Monday, March 12, 2012

Memorable May 5th Part III

Boykin Mill Pond Tragedy Part III

From the Sumter Watchman...

The boat seems to have committed them to the boxom of the water, huddled together, mainly, in a mass. The water is supposed to have been about twenty feet in depth, thus thrown together in one clinging to the other, with that grasp which belongs only to those in a drowning condition, there was little opportunity for the males in the company to rescue the ladies or even to save themselves.
I do hope ya'll are not getting tired of this but its such a huge amount of information I didnt want to barely brush the my search continued for more of the Boykin Mill Pond drowning victims..I have come to the conclusion that I may never find them all...but as many as I do..I will celebrate the finding!!

------back to the original article....with the list of names it stated the following:
Miss Lizzie McKagen 
 and her brother Willie McKagen. 

 It was then that I remembered the reference to Lucius LeGrand as being a brother in law to the Isaac McKagen (and the article stated he was the brother to Lizzie and Willie.) Buried within  a few feet of Lucius and William Legrand (from  my story part 1) is J W P McKagen. A Confederate States of America stone is in place for him just feet away from Lucius LeGrand (the Master Mason)  and his I checked the Census for 1860 and found that JWP McKagen  was the father of Little Lizzie and Willie McKagen.

He had been mortally wounded in the Civil War, that came along a year after he lost 2 of his children on that memorable day
... in the 1860 census book of Kershaw County a notation was made on the McKagen family record stating that Lizzie and Willie were buried in the Legrand/McKagen family plot at Quaker Cemetery, having drowned that year in unmarked graves!! So maybe they lay in this wide space between Lucius and his brother, the CSA stones were added to many of the CSA soldiers graves many years later so JWP McKagen lays in this area but the stone is probably NOT over his body and there is another stone for H G McKagen in the left foreground. 

Elizabeth "Lizze"McKagen (1842- May 5, 1860) & Clarence William McKagen (1852 - May 5, 1860) lay here in unmarked graves.

SO two more found!!! IF I were a wealthy woman I would place a stone for them myself!

The old 1860 newspaper listed "Little Alice Robinson, (a sweet little girl) ..."
 the 1850 Census of Kershaw County showed Alice Davidson Robinson born 11 Jul, 1848 and the 1860 census had a notation,
Alice D Robinson, died in Boykin Mill Pond, buried Quaker Cemetery.....
SO away I went back to search for little Alice Robinson...and I found her in section 15..

on the back of her stone it reads...snatched from her widowed mother's fond embrace, a brother's love and the Cherished Friend.

Little Alice Robinson was not quite 12 yrs old when she drowned in the murks of the Boykin Pond...

The Watchman article listed Miss Sarah Nettles as a victim of the tragedy...I searched for her on Find A Grave...but didnt find a Sarah Nettles, but when I searched all the Nettles in Quaker cemetery I found Lousia S Nettles Born Oct 25, 1842 d. May 5, 1860 !!!!!!!
SO my Sarah Nettles is Lousia Sarah Nettles...and she was buried in a family plot in section 4 along with more brave young men from her family who had enlisted in the Civil War that would break out soon after this tragedy..

Two more mere babes this part III had me finding the resting places of 4 more of the dead....thats 11 of the 24 found!!!

from the article...
Piercing cries and shrieks, and calls for help, both from those on shore and those on the unfortunate boat, filled the air. Sisters and brothers, parents and children, relatives and friends, whose hearts were bound together by the nearest and dearest of earthly ties, and animated by the warmest and most tender affection, were there - some on the sinking boat and some on the shore. Oh how rudely were those confiding hearts torn asunder and ravished with wild and aching grief!

more to come in part IV...

this is the old Mill Building as it stands has withstood the test of time and tragedy..
built in 1792, and Grits are still milled there today--if you google it you can order some Boykin Mill Grits!



  1. Nice cemetery shots. I love walking through them and seeing the old graves especially. :)

  2. If I had read that report in the paper, I might think it was way over the top reporting, but it sure makes a good story all these years later.

  3. Of course I'm not getting tired of it. I look forward to each Chapter ofthis fascinating and sad story -- and really, you have a book in there -- telling about the original story and along with it your search for the graves and the work you are doing to make sure these people are not forgotten. (And then today, it clarifies for me when it happened, when you talk about the little girl's family members who shortly after were killed in the Civil War.)

  4. I agree that there is a book somewhere in here. Maybe get it all together on a website or blog first, and see where it takes you. But it makes engrossing reading, and you have such a 'murder mystery' writing style that really suits the topic.

    Do you have any more shots of the lake associated with the Mill itself?

    What I found puzzling in your post was that they all huddled together as they went down, just about ensuring that they ALL drowned. And yet this is typical capsize behaviour!!

    You are nearly half-way. What an achievement.


  5. This is great. And, that I am a Robinson was just a little drizzle of icing on the cake. I found this compelling. I agree with Julie about the huddling. It's a great, absorbing story........keep going.

  6. Great story. That's part of what interests me about graveyards -- (re)discovering some of the stories.

  7. Fascinating project you've embarked on! I concur with those who encourage you to make this into book... maybe a self-published e-book... I'm going back to read previous chapters.

  8. I'm with Gene. This is the sort of story that attracts me to graveyards. There are often engrossing stuff if one takes the effort to chase it down.


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