The Swimming Hole Down Back

This is the old swimming hole located Down Back on the Sebec River in Derby, Maine as viewed looking upstream. As youngsters my 4 brothers and I with many of our friends used to spend most summer days like Huck Finn swimming, fishing, or rafting in this spot.

The term “Down Back” predates my birth and I’m not really sure of the origin except in order to find the old swimming hole you needed to go “down” and “back” some to get there.

This photograph shows several of the named rocks that have withstood 3 generations of the Degerstrom family without being renamed. My Grandpa and Dad each taught their youngsters how to swim at the old swimming hole. Having left Maine in my early 20’s, I have at least brought my son back to build a cedar log raft and go for a dip.

The foreground rock is “diving rock”, and because of its position a sandbar extends from the edge out into the river. At times there was less than 18 inches of water, so the diving technique required the right angle and a touch of insanity.

Next back is sucker rock (close to shore to the left and not shown) and then sliding rock. The large round rock is sunfish rock, and barely visible upstream is bass rock. Beyond that the river bends to the right, and about 1 mile further is Milo, Maine.

Down Back will be one of the feature locations for many of the stories about Growin’ Up in Maine.

Jim's handwritten signature

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