1934 – Mischief Continues – The Rafting Story!

Among the photographs that my cousin, Uncle Boardie’s daughter, gave me was this very fragile newspaper photograph and on it was written “Robert Boardman.”

The Raft business

The Raft business

I assumed it was grandfather Robert having fun.  For this article to be about my grandfather Robert, it would have to have taken place in Winnipeg before 1900.  Well, it turned out to be his son Robert Brown Boardman (my Uncle Boardie).

There was no further information about this picture so I didn’t know what it meant. Thanks to Genealogy Bank’s newspaper collection, I was able to figure out the whole story.

On the front page of the Seattle Times for August 6, 1934 there is a picture of some boys with the title: Rescued from Raft.  This picture is a composite of two pictures.  The boy standing is one story.  The three boys grouped together are the ones involved with the raft.  Uncle Boardie (Robert Boardman Jr.) is the one on the right in front.

Raft Rescue Seattle Times 1934

Raft Rescue Seattle Times 1934

The caption reads:  Cecil Armstrong, 15 years old, climbed into his sailboat again today after begin rescued from Lake Washington yesterday when the craft overturned.  Inset:  Left to right, George Wilson, David LeClair and Robert Boardman Jr., West Seattle High School students, whose homemade raft was blown fourteen miles from its course yesterday before they were rescued by a ferryboat crew (see page 3). 

Here is the picture of the raft with the 3 boys on a collage page in the paper.  Does it look familiar?

The Raft Picture on the proper page

The Raft Picture on the proper page

The caption reads:  A “Sea-Going” Craft that drifted 12 miles from home: A West Seattle House-Raft and Her Sailormen Three.  The adventurous crew, Robert Boardman, Jr., George Wilson and Dave LeClair have fitted the raft with a bed and stove for short daytime cruises.  One week-end they drifted twelve miles before a ferry halted their wanderings.  (page 12)

The article is on page 3 of the Seattle Times:

It reads:

6 Youths saved as wind lashes lake, Sound.  Three youths were rescued from Lake Washington and three from Puget Sound yesterday as squalls upset sailing craft or ___boats adrift. 

After clinging for half an hour to his overturned sailboat in Lake Washington off Mount Baker Beach, Cecil Armstrong, 15-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold E. Armstrong, 1324 Lakeside Ave., S., was rescued by the Leschi Harbor Patrol. 

Three West Seattle High School students were picked up after their home-made sailing raft drifted fourteen miles off its course in Puget Sound.  The youths were taken aboard the Ballard-Ludlow Ferry, near Kingston.  

The youths are Robert Boardman Jr., 17 years old, 5013 50th Ave., S.W.; George Wilson 19, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Milion C. Wilson, 4715 Beach Drive, and Dave LeClair, 17, son of Mrs. Lucile LeClair, 4814 Beach Drive.  

The youths’ raft, breaking up in the wind was left adrift.  They were on a vacation voyage in the Sound.  

Two other youths were rescued from an overturned sailboat by the crew of the Lake Washington ferry, bound from Kirkland to Seattle, according to the Harbor Patrol.  Authorities did not learn the youth’s names. 

Now I have been on Puget Sound in a sailboat and it is not something you mess around with. The water is very cold and you would not last long if you fell in and it is also salt water.  You do need to know what you are doing and for Uncle Boardie to travel from Alki Beach to Kingston is truly amazing.   I am impressed.


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