drewsey cemetery
Wikipedia claims there were 18 people in Drewsey at last count. They have a grade school there and when I passed by the entire school was out having its picture taken. I counted six students.

Drewsey is an excellent case in point of the power the Post Office used to wield in the days when people wrote letters. The original choice of the town name was, reputedly, Drusy, but the PO decided they liked their spelling better and hence that became the name of the town; a story of bureaucratic arrogance oft repeated in Oregon Geographic Names. Drewsey’s greatest claim to fame, perhaps, is the name of an early saloon predating the founding of the town: the Gouge Eye Saloon. Has a nice Western touch to it, doesn’t it. There is a faction that wished the town would’ve been named that, too.

There are only two incorporated towns in Harney County, neither of them Drewsey. Despite that, Drewsey has a cemetery of some girth set on two levels along a hillside. Not much in the way of cover, and the grasses are wild imports; still, the majestic setting and the delightful quirkiness of the place give it a distinctive charm. The era of gouging eyes out appears to have long passed. At least we hope so.

As the pictures show, the most distinctive feature of the cemetery is the plethora of animal profiles cut out of steel above equally hand cut steel words: “Unknown.” Somebody went to a lot of work, and it was surely a labor of love.

My recommendation is, if you’re driving this way, make room for Drewsey, it’s a doozy.


Drewsey is some two or three miles north of Hwy. 20, about 45 miles east of Burns. It’s accessed by Drewsey Rd. As Drewsey Rd. heads north out of town, it meets Drewsey Market Rd. coming in from the west. Take that and the cemetery will appear on the north side of the road within a few blocks.
39 photos · 60 views