Drowning at Sumner’s Falls 1895 (2) – Charles A. Barber

Six miles above Windsor, at Hartland, Vermont, is a part of the Connecticut known as Sumner’s Falls.  A rough cart track goes down through the woods to the river from the main road to the falls, and here the curious will perceive a mound of earth, six feet long, covered with flat stones.

On June 21, 1895, one of Van Dyke’s rivermen, a nineteen-year-old Charles A. Barber, From Cherryfield, Maine, lost his life there. He fell off the log he was riding into the swift water of the falls and was drowned. The drivers recovered the body, took it up into the woods, and covered it with a blanket. The paymaster who accompanied the drive sent a telegram to the boy’s father, who came through from Cherryfield with a pair of driving horses.

The dead youth had about three hundred dollars coming to him. When the father received the money he put it into his pocket, jumped into the buggy, and took off for Cherryfield as fast as he could go. He left the body right there.  The drivers then took it and buried it beside the woods road. Then those rough and mostly uncouth men took time to pick a slab of stone and scratch on it the boy’s name, age, and hometown, and put it on the grave. I visited it on April 9, 1966.  The headstone is still on the mound, but the inscription is getting faint.

Reprinted from “Tall Trees, Tough Men”, By Robert Everding Pike, 1967, Page 236, Google Books

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