A favorite spot for its tranquility. I went back there in April 2016 on a hunch. I had been looking for three firefighters who died in a forest fire in April 1938. The event itself came to my attention when I was searching for the burial spot of Thomas Ellsworth Adams and his wife. I contacted the Sandwich Public Library and Deb Rich gave me the following information
"According to a hand written note: He suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns
fighting a forest fire which caught in the woods. He is interred at Bay
View Cemetery Section 2 #132. He was the son of William H. Adams of
Wareham and Laura E. Morrow of Lowell.
okay I go to Bay View Cemetery and there is no gravestone- just a flag holder for him being a fireman in Sandwich.
Search search search for Ervin Draber and found him through his son . He is buried back in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in Green Mount cemetery.
The tough one was Gordon King. There seemed to be no records at all. Deb
Rich had mentioned that Gordon was married into the Hoxie family and
they were Quakers. That would make sense- the Quakers pretty much were
self sufficient and kept to themselves. Almost always very humble
gravestones if there is one at all. So I drove there and walked through
the cemetery reading each small stone looking for "King". The puzzle
was- it was already pretty well documented and I wondered why it wasn't
already on a list online if it was there at all. It was a warm Summer
like day for April around here. I was getting warm and hungry and tired.
I was about to give up when out of the corner of my eye I saw a modern
type stone. Walked over to it and there they were the whole family
listed on the back. I cried relief and sadness. So thankful that a
family member had seen fit to memorialize all of them.
Thomas Adams' father and mother are buried in Forestdale Cemetery- I thought perhaps his name was on their stone. nope
from draft registration for World War I
age 23 date of birth looks like August 3 1893
employer: William Adams
SANDWICH. April 28, (AP) -- Cape Cod's woodlands, already seared by a 12-mile
sweep of incendiary fires which took one life, were threatened again today by
fresh flames. While authorities searched for a pyromaniac believed responsible
for six separate forest fires yesterday, woods in Falmouth burst into flame.
Fire Chief Roy David Wells sounded a general alarm and called for all available
volunteers to battle the blaze which spread through the dry wood land under a
A small delivery truck was observed stopping along the road in the vicinity of
the fire's origin.
Meanwhile, to guard against further fires, the Bourne Selectmen wrote Governor
Charles F. Hurley requesting no person be permitted to start a brush fire
without permission of a fire warden.
Thomas E. Adams, one of four men trapped yesterday while battling the principal
fire in the Shawme State Forest, succumbed to burns in Cape Cod Hospital,
Hyannis, today. Three companions, Gordon King, 34, Clarence Gibbs, 45 Clarence Gibbs survived, and Irving Draper, 32, remained in a serious condition.
SECOND FOREST FIRE FIGHTER DIES
Daily Boston Globe (1928-1960); May 1, 1938; pg. C4
SECOND FOREST FIRE FIGHTER DIES
King Succumbs in Cape Cod Hospital
Special Dispatch to the Globe
HYANNIS, April 30 -- Gordon King, 34, of Sandwich, died in Cape Cod Hospital
here today, second victim of the disastrous forest fire which swept Sandwich
Wednesday. Thomas E. Adams of Sandwich died Thursday. Two other men, Deputy
Chief Clarence E. Gibbs and Erwin A. Draper of Buzzards Bay are still on the
hospital danger list.
Sandwich selectmen continued drafting two measures for filing in the
Legislature, to pay annuities to the families of Adams and King, on the ground
they were experienced fire fighters, and fatally trapped in flames while
fighting a fire on state property, Shawme State Forest.
They are also preparing a bill to make incendiarism in forests a felony rather
than a misdemeanor.
The death of King was especially felt in Sandwich because he is the son of
Forest Ranger Samuel P. King, a 67-year-old veteran of forest fires. "Sam" King
has been in forestry work for many years, and is employed by the state and
Barnstable County on a special patrol project.
Gordon King, a native of Sandwich, served in the Coast Guard, and was recently
employed in town and state forestry work. He leaves a wife, Grace and two
children, Marilyn and Robert.
Sandwich Quaker cemetery
The King-Hoxie family
The memorial on rt 130 to the three men lost.
BY THE PEOPLE OF BARNSTABLE COUNTY
THOMAS E ADAMS
ERVIN A DRABER
WHO WERE TRAPPED,BURNED AND DIED,
FIGHTING A FOREST FIRE APRIL 27 1938
THEIR SUPREME SACRIFICE SHOULD INSPIRE
US ALL TO STRIVE FOR THE GOAL
THEY SOUGHT - THE PRESERVATION
OF OUR FOREST AND WILD LIFE.