History of Sunriver
In 1942, the U.S. Government purchased 5,500 acres of land on the Deschutes River about 16 miles south of Bend for use by the Army Corps of Engineers. Built as a self-contained city, Camp Abbot, as it was known, opened in 1943 as a training facility for bridge building, amphibious assault, and construction of roads and canals. By the time it was abandoned in June 1944, Camp Abbot had trained 90,000 combat engineers for the Allied push across France and Germany in the final days of World War II. Today, the only notable evidence of Camp Abbotâ€™s existence is the Officerâ€™s Club, its native ponderosa log construction preserved and renovated into the Great Hall.
In 1968, developers John Gray and Donald McCallum formed Sunriver Properties and obtained the land of the old Camp Abbot site. They soon launched their vision of what was to become the Northwestâ€™s premier vacation destination resort and residential community . . . Sunriver! The first condominiums were built in that year, along with the Sunriver Lodge. With completion of the master plan in 1969, residential lots went on sale.
In 1974, Connecticut Mutual Company purchased Sunriver from John Gray and for 10 years, the resort community languished in a state of status quo. In 1978, 2,200 acres of the original 5,500 were sold to the U.S. Forest Service for $2.8 million.
Today, Sunriver is comprised of more than 4,000 properties that are privately owned, as well as roads, pathways and other common areas owned by the Sunriver Owners Association. Sunriver Resort is also privately owned.
Photos from archives & courtesy of the Sunriver Scene.