Tag Archives: Woods Brewery

Frontier Brewing: the Woods Brewery at Tetherow Crossing

During my research for the book I uncovered hints toward a frontier-era brewery being located at Tetherow Crossing, a fording point of the Deschutes River about five miles west of present-day Redmond. Andrew Tetherow filed a claim for the land in 1877, and by 1879 he had built a cable ferry across the river, which eventually was upgraded to a bridge. The Crossing became a way point, with a stage area and a store for travelers coming over the Cascade Mountains bound for the Crooked River valley.

Tetherow Crossing location
Map view of historic Tetherow Crossing location

One of the first clues about the brewery that existed there was found in old photographs indexed by the Deschutes Historical Society; there are a number of them of the Tetherow Crossing buildings and bridge circa 1900, and tantalizingly, someone had written “Brewery in background” below one of them—unfortunately, the building it referred to in the background was indistinct. Other clues I found on the web on sites like this one mention “a store, farm, ranch, orchard, garden, dairy, blacksmith and brewery,” but I couldn’t find cited sources.

Author and historian Phil Brogan, writing for the Bulletin in 1980 on the history of Tetherow Crossing, made no mention of a brewery—instead, he mentions a still, on the west side of the river.

So I didn’t have enough to go on for the book, and within my deadline I really did not have a chance to dig deeper on this Tetherow brewery at the time. But you know, research is really an ongoing project, and just recently I discovered much more detail about the brewery—found in the book Central Oregon Place Names, Volume III: Deschutes County, by Steve Lent and just published within the past year!

Lent references the brewery as Woods Brewery, and he wrote:

This early brewery was located at Tetherow Crossing on the Deschutes River west of Redmond. It was west of the Tetherow stage stop and on the west side of the river. Lynn Woods from Prineville built the brewery at the site in 1890. He preferred the clean water of the Deschutes River for his brewing. He built a frame building about 35 by 50 feet in which his brewing activity took place. The brewery operated until 1898.

He sources the Bend Bulletin and the 1880 Wasco County Census (I will try to find specific date/issue of the Bulletin for this info).

I’m glad to see this confirmed, and this means early Central Oregon had three frontier breweries: the Ochoco Brewery in Prineville from 1882 to 1890; the Woods Brewery; and the Prineville Brewery from 1893 to 1906.

Now to figure out just what they brewed there…