The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, NY), May 13, 1921

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Sodus, May 12 -- That ghosts have a decided notion that the resting places of their corporeal remains should abide in piece without disturbance, even to the point of due reverence for the markers of their graves, has been demonstrated to at least one man in this town. Such a demonstration has come home to George Carson, of Sodus, caretaker of Point Charles, on Sodus Bay, for the cottage association, where during the summer season the elite of the resort are found in large numbers.

It appears that Carson's troubles, as he relates them, came through the thoughtless removal of a marker indicating the spot where a drowned sailor was buried in 1857. This he did while engaged in his work of renovating the lawns and getting things fixed up for the opening of the summer homes. To make the story understandable, it is necessary to relate the history of the grave, on the edge of the bank about twenty feet south of where one of the largest cottages now stands.

First Appearance in 1917.

In the spring of 1857 there was found by Henry Rogers, on the bar connecting Point Charles with the mainland, the body of a dead sailor. He was a French-Canadian and had his name tattooed on his arm. The body was buried in its present grave, and for many years whispered assertions were made that peculiar mournful sounds could at times be heard in the vicinity of the grave during hard northeastern storms. Only once before the recent experience of Mr. Carson did any alleged apparition appear and that was in the year 1917, and it was kept a sort of circle secret until the second recent manifestation.

It was in the summer of 1917, late in August, that on one of the cottages a part of three sat at the table in the dining room having a midnight lunch, the cottage owner, his sister and a man from New York. At the time there was a bad northeastern storm and as the clock struck twelve they heard knockings on the wall. There would be several rappings and then they would stop for a brief interval, so the story goes. This was kept up for nearly ten minutes and it was thought that someone was playing a trick. After awhile the men decided to investigate and leaving by a rear door they took different directions, to meet on the front veranda.

As they met one of them saw sitting on a bench between the cottage and the shore a white form. They called the sister to come out and the three claimed they watched the white figure rise from the bench, walk over to the grave and raise both hands above his head and disappear in the grave. The next day the men placed a marker on the head of the grave reading: "To the Memory of the Dead Sailor Buried Here in 1857. "

Marker Again in Place.

The incident did not get out of the circle until recently, when Mr. Carson had his experience. In cleaning up the lawn he toppled over the marker and with the rubbish the marker disappeared. That same night, he says, the realization came home to him that the marker could not that easily be disposed of. From his quarters on the point he strolled out about 9 o'clock that evening, thinking to add the benefits of a constitutional to the enjoyment of a cigar.

When nearing the old grave on the lawn he was "scared stiff" by a full-length view of the old sailor ghost, pacing between the bench and the grave. Mr. Carson says he is not easily alarmed and he held his ground. He shouted a lusty "Hey there" and the apparition proceeded to the grave, he relates, where with uplifted form it disappeared from view into the grave. The next day the first piece of business on the docket for Mr. Carson was the recovery of the old grave marker from the rubbish heap. Restoration was at once attended to and now all is serene again on Point Charles.

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May 13, 1921
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, NY), May 13, 1921