Source: News-Journal, February 15, 1923


Weather Recalled Experience of Sixteen Years Ago to Pearl McNear--Never Again

Pearl McNear was in the News-Journal office Tuesday evening and the condition of the weather recalled the time when he and his brother were caught on a drift in Eel river south of Liberty Mills on Saturday and kept there until Sunday morning. It was about the middle of the afternoon of Saturday, January 19, 1907, that Pearl and his brother were hunting along the river. Their boat was caught in a whirlpool, and sucked under while they jumped upon a log that had lodged against a tree. Try as they could they could not get any one to hear them. By night the warm weather had changed to a howling blizzard, and they stood on the log until daylight Sunday morning. Then searchers found them, but could not get to them, as there was no boat. It was nearly ten o'clock before a boat could be secured and Newt Lautzenhiser and Ernest Ebbinghouse brought them to shore. Elated over the success of their first trip into the river Ernest and Newt went back, hoping to get the guns of the boys, but their boat struck the same current that had sucked the McNear boat under. In an instant it was gone. Newt jumped to the log, but Ernest went under the water. He came up and got hold of the log, and there they stayed, while men started for town to get another boat, but while they were gone an old boat was patched, and two Liberty Mills men brought them to shore. And even today every time Ernest thinks of that hour or more on the river drift his feet get cold.