Monday, February 27, 2012

Memorable May 5th - Part 1

Back in January of this yr I was at the old Quaker Cemetery looking for a grave to satisfy a photo request for Find a Grave.  I came upon this broken stone, I said "what a shame this is broken' and yet it was such a perfect stone in every other way and I read it...



Sacred to the Memory of My Husband
Lucius R LeGrand
aged 31 years
Who was drowned on the Memoralble 5th May, 1860
at Boykin Mill Pond

Since Im very familiar with the Boykin Mill Pond, about 10 miles outta town....I was intriqued immediately..and then right beside that stone was this one


WHAT??? A brother also drowned...May 5th, 1860? So of course that did it...I had to find out why these brothers drowned!!! So I googled it..
HOLY COW...here's what  I found:

SUMTER WATCHMAN EXTRA  FRIGHTFUL ACCIDENT!
SPECIAL TELEGRAPHIC INTELLIGENCE TO KINGSVILLE FOR THE WATCHMAN
TWENTY FIVE PERSONS DROWNED
BOYKINS' MILL POND, NEAR CAMDEN
THE SCENE
MONDAY MORNING MAY 7, 1860 -- SIX OCLOCK
TERRIBLE ACCIDENT

UNbelievable!! Ive found 2 graves of 25 persons drowned in a mass drowning...
So it was that the old newspaper article declared it such a horrid tragedy...the news was relayed by telegraph and old Mr Whitherspoon took down the names of the dead and that list was published, 25 people DROWNED...IT was later learned that the number was 24....the grisly list saddened every heart as it was read. Listed were the 22 sir names of the now dead young girls and boys and at the end of the list was stated ....and 2 negroes! Pre Civil War....(DAMN-how inhumane is that? More on this at a later Date!)

So a picnic and party was on and about 50 or so of the prominent family members got on a flat bottom boat, they intended to pole the boat across the pond and back it was such a beautiful May day...out about 100 ft from shore in 25 feet of water, they got caught on a snag...The polers rocked it back n forth in an attempt to get free but------THE WOOD BOTTOM busted and the craft began to take on water,,,,most paniced and jumped sinking to the depts of the murky mill pond muddy bottom.....and it took their lives away...SO I decided to TRACK down the burial place and hopefully photo of each of the victims gravesites....next week part 2!!

23 comments:

  1. That's some story and so terribly sad.

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  2. Isn't it amazing how one thing leads to another like that. Just imagine, pre-civil war. How many years has it been since anyone was left to remember any of these 24 unfortunate souls and their families. I wonder if there are any decendants remainining in the area today, 152 years later. Wow. 152 years ago.

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  3. A terrible tragedy.
    Good luck in your quest.

    And thank goodness we've moved on from recording '2 negroes' now.

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    1. Keith, that really struck me as Inhumane...and YES thank goodness we have come far!!!!

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  4. What a terribly tragic story. I'm really looking forward to what you find in part 2!

    Herding Cats


    http://seathreepeeo.blogspot.com

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  5. Apart from the tragedy, I find it interesting that the wording on both of these gravestones were so similar,especially the "Memorable 5th May".

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    1. Yes, well they are brothers and buried right next to each other...so I imagine the family wanted to give both of them equal respect...but Lucius was a mason and his wife seems to have dedicated his stone so its a bit fancier looking...SUCH A shame its Broken...I wish someone would fix it back to one piece again.

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  6. Hey, Sondra. Grrreat story telling.

    The Sumter Watchman. What a great title for a village paper. Is that Sumter of the Fort Sumter Sumters? I must point out that 24 people was a lot to have on a flat-bottomed boat. But could none of them swim? There is the essential tragedy.

    Any idea what that logo is on Lucius' headstone. It looks like a sheaf of wheat.

    I will be back next week, to see where you have to go to locate the other bodies.

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    1. Sumter County is a neighboring county to my county of Kershaw....and yes Fort Sumter, and the name Sumter comes from the famous General Thomas Sumter a great Revolutionary war hero of these parts. The first Carolina Gamecock..

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  7. Very sad, indeed. A sheaf of wheat is frequently used to denote the harvest, for someone who has lived a long and fruitful life. Obviously not the case here. A book I just purchased, "Stories in Stone", says it's also a popular Masonic (i.e., Freemason) symbol. I can't quite make out the initials around it, but I suspect that's what it is.

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  8. Google powers activate! :-) It is indeed a Freemason symbol. The sheaf of wheat ("corn" or grain) represents the fruit of our labors. The KSHTWSS indicates they were a Knight Templar in the York Rite Degrees of Freemasonry. Also note that they're on the keystone to an arch, the final stone in the center that gives it stability, and is a popular symbol for Freemasons.

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    1. Exactly, I did look that up and what I found was it is to be read...Hiram, Tyrian, Widow's Son, Sendeth To King Solomon. the Keystone of the Masons!!

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  9. You found a great story there courtesy of the broken stone. Interesting that these stones are in a Quaker cemetery, in the UK Quaker headstones do not refer to the month by it's 'pagan' name, rather they use the number of the month as in 'died on the 5th day of the fifth month' instead of 5th May. Perhaps that tradition is set aside for a memorable date or maybe these two are not Quakers?

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    1. HI Deb, yes this Cemetery was founded by Quakers, but now its for everyone to be buried in...

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  10. Glad you found the answer, what a story! Terrific contribution to Taphophile Tragics.

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  11. An amazing story and an amazing bit of research on your behalf.

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  12. What a story and what connections. It's sad to think that they were just 100 ft from shore... and were drowned.

    The first stone looks amazing and even without knowing any details you can feel the symbolism radiating from it. Great discovery, Sondra.

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  13. What an interesting post. Poor people!

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  14. I think the broken stone is rather lovely, and what a story to discover.

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  15. Oh it is a sad story well told -- you are doing a great job keeping history alive -- I look forward to more!

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  16. How very tragic! You are certainly uncovering some amazing stories, Sondra. How terribly sad that the last two victims on the list were mentioned in such a dismissively callous way, I have never and will never understand such attitudes!!!

    So sorry to read on your previous post that you are having a tough time at the moment, what a pain! I do hope things sort themselves out in your favour eventually.

    I have just seen the TV news about the dreadful tornadoes in the US, my knowledge of the geography of your part of the world is not too good so I do hope all is well where you are!

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    1. THanks for your thoughts...SO Far my area has not been affected but nearby some have...and YES Ill be quite glad when all the uncivil parts of my life become civil again!!

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  17. Ooops... I spoke to soon with my earlier comment... THIS is the start of the pond drowning story... Oookaaaay... :-) (Yet I liked the duel story, too, even if it's a tragic way to resolve problems... but we never learn, do we?}

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