CT CT - Little Miss 1565 and Hartford Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Fire victims, July 1944

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by smile22, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. crystalgenie

    crystalgenie New Member

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    Myself and some others have posted to the Hartford Fire Department Facebook page to show support for their retiring fire captain, Mr. William Pond. I believe it was a good and decent thing to do and I am glad that he had the intestinal fortitude to destroy that picture!

    I feel it hard to believe that a picture of a poor little naked girl should ever have been publicly displayed at a firehouse and how their new captain has a problem with the destruction of that photo is rather disturbing.

    This is their Facebook page if anyone is interested in posting something to show respect for Mr. Pond and the honorable and decent thing that he did.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hartford-Fire-Department/190562870987552
     


  2. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    I disagree, crystalgenie, but great post.
     
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  3. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it was a great post, on that we agree. However, why??? would the fire department want to keep a picture of a naked little girl up on the wall? It isn't as if she was unidentified. What WAS the purpose?
     
  4. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Good question. First, I think it always a mistake to censor history, no matter the horror; and, here, the display was in an entirely appropriate setting -- the fire department, where, I suppose, it served as a striking momento mori, a grim reminder of what might be at stake at each fire call. I can see the other, "take it down," side, of course. But then to take it home and destroy the image? No, that's not appropriate -- fortunately it was not a lone copy of the photograph, as the guy evidently thought who (get ready) burned the image in a fire. Good grief, talk about tone deaf.
     
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  5. crystalgenie

    crystalgenie New Member

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    They have tons of other pictures of the fire,in fire department, and around Hartford but no one but them were displaying the child's body, I heard... (info from friends in Hartford) I realize it is history but I don't think a dead, naked body of a child or anyone should be on display, that is just me. I have problem with death and dead bodies. I do not attend funerals.

    I respect your opinion though and always like your posts.
     
  6. Crimson clover

    Crimson clover New Member

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    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...d-girl-killed-1944-blaze-firehouse-walls.html
    I commend Mr. Pond.
    No firefighter, much less seasoned captain need the grim reminders. Their own personal visions are enough. How difficult his career in the service...to view the naked child's demise...each day at the station. Captain Pond made his own peace, in his own fireplace.

    Rest in peace, Eleanor Cook.
     
  7. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    The problem with this sort of logic is -- when does it stop, this need to censor history and cut down fact to a size with which one individual is comfortable? At what expense? For instance, I have a small picture case, about 8" x 5", wood with a glass frame and, pasted at back, the piece's provenance -- a letter from the 1840s describing what it contains inside: a small charcoal ember from a structure burned in London's hellish conflagration in 1666: the Great Fire. It is a piece of history no one has a right to destroy regardless of where it is displayed -- publicly or privately; regardless of the great human suffering -- the deaths, the homelessness -- it caused as it raced north and destroyed St. Paul's and all other structures in its path along the Thames. Whether image or relic, one must not destroy the past. Let the dead bury the dead. We, the living, must always realize the delicacy of life, and thus its sanctity; the terrible cost of our shared history must never be contained.
     
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  8. MsFacetious

    MsFacetious What a Kerfuffle...

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    I don't want the pictures of the Holocaust destroyed.
    I have taught my 11 year old daughter's about the Holocaust.

    However, it doesn't mean they need to be displayed in public either.
    I have not shown my children PICTURES of the bodies in the Holocaust yet.
    I don't believe they are ready to see that and I should choose when they do.

    My friend just had her son's birthday party at a fire station.
    Kids tour the fire station for field trips quite frequently.
    What if a child had seen that picture? How traumatizing for that child. :twocents:
     
  9. Crimson clover

    Crimson clover New Member

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    All fine words...lest you place your thinking in Captain Pond's boots...along with the prayers he shared in the flames of the fireplace.
    http://www.statter911.com/2015/01/2...ung-victim-historic-1944-fire-can-rest-peace/
    It will be interesting to follow Chief Huertas' actions and questionable agenda according to Captain Pond.
     
  10. SwampMama

    SwampMama Insomniac Extraordinaire

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    Sorry but the image of a naked child is not comparable to a charcoal ember. A naked child is not appropriate for display, not even if she was a victim of a fire. Perhaps, a medical text, a reference book or historical documentation or some other ethical type of use is appropriate and not really objectionable. Those are educational and reasonable uses of the pic.

    On display in a firehouse is not the place for that pic. After all, naked children are not appropriate for display (except for the bare bottomed babies whose genitals are not showing). If I were to take naked pics of a 4 year old girl and send them to you, I could be arrested for child porn. It is the "naked child" aspect of this pic that is really the most objectionable, along with the fact that nudity and severe injuries in pic usually have a "graphic" warning so that people who don't want to see such things can avoid them.

    I speak as a wife of a former ass't chief. I have just spoke with him (not even telling him the story of the cap't who removed the pic). He said " It is NOT appropriate. It is disrespectful to the child and her family. It is against policy to display or distribute images (or info) of patients. Naked pics on display in a firehouse are simply not appropriate. We have children who tour the firehouse and should not be subjected to that. This shouldn't even be a question. Just NO!"

