Roseburg’s Dutch Mill Offers Booze, Gambling and Bedrooms

Apr 12, 2016

Apparently Emmerson “Doc” Kennedy was a creative man, not overly constrained by convention, propriety or laws.

He came to Oregon reportedly as a physician who had lost licenses in Oklahoma and California.  In 1945, in spite of lumber and labor shortages, he purchased a Cow Creek sawmill and built a dance hall south of Roseburg.  He partly constructed the dance hall with vertically-sawn, 8-foot peeler cores.  According to R. J. Duffy, who had been a bartender for Kennedy in 1947, Kennedy’s Dutch Mill was built with “no skilled labor, just a quart of hooch and some boys.” Together they constructed a huge dance hall with two restaurants.  A locomotive-sized diesel boiler consumed 100 gallons an hour heating the uninsulated building.

During Kennedy’s time, the establishment had an illegal gambling den and bedrooms rented by the hour. An employee later recounted how one night Kennedy broke up a gambling party with 40 friends just a half hour before the police arrived.  He had apparently been tipped off by a phone call.

In 1952, Kennedy sold out to Herb Linder, who named the place Lindy’s and changed the nature of the business, focusing on country music instead.


Source: Wyatt, Steve, “Lindy’s: the House that Hooch Built”, Table Rock Sentinel, March/April 1993, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 10-13.