Another Mystery of the Rum Plane

Rum Plane_Manchester HS_2

On May 15, 1922, when the Rum Plane crashed in Croton with 250 quarts of Canadian Scotch, it attracted the attention of the police, the press and curious Crotonites.

An article in the New York Times reported that when the Westchester County police reached the wrecked plane they found “country folk grouped about the battered remains of a once gallant craft, some of them looking quite cheerful over that which the air had provided, others shaking their heads in grief over . . . what had once been perfectly able-bodied whisky bottles.”

Luckily, one of the “country folk” who hiked up the hill near the Tumble Inn brought along a camera and snapped a couple of photos of the plane before it was dismantled by the police and moved to White Plains.

Rum Plane_Manchester HS_1

Years later, someone put the photos in a small envelope and wrote a note on the front that saved them from obscurity:

About 1920
A Curtis Scout Plane crashed across road from our Oscawanna. Had a load of “Farm” whiskey aboard.

Rum Plane_Manchester HS_3

Last year the envelope was discovered in the collection of the Manchester Historical Society in Manchester, Connecticut. When the curator did some research and realized that “Oscawanna” (properly spelled Oscawana) was in New York State, he sent them to the Peekskill Museum with a handwritten note. “I am sure there is an interesting story to go with them. Found them in our collection. No further information on them.”

Who was the photographer? Was it the same person who wrote the note? And what did they mean by “our Oscawanna?”

For the full story of the Rum Plane, see this post.



4 thoughts on “Another Mystery of the Rum Plane

  1. I would guess that the note was written later, because if it was written immediately in 1922, they would not have said “about 1920”. It may have been written considerably later and possibly by someone who was donating a group of items to the Manchester Historical Society. Maybe someone who lived in Croton, but whose earlier roots were in Manchester.

  2. The word “Farm” was obviously added as a tag to “Oscawanna”. Seems to be properly read as “…across road from our Oscawanna Farm. Had a load of whiskey aboard”.

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