A McKenzie River Legend

by Bruno Seraphin, Folklore Graduate Student

McKenzie River Fishing Guide and storyteller Robin Alexander relayed this story to me. The central character here is a fellow who lived by the McKenzie in the late 1800’s and claimed to be the “real” Huckleberry Finn from Mark Twain’s famous book. There are a number of outlandish stories about this eccentric man. This one tells how “Finn Rock” came to be so named.

Robin Alexander:

“He claimed that the rock was laying sideways in the wagon road. And he tied a whole bunch of cables and ropes to it, and he took a mule train across the river. And what he did was, he took those mules and pulled that rock up straight off the wagon road and stood it up right, where it exists now in the river.

And what happened was, the mules, right before it could go completely up straight, the mules were stopped because they were up against the mountain. So, what he had to do was pour water on the leather strappings. And from the sun, the leather dried and drew that rock up the rest of the way straight where it wouldn’t fall back, and that’s where it is today.

And there’s always a saying, if you look real close you can find cable marks on that rock. So, anybody that wants to can go look for those.”

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