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The Moaning Sisters


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Above Georgetown, on the Potomac River, are three rocks, known as the
Three Sisters, not merely because of their resemblance to each other--for
they are parts of a submerged reef--but because of a tradition that, more
than a hundred years ago, a boat in which three sisters had gone out for
a row was swung against one of these rocks. The day was gusty and the
boat was upset. All three of the girls were drowned. Either the sisters
remain about this perilous spot or the rocks have prescience; at least,
those who live near them on the shore hold one view or the other, for
they declare that before every death on the river the sisters moan, the
sound being heard above the lapping of the waves. It is different from
any other sound in nature. Besides, it is an unquestioned fact that more
accidents happen here than at any other point on the river.

Many are the upsets that have occurred and many are the swimmers who have
gone down, the dark forms of the sisters being the last shapes that their
water-blurred eyes have seen. It is only before a human life is to be
yielded that this low wailing comes from the rocks, and when, on a night
in May, 1889, the sound floated shoreward, just as the clock in
Georgetown struck twelve, good people who were awake sighed and uttered a
prayer for the one whose doom was so near at hand. Twelve hours later, at
noon, a shell came speeding down the Potomac, with a young athlete
jauntily pulling at the oars. As he neared the Three Sisters his boat
appeared to be caught in an eddy; it swerved suddenly, as if struck; then
it upset and the rower sank to his death.

Next: A Ride For A Bride

Previous: The Swim At Indian Head

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