friendship cemetery
Chiloquin is one of those towns like Dufur or Willamina: bypassed by the highway (97 in this case), thousands of vehicles going by every day, none having a suspicion what the place is like. Towns that live in the shadow of human conveyor belts. Friedman characterized Chiloquin as “a poor-looking, dismal town…, bitter cold in winter, stultifying in summer.” (Where’s the Chamber of Commerce when you need it?) Friedman also notes that Chiloquin is “HQ of the reborn Klamath tribe.” Connecting the two dots should give you some idea of the state of Native-American affairs after a hundred and fifty years on the reservation. “Chiloquin” is one spelling of an Indian chief’s name, and better than half the current residents are Native-American. Schonchin, after whom the street is named, was another chief and has a cemetery named after him near Beatty.
The cemetery currently named “Friendship” is listed in ODOT as “Friends” cemetery, which implies an earlier religious affiliation, now unexplained. What it is is a couple hardscrabble sandy acres creeping up a hillside being reclaimed by 10,000 ponderosa starts. The cemetery still gets use, but it’s pretty rough and tumble. The best indication of its Native-American connections is in the engraving on Fanny Jackson’s (1884-1970) marker of a woman harvesting food thigh-deep in a float of water-lilies.
Still and all, though, my favorite headstone is that for Ora Summers (1901-1979). It has a photo of Ora in his old age and a cowboy hat wearing a slightly concerned expression. It also has a photo of Ora’s beloved horse, War Paint. Oe can only hope that War Paint wasn’t buried with Ora.
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