Finnigan’s Forest


The story of Finnigan Barnes has been with me for a while. I could have written it a few years ago but did not feel the time was right. Now I do. So, I pulled out an old legal pad and read my documentation of his story in his own recorded words. 

I had almost forgotten how sweet and simple Finn’s story is. He came to America soon after World War I and helped his uncle and aunt take care of their farm in Virginia until they passed. Finn had a natural love for the out of doors, for the animals, rivers and mountains. But most of all, he loved trees. Coming from Ireland where there were not a lot of woodlands, Finn took to planting trees whenever he could. His uncle’s farm was the perfect place to grow them. 

It made him happy to walk beneath big trees. He could feel their life and wisdom and wanted other people to experience nature’s healing effect. He opened up Finnigan’s Forest to war-scarred veterans and brokenhearted children, to anyone who needed its quiet serenity. 

Walk with me now through Finnigan’s story, and perhaps you also will come to understand what it was that inspired him to plant trees.