the significance of the proposed district. An owner is defined as an entity (individual, partnership, corporation) holding fee simple title to property. Divisions of government, including schools and fire districts, may not object to listing. Properties owned by a trust or trustee are only allowed a single vote, whether or not there are multiple owners/trustees for the property. More information on this topic can be found here:

How to count owners in historic districts [pdf]

Property owner list provided by Deschutes County [pdf]
The right to object is described more fully in the federal regulations governing the National

Register program, 36 CFR 60.6.  A link to these regulations may be found at:
Please use the objection and support forms provided below. Additional written comments are welcome.
Letters of support may be submitted by email or regular mail. Original signed and notarized objections must be mailed to:
State Historic Preservation Office
ATTN: Tracy Zeller
725 Summer Street NE, Suite C
Salem, OR 97301
Letters of Support may be emailed to Tracy Zeller at Tracy.Zeller@oregon.gov
Objection comments received as of November 9, 2017 

Support comments received as of November 9, 2017
Objection forms received as of November 9, 2017
Support forms received as of November 9, 2017 
Questions About The Information On This Page?

Jason Allen, Preservation Specialist
Oregon State Historic Preservation Office
Phone: 503-986-0579


Questions About Deschutes County's Land-Use Regulations And The Local Listing Process?
Matt Martin, Senior Planner
Community Development Department
Deschutes County
Phone: 541-330-4620
Email: Matt.Martin@deschutes.org