Theresa MacDonald lived on Panmure Island in the 1930’s . She was the granddaughter of William Albert MacDonald, lightkeeper at Panmure Head Lighthouse from 1912 to 1936,.
As Theresa MacDonald recalls the incident, “About the first of May, I was thinking about how I would celebrate my 10th birthday, when Granddad, normally not an excitable man, roared into the kitchen shouting, ‘Quick, outside everyone – the Hindenburg is passing over!’ All the family rushed out and crossing the horizon was what looked like an enormous, oval shaped grey object – the Hindenburg.
One by one, Granddad allowed us to close one eye and peep through the famous spyglass as this amazing phenomena passed slowly from our vision.”
One of the routes followed by the Hindenburg on it’s way to it’s landing site in Lakeland, New Jersey, was over St. Georges Bay, the tip of northern Nova Scotia at the Straight of Canso, where Nova Scotia meets Cape Breton. That meant the Air Ship could be seen from Panmure Island, under the right conditions, near the horizon.
The Hindenburg disaster on May 6, 1937 brought an end to the age of the rigid airship. The fiery crash killed 35 people on the airship, and one member of the ground crew, but miraculously 62 of the 97 passengers and crew survived.