    Pretty much the entire reason that this picture exists is because she was an unidentified victim of a famous, huge fire with many causalities. She has long since been identified and is laid to rest with a tombstone bearing her name. This pic should have been laid to rest long ago too (and really never publicly displayed like that at all).
     
  11. wendybtn

    wendybtn Well-Known Member

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    So who voted him the one to decide? And if he was going to remove it, the proper thing to do would be donate it to a museum or a collector who has other pictures and perhaps artefacts of the tragedy? This reminds me more of a tenant of a building being told when the lease is up and removing the copper and appliances before leaving. "I will show you. My emotion is more important than anyone else's opinion or input."
     
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  12. ninij9

    ninij9 Well-Known Member

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    What a sad tragedy. After reading this thread I was lost for days on the internet and read everything I could. So, How do we know he actually burned it? Why take it all the way home to destroy it? No shredder in the office? I hope he wasn't "attached" to the photo. My mind does go there.
     
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  13. Bluejay_Young

    Bluejay_Young New Member

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    According to Fire Chief Huertas the photo Pond burned was just a copy. All the original pictures of Little Miss 1565 are safe. His statement is given here (with the actual picture included) and there are follow-up articles.
    There's just a little bit of a problem with this story. I've been reading some posts on a blog from Hartford newsman Kevin Brookman, and comments being made by others who appear to know the situation.
    The photo of Little Miss 1565 that was on display at Station 14 does not show her naked. It is the famous shot of just her face. There is another picture I have seen which is full length and she has a sleeveless white gown. I don't know how anyone could possibly interpret these pictures as "naked". I am sure nude shots were taken at the morgue for ID, but those would never be made part of a memorial display.
    Apparently, William Pond was a known troublemaker and this was something he did out of spite after a failed attempt to collect workmen's comp for a non-work-related injury.
    I would love to get verification of this. I "adopted" this kid (along with Elsie Paroubek) years ago, my fellow Websleuths will know what I mean -- and whether or not she is Eleanor Cook, I have a "jury's still out" attitude; I think the truth will someday be known.

    And I just have to say... ye gods, the kid died in a fire and he burned her effigy? I mean instead of burying it?, or... I have no words.
     
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  14. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    Now I have to go back and read more. This is "tent girl", right? I always wondered if her ID was correct or not also. At any rate, you've reignited my interest. Thanks, I think, LOL
     
  15. Ragamuffin

    Ragamuffin New Member

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    I believed this case was an accident and Eleanor was positively identified. I'm honestly surprised that neither may be true. I, too, am off to read more. Thanks!

    BTW WRT Mr Pond, axe to grind or morbid obsession, it was not his call to make. JMO.
     
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  16. Bluejay_Young

    Bluejay_Young New Member

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    "Tent Girl" was identified as Barbara Hackmann Taylor. She was much older and that was in 1967-68.
    The one we're talking about here is Little Miss 1565/possibly Eleanor Emily Cook, from the Hartford, CT Ringling Bros - Barnum & Bailey Circus fire July 6, 1944.
     
  17. rats

    rats Justice for Sheridan Jane Doe.

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  18. write

    write New Member

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    Unless someone identifies the remains by DNA, I will always believe that she was Eleanor Cook of Southampton MA. Her mother lived and worked in Hartford CT but the kids stayed with their aunt in Southampton MA. The mother saved up and took the children to the circus that day. She was not able to identity them because she was in the hospital badly burned.

    After she died in the '90s her sister (the child's aunt) came forward and said that the woman had always denied that it was Eleanor and would never even look at the picture that was posted in the newspaper every year. She would rather believe that Eleanor was alive somewhere. So finally the aunt gave up trying to get her to admit the truth.

    The surviving brother, Donald, said it was his sister.

    I lived 1/4 mile from Southampton when this secret was revealed by the aunt. I paid close attention because all my life I'd seen the picture in the newspaper and heard the story. Two policemen always went and placed flowers on her grave. Now they are saying it's not Eleanor. Dental records? Well, how good were dental records for a little kid back in 1944? Blonde hair while the mother was a brunette? Blonde hair often darkens later on. Height? Features? We don't know unless we have a family photo of Eleanor herself to compare.

    But I don't know why the aunt who lived on East St in Southampton MA would have lied and told the newspapers that the child was Eleanor if it hadn't been. Too bad someone won't do the DNA thing so people could know for sure but I doubt that will happen. Probably doesn't matter. Just that some of us who have lived with this mystery all their lives would like an answer.
     
  19. smile22

    smile22 Live Laugh Love

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    could the real Eleanor cook have survived a family mistakenly took the child for theirs because they were in a rush to get out and she had on similar clothing? or they knew somehow the deceased child was theirs and they didnt want to deal with the grief was way to much for them to handle?

    i am going to get a copy of the book when funds permit i believe a fellow co worker i used to work with her grandmother was at the circus that day
     
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  20. MaryG12

    MaryG12 Well-Known Member

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    A rather sensitive topic for me (there is a reason circuses are on the no-no list in my family) one of my relatives died in that fire:

    LeVasseur, Marion

    I remember getting that book "Circus Fire" from the library, read the first page then promptly returned it. That was the end of that.
     

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