The St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad through Beloeil, Canada was completed in December 1848, finishing the link between Montreal and Saint-Hyacinthe. Unfortunately, in 1864, a passenger train passing over the Richelieu River derailed and plunged downward to destruction. Ninety-nine passengers, mostly German emigrants, and railroad employees lost their lives in the worst rail disaster in the history of Canada.
A tombstone of detritus covered the river and the barge under the wreckage. The hopes, dreams and futures of so many were lost in less than a minute. When considering their possible descendancy, how many lives were truly lost on that sad day?