This Day In Norwood History- July 20

PASTOR DROWNS RESCUING GIRLS

A. H. Pingree Loses Life at Pigeon Cove.
Helen Perkins of Norwood Also Victim of Undertow.

Miss Marston Saved by Roger W. Brannon.

Special Dispatch to the Globe.

GLOUCESTER. July 19—In trying to save the lives of Misses Helen M. Perkins and Helen Marston of Norwood, Rev Arthur H. Pingree, pastor of the First Congregational Church of that town, lost his life at the easterly end of Coffins (or Wingaersheek) Beach this afternoon. Miss Perkins, who was 15 years old, also was drowned. Miss Marston was saved.


HELEN M. PERKINS. Norwood Girl Drowned at West Gloucester.

The accident occurred at about 2 o’clock. The girls were of a group of Campfire Girls from Norwood, who are being entertained at Rev Mr Pingree’s Summer camp at Pigeon Cove. They were having an outing at the beach, and a part of the entertainment was instruction in swimming. They were in the water near Bar Rocks, a very unsafe place at times.

According to eye witnesses, Miss Marston got beyond her depth and was being carried out by the undertow. Miss Perkins, hearing her cries, went to her assistance, and also became caught by the undertow. Rev Mr Pingree saw their dilemma from the shore and immediately plunged in to their assistance. When he reached them the affrighted girls immediately gripped him, rendering him helpless.

Roger W. Brannon of Worcester, who was in bathing nearby, hurried out to the struggling group and succeeded in bringing Miss Marston to land after a struggle. Beyond a thorough fright she was uninjured.

Brannon then hurried back to the rescue of the two others. Mr Pingree had sunk, but Brannon found him floating a little below the surface and dragged him ashore, unconscious. Miss Perkins had disappeared.

Meanwhile a crowd from the westerly and easterly banks of Squam River and trom the Wingaersheek Beach colony had reached the scene. Dr Shields of Annisquam was summoned and Steward Jameson of the Annisquam Yacht Club accompanied him here, bringing the club’s pulmotor. Efforts to revive Mr Pingree with the apparatus were in vain. Asst City Marshal Mehlman of this city went to the scene in an auto, also taking along a lungmotor.

About 20 minutes after the accident, a man on shore saw part of a bathing costume appearing above the surface of the water. It was the body of Miss Perkins. It was secured and taken to the Strand, where all attempts at resuscitation were useless.

Rev Mr Pingree was very well known here. He came to Pigeon Cove about 15 years ago and was minister of the Congregational Church. He was very active in church work and socially, and was a pioneer in the Boy Scout movement, organizing camping parties of boys while here.

The place where the drowning occurred was the scene of a dual drowning accident last year, Jeanne Armand, a French governess, and her two little charges, Ethel Lingren and Helen Swan losing their lives in a similar manner.

REV ARTHUR H. PINGREE, Norwood Clergyman, Drowned While Trying to Rescue Two Girls at Pigeon Cove.

The body of Rev Mr Pingree was taken to the Summer residence of his brother, George W. Merrill, 51 Phillips av. Pigeon Cove. His tragic death has caused general mourning in that section. The flag on the Hotel Edward was placed at half-staff. Last night, in Postoffice sq, Pigeon Cove, Mr Pingree delivered a lecture on “Self Sacrifice,” urging his auditors to work for others. He came to Pigeon Cove six weeks ago.

The body of Miss Perkins was taken to undertaking rooms in this city. It will be taken to her Norwood home tomorrow. Her mother, who was chaperon of the party, witnessed the drowning. The Camp Fire Girls, saddened by the accident, left here for home tonight.

A prayer service for Rev Mr Pingree will be held at the Pigeon Cove chapel at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. The body will then be taken to Norwood, where services will be held at the First Congregational Church at 2 p m Thursday.

For more information on Rev Pingree, click here.

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