A bridge dedication in honor of Alton “Mac” McCormick was held Sept. 11 in Unity. Unveiling the sign are Dan McCormick, center, and his daughter Alyssa (McCormick) McAllian, far right, holding her daughter, Ella McAllain. They are fourth, fifth and sixth generations, respectfully. Submitted photo

A bridge dedication in honor of Alton “Mac” McCormick was held Sept. 11 in Unity.

McCormick, a firefighter formerly of Unity, drowned Sept. 11, 1954, during Hurricane Edna trying to save the Brockway family from Albion. The family was stranded on top of their car, which had been swept by the rising waters of Sandy Stream, according to a news release from Maureen McCormick Haley, McCormick’s granddaughter.

Unity firefighters and local men formed a human chain to save the eight Brockway family members when a piece of asphalt came through, creating a huge volume of water that took Mac, 47, and Ruth Brockway, 8. It was nearly a week before his body was found at the outlet of Sandy Stream into Unity Pond. Ruth was found on the prairie.

Nearly 75 people attend the dedication ceremony, including several descendants of the McCormick family and two surviving members of the Brockway family and their descendants. A sign was unveiled that read “Alton ‘Mac’ McCormick Memorial Bridge.”

Red and white carnations were tossed into the stream in remembrance of both families. Speeches were given by Sen. Chip Curry, D-Waldo; Unity Fire Chief Blaine Parsons; Dan McCormick, Unity selectman; and Rosemary Pillsbury. A reception was held at the Unity Volunteer Fire Station, hosted by the Unity Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary.

A bridge dedication in honor of Alton “Mac” McCormick was held Sept. 11 in Unity. From left are Gary Pratt, Kathy (McCormick) Astle, Brent McCormick, Sheldon McCormick, Melissa Parsons holding Jay Parsons and Unity Fire Chief Blaine Parsons. Submitted photo

 

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