p.2 INCIDENTS OF THE LOSS OF THE PEWABIC
[Detroit Tribune Aug. 12th]
Passengers on the Pewabic inform us that when the collision occurred, they were making preparations for a dance. This fascinating recreation had been indulged in every night on the way down, and it being the last night which the gay and happy throng would have a chance to enjoy themselves before their separation, they were calculating upon having a good time. Alas, they little dreamed that instead of threading the giddy mazes of the dance on that memorable night, they would soon be struggling for life amid the angry billows, many of them to go down beneath the dark waters unknelled and uncoffined, and that in the memory of the agonized survivors, a never-to-be forgotten scene of terror would struggle for aye with fondest love and affection for the mastery. Truly, "what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue."
If ever a man earned the distinction of a genuine hero, it is Mr. R.C. Jackson, the first engineer. Last winter he became the husband of an idolized and idolizing wife, and this was her first trip to the upper lakes. They were together in the engine room when the collision occurred. The second engineer came to him and said, "Save yourself and wife; I can swim, and have no one to take care of but myself." Jackson, in all probability, had no idea that the boat was on the point of sinking, and thought only of his duty to stand by his post, and accordingly replied that he would not desert the engine to the last. His wife became frightened and clung to him, but he told her to be calm, saying that he would take care of her. Neither of them left the engine-room, so that in their doom they were "not divided." Yet this sad scene was only one of many equally affecting. What a suggestive though unwritten history of love and devotion, of terror and death!
Mr. Charles A. Mack, the clerk of the Pewabic, had a very narrow escape with his life. When the boats came together he was in the saloon. Comprehending the nature of the trouble, he made an effort to escape to the deck. There were two doors, and he went to the one on the starboard side, and found it fastened. He then ran to the hall door, but the woodwork had been so jammed up in the collision that the way was closed. He set vigorously to work in thrusting aside the broken fragments, and was soon able to see through the debris. He described the rail of the Meteor, which he grasped, and the boat disengaging herself at that moment from the Pewabic, he was dragged out in safety, but his coat was stripped from his back. A youth named Thomas D. Mitchell, son of Henry Mitchell, of Ontonagon, was standing on the top deck aft when the boat sunk. As she went down his arm was broken by coming in contact with a fragment of the wreck, and in this helpless state he was thrown into the water, from which he ws drawn half dead into the small boat of the Meteor. His brother, nine years old, who was also on board, obtained possession of a life preserver, but lost it again. He then managed to get upon a piece of wreck, and was thus buoyed up until saved by the same small boat by which his brother was picked up.
Imports - 16,17; Exports - 16,17.