I asked Eric for more details. He sent me the e-mail from Mari Anderson who is one of the "generous souls" who went to the site of the Potlach
landing to get more info. Here is her e-mail to Eric:
We had quite a day. We have lots of photos and some audio recordings that I’ll put in your dropbox sometime tomorrow, but for now, let me hit the high points.
David Parson is indeed buried at Hard Hill/Anderson’s Cemetery, as corroborated by two people who were in Hard Hill when the sailors were there, but after many decades and many hurricanes, no marker remains, if there ever was one.
There are, however, several old cement slabs with no identification. It’s possible one is his; also possible sand and time have covered over the exact spot.
It’s a very beautiful place. Almost all the identified graves belong to members of the Collie family, which brings me to:
Reverend Clemese Alberta Collie Cox, 86, a lifelong resident of Hard Hill and the daughter of Capt. Rev. Samuel Collie, co-owner with his brother Alfred (I’m sure you already know this) of the ketch Go On. BTY, everyone who remembered the Go On spoke of her as a two-masted boat, so, Fritz tells me she was a ketch, not a sloop? - more on that later.
Capt. Collie lived to be 95 and was pastor of the St. Mark’s Baptist Church in Hard Hill for over 50 years. When he retired, his daughter Clemese took over, a role she continues to this day.
Clemese Cox remembers the men, the fact the one died and was buried in the HH Cemetery and that they housed and fed them at the school. She said they had a service for him at the Baptist Church prior to his burial. Doug recorded our conversation with her on his iPhone, so you can hear for yourself. She is a sharp and delightful woman. We took several photos of her, too.
The school is still standing. We took photos it inside and out.
|The Old School|
We were then referred to a man named Newton Williamson, 78, of Pine Field. Mr. Williamson was 7 years old when the survivors arrived. His account is different from the sequence of events on the U Boat page, but here goes:
Mr. W was at home on the hill overlooking the beach in Pine Field when he and his brother and sister saw the boat sail onto the beach. He took us to the spot (got photos) and also showed us the ruins of his childhood home. He reported that the men immediately asked for food. The youngest boy was dispatched to HH to fetch help. Capt. Collie returned to PF with the Go On and towed the men and metal boat to HH, where they walked or were carried into the settlement - a distance of a couple of miles.
I did ask him specifically if the Go On had been towing the metal boat when it landed. He said no. Best for you to hear this for yourself on the recording, I think. Interesting, though, huh?
As for the Go On, the folks we talked to who remembered it all believed it was sold at some later date and went to another island.
No leads on Constable Bain or the metal lifeboat. Lots of head-scratching on that one.
Anyway, lots of fun. Wonderful people. Some sweet photos coming your way tomorrow.