THE SINKING OF THE LOUD BOAT
[Transcribed from the October 20, 1876 issue of Dahlonega Mountain Signal]
"It seems that this institution was brought forth under the rising of an unlucky star, or rather, judging from its heretofore and continued misfortunes, a whole constellation of ill luck. We have not penetrated the astrologic mysteries sufficiently to cast her horoscope but were it done and her fate found under any other than the most unfortunate starry influence we should say the theory was then and there exploded and astrology non est. Last winter it was only by unremitting vigilance and effort that she was kept from being stove to pieces on the shoals, and the last chapter of her history to this time is as follows.
On Wednesday last [that is, October 18, 1876] about, or little after, noon, Col. Loud started from the boat to Gainesville, where his family resides, leaving his sons Charles and Phi to take care of the boat and machinery, which, by the way, is of the very best character, till he came back. It was proposed and agreed that they accompany the father as far as the first house, Mr. Adams', about one and a half miles. And Charles wanting to see Capt. Wm. Early on business, whose house is still further, went there, which made his absence from the boat longer than he intended, though he did not anticipate any danger in leaving the boat alone.
He returned near an hour before sundown and his astonishment may be imagined when he saw the outer gunwale was at least two feet under water, and the boat badly carried.
Her condition would have been almost beyond remedy, as the water is quite deep here, had it not been that she was hugged jam against the bank, and being held by the stout hawsers, she could not sink but it few inches on that side.
No work had been done on her since last week, and certainly nothing while they were there, for twenty-four hours previous to its occurrence, to cause a leak, and the only theory that seems reasonable is, that some wretch, having revenge in his heart for some fancied grievance, finding the boat unprotected and the tools handy for his hellish work, opened the hatch and bored a hole in her bottom; for the hatch was swimming when Charles returned.
However, it may be possible that she sprung a leak of herself, and we hope to find it so, and that it is not yet known so vile a wretch is so close a neighbor.
Capt. Early informs us that Col. Loud has returned and is hard at work righting her."
In the same edition of the Mountain Signal a short article describes the final demise of the project:
"The Loud boat operation, has been abandoned, the products derived from it not being equal to the labor expended."
The Advertiser also reports about the Loud boat sinking in the following two articles:
October 27th, 1876 Page 3
"No clue has yet been discovered that will throw any light upon the cause of the sinking of Loud's Boat; or that would lead to the detection of the guilty parties, if it really was the work of some miserable miscreant. The owners so far have been unable to raise the boat from its present resting place. We hope to be able, by our next issue, to give something more definite."
November 24th, 1876. Page 3
"We made mention several weeks ago of the sinking of Loud's Boat on the Chestatee River, together with the engine and all of the other machinery on it at that time. We are now informed by Mr. Loud, himself, that he has succeeded in raising the machinery, but will be compelled to abandon the boat. As we said before, this is quite a serious loss to the owner, and it will be some time before he can get everything in working order again."
Published 12 Dec 2011 by Manny Carvalho
Added two 1876 Advertiser articles on 6 Jul 2012 found by Chris Worick.