JOSEPH McVAY was born in Indiana in 1831 and headed west with his brother James in search of gold. They discovered gold in Coos Bay, OR but kept moving south. in 1856 they got caught up in the Indian War and joined the militia in Gold Beach, OR. They fought the Chetco and Pistol River tribes.
They returned to Missouri to bring out his sister Fannnie and her children. Fannies husband had been killed by outlaws and wanted to rejoin the family. He met and married Mary Elizabth Bosley. He got Fannie and her children to Smith River by heading down to Panama, riding mules over the Isthmus to the Pacific, taking a boat to San Francisco, catching a stage in Sacramento to Jacksonville, OR then going by by buckboard to Smith River.
He then built the biggest house that looled as much like a southern plantation as possible. It still sits today on a slight hill in downtown Smith River on Fred Haight Drive where they had four children.
He owned a store, a tin shop and a blacksmith shop. Around Christmas 1878 he lost his wife who was 30 years old. He lost his daughter Daisy in 1891 when the ferry boat overturned while crossing the Smith River and she drowned. She was 17 years old. He soon sold his house to Daniel Haight who ended up marrying his sister Fannie. I took my family and built what is now called Granny Maris\'s House. It sits next to the Smith River Community Hall.
He died in 1908 at 77 years old.