Home

A Century of Drownings at Harvey’s Lake (1863-1963)

Back

 

A Century of Drownings at Harvey's Lake
1863 - 1963
pdf

 

Report of Study and Findings of Thirty-Six Drownings in Harvey’s Lake and Susquehanna River
html pdf

 

Note: Articles viewed in Adobe PDF format (better for printing and saving) require the Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can get a free copy of the reader by clicking here:

acroreader

Introduction


Harvey's Lake Police Chief Fred Swanson recovered 17 drowning victims over the years of his service, from 1932 to 1952.

This article recounts 56 reported deaths by drowning at Harvey's Lake between the years 1863-1963. Nearly half of the drownings occurred in the 1920s and 1930s. During this time public access to the Lake was at its zenith with major beaches at Sunset, Picnic Grounds, and Sandy Beach. But there were also boat rental services at points around the Lake. A number of drownings occurred, too, at Warden Place where a drop-off on the Lake bottom contributed to deaths.

The available reports suggest that three victims were never recovered from the Lake's depths.

List of Drowning Victims

This is as complete a list as possible of drownings at Harvey's Lake. The primary source is the Wilkes-Barre Record Almanac; corroborating news articles from the Record and other sources have also been used where possible. These sources may not be complete. Dr. Benjamin S. Davis used the Almanac as the basis for the accompanying article.

1. June 13, 1863 David Westover
2. Sep. 18, 1881 Agnes Kitchen
3. Sep. 30, 1891 Gomer Rosser
4. Oct. 24, 1894 Jacob Johnson
5. June 23, 1895 Gowen C. Herdman
6. June 23, 1895 Lewis A. McCarty
7. July 12, 1985 Annie Smith
8. Jan. 9, 1901 Fred Puterbaugh
9. June 6, 1903 Earl Hoover
10. June 7, 1903 Joseph Masterson
11. Aug. 25, 1906 Theodore Yoos
12. Aug. 7, 1907 James McGreevey, Jr.
13. July 13, 1908 Arthur Jones
14. July 4, 1911 Joseph Morrick
15. July 24, 1912 George Brean
16. July 4, 1913 Alice Crispell
17. Aug. 2, 1913 William Griffiths
18. July 31, 1914 Warren Yeisley
19. July 18, 1915 George Stevenson
20. Aug. 20, 1916 Bernard McDonald
21. July 11, 1918 Mary Williams
22. July 27, 1919 Edward Sivinski
23. Aug. 8, 1919 Joseph A. Laufer
24. Aug. 13, 1921 Robert Owens
25. Jan. 8, 1922 Roland Gross
26. July 14, 1922 Charles Mack
27. June 17, 1923 Anna Bonsavage
28. Aug. 18, 1923 Leo Emerick*
29. Aug. 23, 1924 Andrew Karalus

30. Aug. 31, 1924 Ralph Jones
31. July 27, 1925 Louis Cappellini
32. July 27, 1925 John Marinangoli*
33. July 23, 1927 John Ragunis a/k/a Johnny Hardy*
34. July 25, 1927 Pious Telelsha
35. Aug. 10, 1927 Martin J. Noon
36. July 11, 1928 Ralph Frey
37. Aug. 30, 1928 John Saurs
38. Aug. 20, 1931 Charles Hicks
39. Aug. 20, 1931 Mrs. Charles Hicks
40. Aug. 20, 1931 Sylvester Shoemaker
41. June 27, 1934 Joseph Bradley
42. June 30, 1935 Stephen Yachna
43. Aug. 16, 1935 Nellie Barones
44. May 6, 1937 Iris Stevenson
45. June 9, 1937 Anthony Wozinski
46. June 28, 1937 Frank Meighan
47. Aug. 15, 1936 John Kelly
48. Aug. 16, 1938 William Morgan
49. Aug. 26, 1939 John E. Cule
50. Sep. 2, 1939 Millard “Slim” Haefele
51. Sep. 9, 1941 Teddy Frantz
52. July 19, 1942 Anthony Burian
53. July 19, 1942 Joseph Wysocki
54. July 1, 1945 Harry F. Sorber
55. Aug. 25, 1959 Alexander Iwanski
56. June 4, 1961 Donald Hall

*Victims whose bodies were not recovered.


© 2002 F. Charles Petrillo

Copyright 2006-2007 F. Charles Petrillo