September 25, 2013

Local man reminisces about car sinking in '62



“Bob showed up at the lighthouse (on Valcour Island) earlier this summer,” Harwood said as he and Bob sat on the porch of Harwood’s home overlooking the channel between Valcour and the mainland.

Bob was looking at a map of Valcour on display in the lighthouse and pointed to a spot where the car had gone through the ice.

With the mystery of the Model A solved, Harwood retrieved the radiator cap and presented it to its original owner.

Local divers Scott and Tracey Waite had also been diving at the site recently and had taken some video of the sunken vehicle, though it is now completely covered by zebra mussels. Harwood also presented Bob with some electronic copies of the vehicle, which Bob accepted with enthusiastic appreciation.

In addition, Bob helped local farmer John Manley ferry cows out to the island on a small barge, and he helped raise the gunboat Philadelphia in 1935. The gunboat was part of Benedict Arnold’s fleet and was sunk by the British during the Battle of Valcour, a significant battle during the Revolutionary War. 

It was a horrific few moments when Bob and his father sank to the depths of a frigid Lake Champlain, but Bob can now look back at it thankful that they had not fallen through in a nearby spot where the lake bottom drops to 60 feet or more.

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