Lake Gardner, ME Children Drown on School Picnic, Jun 1936
12 CHILDREN DROWN ON SCHOOL PICNIC
Three Others and Man, 70,
Are Rescued When Boat Upsets
in Lake Gardner, Me.
WIND BLAMED FOR TRAGEDY
MARION, Me., June 19 — Twelve
carefree children from Lubec,
happy as they celebrated the last
day of school, were drowned in
Lake Gardner today when a sudden
gust of 'wind capsized an outboard
motor boat in which they
were riding. Three of their
companions and Calvin Lundin, 70,
The drowned children, whose
ages ranged from 9 to 14 years,
Daniel McCurdy, Evelyn Mahar,
Aaron Mahar, Ramah Knowles,
Frank Reynolds, Roland Eaton,
Doris Small, Glen Morey, Christine
Sleight, Merle Lewis Jr., Jerome
Kinney and Verne Dinsmore.
The three saved were: Miriam
Kelley, Leah Wilcox and Barbara
The Wilcox and Kelley girls kept
themselves afloat by thrashing
about furiously until rescuers arrived.
The Tyler girl swam 100
yards to shore.
All Members of School Plcnic
The children -were members of a
picnic party from the West Lubec
Beverley McCarthy, 12, whose
mother told her not to go out in a
boat, was among those who witnessed
the tragedy. She said that
as the craft moved outside of a
peninsula protecting the picnic
beach it was struck broadside by a
gust of wind. Simultaneously, she
said, two of the boys were playing
in the stern, unmindful of danger.
As other boys moved to the back of
the boat, apparently to separate the
scuffling couple, the stern went
Then, the child related, the wind
seemed to heave the bow up from
the water and the children and Mr.
Lundin were thrown into the lake.
Consternation swept over the children
wading on the shore who, with
teachers and parents, were helpless
There were more than 100 in the
picnic party. The teachers were
Miss Ruth Small, Miss Stella Burhoe
and Miss Eileen Mulsolland.
Teacher Leaps to Rescue
Miss Burhoe, stripping herself of
her outer clothing, plunged into the
water and saved the two girls.
Not a boat could be found on the
shore. The panic-stricken grasped
at each other.
Mr. Lundin was taken to his
Lubec Ridge home by a neighbor
soon after he left the water. He
was overcome with grief and exhaustion.
Heart-rending scenes were enacted
on the lakefront and physicians,
firemen and police worked over the
little bodies until hope of resuscitation
Lubec, a sardine packing community,
twenty-five miles from the
lake, was thrown into mourning.
Parents and relatives rushed to the
lake by automobile. Joyously,
mothers and fathers grasped their
children when they found they
were not among those lost. Other
parents stood by with tear-filled
eyes as the rescuers worked over
the bodies of their sons and daughters.
Firemen from East Machlas and
Machias joined with Coast Guardsmen
from the West Quoddy Head to assist
in the tragedy.
June 20, 1936 edition of The New York Times