Miller Family Ranch
The history of local homesteaders becomes a vivid reality when you meet the characters on the Miller Ranch.
The year is 1904. Mrs. Miller, with the help of her son James Miller, maintains the cabin, barn, corral, bunkhouse, root cellar and sawmill and cares for the animals at the ranch while Mr. Miller tends cattle on the open range. During the summer months, you’ll see the Millers’ willow corral, wood shop, barn and her fancy French chickens clucking about.
Nearby, Bend’s population is booming. Timber industry tycoon Alexander Drake is spearheading the area’s development. Stockmen, buckaroos, sheep herders, timber cruisers, miners and gamblers have descended on the boomtown. You might even meet one at the ranch.
The Millers recently joined other homesteaders to buy a used sawmill from the U.S. Army. Now they can mill timber for barns, sheds, bunkhouses and other projects instead of buying cut lumber from distant mills.
Stop by and see what life was like for local homesteaders more than a hundred years ago. Mrs. Miller will get your kids to do the chores they may refuse to do at home: digging in the garden, washing the laundry, or cross-cutting firewood. And when they’re finished, they can enjoy playing some frontier games. On the weekends during the winter months, stop by and warm up by the stove while listening to tales of yesteryear.
10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily June through August
11:00 am to 3:00 pm weekends September through May (weather permitting)
The Millers’ Faverolles chickens are a heritage breed well-suited to cold and low-light climates. In 1904, Faverolles won numerous recommendations at the St. Louis World’s Fair and were advertised in national magazines. The breed’s distinctive feathered feet, beards and fluffy plumage ensure that they are rarely cold and continue to lay in the winter.