milo gard cemetery
Named after one of its residents, Milo Gard rests on the Agency Plains, better known to Oregonians as that flat place where Madras (pronounced “mad’- [as in ‘mad as a Hatter’] ras”) is. They don’t raise cotton there and they don’t make cloth, but they do farm. Geographically, the region is not part of the Pine Belt, as I’ve described it, that honor goes to the reservation, but it’s not a part of any other region, either, yet is too small to consider on its own. It is, on the other hand, part of the economic and demographic axis which includes the Pine Belt.

The “agency” referred to in “Agency Plains” is surely the Indian Agency, now located across the Deschutes River; the implication being that at one time the Agency was either located on the plains, or the plains were considered part of its territory. Considering that the only good farm land in the area is located on the plains, it’s little wonder it wasn’t included in the reservation.

The reservation was a contentious location and the site of many battles, both of Indians against whites and of Indians against each other. The whites won. They even won the fights they didn’t participate in.

But that has nothing to do with Milo Gard. Milo Gard is a sprightly maintained cemetery of little more than an acre rimmed by trees with a few more inside the fence. It’s dead flat and has dead spectacular views of the Cascades from the Three Sisters to Hood and beyond. My visit was accompanied by squawking crows and a killdeer feigning, “Follow me, follow me, not my children.”

Just makes you want to go smash the nest to smithereens, doesn’t it?

Not a big cemetery but an easy stop off the highway and it has its rewards.

Directions:

Fir Ln. crosses Hwy. 26 some three miles or so north of Madras, shortly before the highway turns towards Warm Springs and the Deschutes. Head west on Fir Ln. Cemetery is on the north side of the road less than a mile from its intersection with 26.
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