Saturday, December 18, 1897
Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, Mass.
THOUGHT TO BE MISS MELLISH
Capt. Rowland, tender of the Middletown-Portland highway bridge, was approached at Middletown, Ct., late Friday afternoon by a woman who said she had just seen the body of a young woman floating in the river. Capt. Rowland ran to the side of the bridge and he, too, saw the body as it was carried down the stream. Being unable to leave his post at the bridge, he could not do anything toward recovering it. Word was sent to down-the-river towns instructing that a watch be kept for the body which, it was thought, might be that of Miss Bertha Mellish, the missing Mount Holyoke student who disappeared one month ago.
The woman who first saw the object rushed into the collector’s office and informed Capt. Rowland, and he looked over and plainly saw some dark object afloat. The object was borne rapidly down stream by the current, and had reached a point midway between the highway and the railroad bridges. “I saw the object plainly,” Capt. Rowland reported, “and am inclined to think it was a body, although it was too far away for me to be absolutely sure.” The outline of the object constantly shifted, he said, like a dress whose fabric is rippled by the action of swiftly running water.