The North Bend Eagle


Eason recalls Old Settlers of 70 years ago

by Elsa Rasmussen
Published 5/1/24

Generations of Benders have made lasting memories over 100 years of Old Settlers celebrations.

Life-long area resident Mike Eason remembered fondly the Kiddie Parade that used to be an annual Old Settlers tradition. In 1948, when Eason was 7 years old, he rode his Shetland pony from the farm a mile-and-a-half east of North Bend into town to participate in the parade. He rode his pony bareback, dressed up with a feather and a bow and arrow.

The parade route went around the park, and Eason tied his pony up at the old grade school. After the parade, Eason could not get back on his pony. He had no saddle to hold onto and the pony refused to cooperate, so he had to walk all the way back to the farm, dragging the pony along behind him.

Eason also recalled his days of marching in the parade with the North Bend High School band under director Bob Olsen. During the time Eason was in high school, 1955-59, the band was a big deal, with one hundred students participating. Olsen made it a condition upon hiring that band be the only class first period, so the students were either in band or study hall.

The marching band performed in the parade in full wool uniforms, including a hat and plume, and were expected to be in good order. Other North Bend residents who performed in the same band include Rollie Otte, Charlie Voplansky and Jan Eaton.

Mike Eason, 1973
Eason, 1973

Eason continued to participate in the Old Settlers festivities as a member of the Jaycees club. For three years, the Jaycees took over the operation of the celebration from the Chamber of Commerce during a difficult period for that group. One year, they hosted a demolition derby in the old ball field and ended up completely tearing up all the turf. This was alright, though, because the field needed to be refurbished anyway. The Jaycees also used to have a float in the parade, which Eason often helped with.

Eason is looking forward to celebrating the centennial of Old Settlers. His parents, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Fred Eason, all attended Old Settlers, and he is glad to continue the tradition.

In conjunction with the Old Settlers Centennial (100 years since established as annual celebration) the North Bend Eagle will run a series of articles with memories of Old Settlers from those who have experienced years of celebrations. If you would like to participate, or have a special story to share, e-mail the Eagle at, call us at 402-652-8312, or come by the Eagle office. Stories from whenever you experienced a fun Old Settlers are appreciated, please share with us.


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