Mitchell, Oregon: Henry the Bear

Henry weighed 800 pounds and lived in a comfortable cage next to Mitchell's only gas station.

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Henry The Bear

In reading the posting by "Erik Enockson, 11/18/2002", concerning Henry the bear and the town of Mitchell: I don't know what community Erik was really visiting, or where his head was (...but I can guess...),-- Mitchell is NOT a "trailer park" whatsoever! And the downtown General Store is most definitely NOT a trailer with a sliding glass door! It is a fabulous historic building over 100 yrs old, with beautiful character and charm.... Example- the well-worn floors are the original wood, and bear the measurement markings of 100 years ago... There are several beautifully restored historic building in the cozy downtown area, and the Oregon Hotel is one of them. Erik doesn't know what the heck he's talking about.

[Joan Field, 07/28/2006]
Henry the Bear and Hugh. Henry the Bear

We recently met Henry and his gentle keeper "Hugh." Henry is a 600 lb. brown bear. Hugh is a Paul-Bunyan-sized man, with arms as hefty as my legs! Hugh takes excellent care of Henry. His spacious cage was clean, and the bear looked great. I think Henry was born in the midwest in captivity, declawed, and neutered. Henry was about to be put down when Hugh purchased him and has been caring for him ever since.

Under strict directions from Hugh, we all had Henry take a slice of apple from our own mouths while in the cage with the bear! We also heard some great stories from Hugh about Henry's mannerisms. Our favorite was when the bear was in mid-hybernation. He heard Hugh talking in the cage, came out and put his head on Hugh's shoulder for a long time, then took Hugh by the hand and tried to back into his lair with him for the rest of his winter nap.

There is a box for donations, but Hugh really doesn't want or expect any. He spends $135/month of his own money to feed Henry.

[John Miller, 08/31/2005]
Henry the Bear

Mitchell Oregon is home to two things you must see: one is the Painted Hills located just outside of town, a geological wonder of colorful hillsides; and the other is Henry the Bear, and American black bear whose owner has been to known to get in the cage to feed and wrestle around with Henry. You can also get just about anything at the two general stores as well as some home cooking at the two cafes. Mitchell is worth stopping by, but pay attention, don't blink, you might miss it!

[Rick, 03/13/2004]
Henry the Bear. Henry the Bear

In the center of Mitchell, Oregon there is a live bear on display named Henry. A local resident purchased him, then built a pen out of old telephone poles, chain link fence, chicken wire, and scraps of metal for a roof. Henry eats what appears to be dog food out of an old tire. There is a log for him and a small shelter. Pathetic, yes, but this is what is to be expected in Mitchell.

Mitchell is sort of one big trailer park, with even the local general store being operated out of an old trailer with a sliding glass door stuck in the side. You can buy nightcrawlers in there as well as find a halfway decent pair of used shoes in a bucket. There is a motel on the hill that looks like the Bates Motel.

[Erik Enockson, 11/18/2002]

September 2006 - photo added.

Henry the Bear

Directions:
Take US 26 to Mitchell, then turn south onto Main St. Henry is in a cage on the north side of Main, at the Little Pine Truck Stop, which is the town's only gas station.
Hours:
No longer at the gas station.

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