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Borderlands Blog
Questions, Comments, & Discussion on the El Paso/Juarez Border History & Culture
Elephant Butte drowning 1943 and Union Depot 
17th-Jan-2008 08:12 pm
Rachel, webweaver
 Here's some of the questions and dialogue that have been going on behind the scenes, before Borderlands the Blog (BTB) was set up. Mike wrote us in the past week, saying that he'd linked to our Union Depot page from his reminiscences page, so I linked back. You can see our article on the wonderful historic Union Depot in the heart of down town El Paso, and at the bottom, see Mike's link.  

Also, got a question regarding finding newspaper articles on the drowning of two boy scouts at Elephant Butte in 1943.  That took some digging, and in fact, led to some interesting information. Here's what Sherry discovered:  There's a monument at Elephant Butte with the date of March 17, 1943, but really it occurred on Mar 27, 1943.  She located an interview with a victim's brother who was in the military and was given emergency leave to come home.  He and several family members organized their own search.  Using gaffling hooks in about 50 ft of water, they hooked the dead brother.  It was the only body located and brought to the surface.  According to the affadavit, the body had been in the water for six days.  The museum at Truth or Consequences has a boy scout uniform from one of the victims and the cub scout book.  The boys were not to go in or on the water, but they found a boat partially swamped and bailed it out and decided to row to Rattlesnake Island.  In 1943 the lake was high and water was going over the spillway.  The big issue was that the scoutmaster left the boys alone.  There are El Paso Herald Post and El Paso Times articles on this event, and the deposition of the boy who did not drown.  One of the brothers of the victims, 74 years old, still has sympathy cards and other important documents.  There might be even more information in the Truth or Consequences (then the Hot Springs) newspaper from that time.   
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