Finn Rock 1939

Lamar White

My parents and sister migrated from Arkansas to the McKenzie River in 1939. My father worked for Rosboro Lumber and they lived in a tent just a few yards upriver from the rock which is Finn Rock. When the logging road was pioneered up to the company land, they moved to Springfield, where I was born in 1941. After the war, probably in 1946, they moved back into the new town of Finn Rock, built by Rosboro for its employees.

There was a single gravel road parallel to the south side of the river, a town of roughly 30 houses, and a small church building. McKenzie School was a mile east. We students crossed on the logging bridge and waited for the school bus in a small turn out from the highway.
By the time I started 1st grade, we had moved downriver to the last house on the road, just near Quartz Creek. It was a Cape Cod style, but quite small and just one bedroom. Most renters ended up putting sleeping quarters upstairs for children, as did my father.

We lived there until 1958, when my parents moved to Walterville. I was graduated from McKenzie High in 1959.

The childhood time there was almost too good to be true. Because of our location away from the highway, in the summer kids could be let loose and implored to make it back for dinner. My only restriction was I could not play in the river.

The free time activity I remember best was rock throwing. Who could throw across the river. Who could hit the dead tree. Who could scare someone with a close call. But out of this effort we developed several very good pitchers and other baseball stars.

My main takeaway from living in Finn Rock was the extended parental environment. Mrs. Poff knew where I was supposed to be, how I was raised to behave, and my mother would be informed if I got off track.