ROCKWOOD (WATE) – A memorial dedicated to seven scouts who died in a tragic flash flood 87 years ago is getting a face lift.
Boy Scout Troop 101 is leading the restoration effort on U.S. Highway 27, just south of Rockwood. Scouts from Rockwood spent time scrubbing away years of road grime from the stone obelisk and pulling weeds from the base of the memorial.
Scouts also filled gaping holes in the stone with new grout.
“This lists all the names of the youth and the adult who lost their lives, it gives the date, March 23, 1929,” said T. J. Williams, Scout District Executive.
“We are trying to scrub off all the dirt here that has been making this monument dirty,” said Scout Matthew Slowiki. “It will look good with some washing.”
There are gaping holes in the stone that will be filled in with new grout. By restoring the memorial, they’re honoring the fallen.
Today, White’s Creek is peaceful and the flow of water is gentle. But in the early morning of March 23, 1929, a flash flood roared down White’s Creek. Scouts and their leaders from troop 45 were huddled in a cabin asleep when the rising water of the creek took everyone by surprise. Seven boys drowned. Scoutmaster James Wright drowned while trying to save one of his scouts.
“It makes me proud to be a scout that the scoutmaster from this troop who lost his life in that event exercised the tenth point of the scout law: that is a scout is brave. He tried to save as many as he could,” said Williams.
Over the years, various scout group have freshened up the memorial. Now, however, a restoration project is underway and keeping the place tidy will be a yearly effort for scouts from the Rockwood area.
“It is a memorial. We want it to be a memorial that is in good standing to the community, so people will come down and visit on a regular basis,” said Scout Leader Russ Limburg.
Another big workday is scheduled for Saturday, June 25. Next year, a rededication of the memorial will take place close to the anniversary date of the flood.