The following is a transcription of the letter written by Leola A. Craig of Watch Hill to George Bliven. It is possible that the writer’s maiden name was Leola A. Plimpton (b. 1872) and was married to Charles G. Craig. – ed.
East Beach Road
Mr. George Bliven
I am writing hoping you will receive this letter. I owe my life to you also Virginia’s and words fail me to express my gratitude for taking me out of the storm. I shall never forget that ride and hope you arrived home safely and found your home in good shape.
I am staying with Mrs. Kennedy so I can be near where the wreckage has landed. The store and bath house is opposite here and the cottage is over near Dr. Briggs’ home. Our house at Watch Hill is not livable and my daughter is staying opposite Starling’s Garage on Watch Hill Road.
There are guards at the East Beach Road and they will not let anyone pass who does not have a permit. The young man my son-in-law sent over for me must have missed us when we turned back to go to Bradford and went down to the store and could not get there as the tidal wave came shortly after he left. The young Mr. Kennedy and he looked all night after the store settled in the lots opposite here to try to find us and everyone thought we were lost. Ed’s car went up on a stone wall back of the Gables and so they have no car. This is a terrible experience but I am so thankful to be able to be with a roof over my head and enough to eat.
Mrs. Kennedy has done everything to make me comfortable and yesterday I went down to the building that is left and salvaged a little clothing and bedding. The beach is bare all along the shore. I hope the Blivens I see in the paper were not relatives of yours. I am in hopes before long to see you and in some way repay you for what you did for us. I hope your wife has felt no effects from her experience as I owe as much to her as anyone for insisting that we should leave when we did.
The pond is mild today and can see the breakers on the ocean and hope no one will be lost today.
There is a radio station here to send radio messages and receive them. A young man from Maine off of a patrol boat [?].
I hope you will excuse my writing with a pencil as I have no pen with me.
Again accept my sincere gratitude for all you did for me and will certainly not forget it when I get in a position where I can repay you in part.
Leola A. Craig