Finn Rock

Doyle HawksEUGENE: “It was a wonderful place to live,” Billie Ruth Rose had to say about the community of logger’s families that once thrived near Quartz Creek on the McKenzie River. “My folks lived there for 20 years. There were probably 100 kids in the area and the mothers mainly stayed home to raise families. It was a good place - like Mayberry without Barney and Andy.”
Rose and Doyle Hawks, also a fellow kid from “Arkyville,” as the camp was called locally, were featured last weekend at the McKenzie Memories presentation in Eugene. Hawks shared some of the history about how the settlement came to be - tracing founder “Whit” Rosborough’s migration from the pine woods of Arkansas and the contingent of workers who followed him when he reestablished his mills in Oregon.
“I grew up with a fishing rod in one hand and a rifle in the other,” Hawks recalled. But he and other boys in the neighborhood had their hands on some tools. Most started working in the woods when they were in the 9th grade, and kept at it until they graduated - planting trees for Rosboro for a dollar an hour.

Finn Rock CampFINN ROCK: “I always wondered why they called it a camp,” Billie Rose recalls. “Our folks lived there for almost 20 years. I guess ‘camp’ sort of gave the impression we were transients but we weren’t.”
Billie, her sister Nancy and brother Joe, were part of a gathering of old friends last Saturday who grew up in a community that many of today’s McKenzie Valley residents might never know existed. Their home, the Finn Rock Camp has long roots, stretching back to 1890, when Thomas “Whit” Whitaker Rosborough built a sawmill in Rosboro, Arkansas. After his honeymoon itinerary swung though the Pacific Northwest, Whit had a longing to return. He did that in 1939 when he moved to Springfield, Oregon, and built what a newspaper of that time called the region’s “most modern timber manufacturing plant.” Timber for the mill came from lands he’d purchased up the McKenzie Valley.

Rosboro bridgeThe McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has purchased 154 acres of riverfront land along the McKenzie River near the town of Blue River in a closed-bid auction. The property includes approximately two miles of riverfront, numerous side channels, ponds, wetlands, and an old floodplain forest in the scenic McKenzie River corridor.
“We are grateful to the folks at Rosboro for working with us on this legacy project,” said Joe Moll, Executive Director of the McKenzie River Trust. “When you think of the McKenzie River, you imagine clean blue water, incredible salmon spawning habitat, and healthy floodplain forests. This property has all of that.”

Jason PowellThere’s new life at the Finn Rock Grill these days, thanks to Jason Powell, who has reopened the doors to the highly visible riverside restaurant. Many people know him from his years at the helm of Ike’s Pizza but his new venue is offering a lot more.

Auction overviewFINN ROCK: A once bustling McKenzie River community could come back to life depending on the plans of a potential new property owner. Set to go up for auction next month is a block parcels that include the site of the historic Finn Rock Logging Camp which, in the 1940s, contained twenty homes.
The current owner is Rosboro of Springfield, a forest products company that is the largest glulam manufacturer in North America. The sale will include over three miles of McKenzie River frontage, in three parcels, with over five million board feet of timber.


Candidate interviews set for June 2

FINN ROCK: The four finalists in the search for a new superintendent for McKenzie Schools will be on campus today, June 2nd, for interviews. Three interview sessions - by the board, district staff and the public - have been set up at three different locations. "Ambassadors" have been appointed to escort the candidates to the various interview sites. (Click on schedule below.)

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.