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Oct. 9, 2009
by Charles Dailey
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Fort Rock | New Pine Creek

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New Pine Creek Mapquest.

John and Nancy Sutherland - 15.0 K
John and Nancy Sutherland
New Pine Creek Church - 12.9 K
Where the saints once met at
New Pine Creek on U.S. 395.

Photos courtesy
of Marguariete Overholser
The village of New Pine Creek was established before 1876 and is the oldest community in Lake County. The local stream is Pine Creek, but the postal authorities required that it be named New Pine Creek.

Construction of the Church of Christ building was the work of John and Nancy Jane (Bowring) Sutherland about 1886.

The Sanborn Fire Map of 1915 shows the building and parsonage were in California on the south side of State Street, the line dividing Oregon and California. The 1930 revision of the map shows the building still on the California side of the border. This placed the property just one-half block east of present-day highway 395.

However, there is evidence that the building was later moved to Church Street, one block inside of Oregon and placed somewhere between the Baptist Church and the hill. The building pictured at right may be the Baptist Church.

John's historical profile.

John Sutherlin was a gospel preacher from Missouri who had come to New Pine Creek following a brief stay near Alturas in Northern California. They had crossed the plains in 1872.

Here in New Pine Creek, the family farm was right at the edge of Goose Lake -- so named because it is visited by migratory waterfowl in the spring and summer. Trout were abundant. John and Nancy were away in Idaho for several years and built the building when they returned.

Historian (and relative) Marguariete Overholser says,

"With volunteer help, a little church building began to take shape across the dirt street from the store. It was soon ready for services. A bell in the belfry pealed out the hour for Bible study and the hour for worship. People came on foot, by team and buckboard, or horseback from the sparsely settled community to hear the gospel. A baptistry in a church building was unheard of and Goose Lake was used.

Alice (Sutherland) made her confession for Christ during the winter when Goose Lake was frozen over. John chopped a hole in the ice and went with her down into the cold water to baptize her, then handed his daughter, in dripping wet clothes, to her mother and a warm blanket."

Martha Alice went on to marry wagon driver Johnny Henderson and is buried in the New Pine Creek Cemetery.

John and Nancy raised 12 of their 14 children here in Pine Creek. John also rode a preaching circuit that included Davis Creek and Surprise Valley on the California side of the border. Later, the Sutherland family moved to the London district, south of Cottage Grove, Oregon. They worked for the Lord in Lane County the rest of their lives and are buried side-by-side in the McCulloch Cemetery near Hadleyville in Lane County, Oregon.

Cemeteries: New Pine Creek listing.    McCulloch listing.

Marguariete Overholser's book John Sutherland: His Life and Times is available from the author at P.O. Box 662, Canby, Oregon 97013.

Henry Clay Fleming and Winnie Fleming, pioneers of 1872, moved to New Pine Creek in 1888 where he was the preacher for this a capella Church of Christ. They are also buried in the New Pine Creek Cemetery north of town.

Eli Craven Mason and Susan Mason, pioneers of 1869, eventually settled in New Pine Creek. At one time, Eli was a member of the State Legislature. In 1874, their daughter Georgia Annie, married circuit-riding preacher Ephriam W. Barnes. He preached for many years in Oregon.

Fort Rock Mapquest.

A congregation was established here in May of 1914 by Clarence Swander and W. T. Matlock. Historian Swander says,

This congregation lived only a short time. But it "found" a most capable and consecrated disciple in the person of George Hockman who lived in a nearby community. After the work at Fort Rock ceased to function he gathered together the people in his own community, Wastina, and conducted a Sunday School and "taught them the way of the Lord more perfectly." He preaches, teaches and baptizes, thus fulfilling the Great Commission to the letter.
(This was written in 1928.)
George B. Hockman and his wife Bertha had come to Oregon from Iowa and Missouri.

This new Fort Rock congregation did not build a building. They almost certainly met in one of the 20 school houses that dotted the valley until the focus was moved to Wastina.

To DOCHS 3/02

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