Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Virginia Beach, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Wreck of the Dictator and The Norwegian Lady Statue

 
 
Wreck of the Dictator Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, September 12, 2017
1. Wreck of the Dictator Marker
Inscription.  On March 27, 1891, the stormy Atlantic Ocean caused the Norwegian bark Dictator to seek haven and repairs in Hampton Roads. Heavily loaded with yellow pine, on a voyage from Pensacola, Florida to England, the Dictator had been damaged by a series of storms. Adverse winds and bad weather prevented the ship from rounding Cape Henry, forcing her to run aground off Virginia Beach, a short distance from where you are now standing.

The grounding destroyed the Dictator. Members of the Seatack Life Saving Station saved Captain Jorgenson and nine crew members but seven people, including the captain's wife and son, died in the shipwreck.

For 62 years the ship's wooden figurehead was preserved on a site on the beach as a reminder of the Dictator’s loss.

Thomas Goode Baptiste who owned a summer cottage in Virginia Beach, championed the erection of a new memorial. The people of Moss, Norway, homeport of the Dictator, raised funds for the monument, The Norwegian Lady, a bronze statue created by Norwegian sculptor, Ørnulf Bast.

On September 21. 1962, identical Norwegian Lady statutes were erected, one in Virginia
Wreck of the Dictator image. Click for full size.
By Paul Saunier, Sr., November 21, 2017
2. Wreck of the Dictator
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Beach, the other in Moss. They face each other across the Atlantic Ocean, wishing all men and women of the sea safe return home.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is March 27, 1891.
 
Location. 36° 51.209′ N, 75° 58.55′ W. Marker is in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Atlantic Avenue near 25th Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Virginia Beach VA 23451, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sister Cities (a few steps from this marker); Naval Aviation Monument Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Naval Air Station Oceana (within shouting distance of this marker); 24th Street Park (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); U-boats Off the Mid-Atlantic Coast (about 400 feet away); Outer planking from a vessel (about 400 feet away); Stern piece of a ship (about 400 feet away); A portion of the engine from the George Farwell (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia Beach.
 
Norwegian Lady Statue image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, September 12, 2017
3. Norwegian Lady Statue
Norwegian Lady Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross
4. Norwegian Lady Memorial
I am
The Norwegian Lady
I stand here
as my sister before me
to wish all men of the sea
safe return home

In Memoriam
To the souls the sea did call to peace eternally
and in appreciation to all who braved its perils
in freedom's cause

Dedicated to the citizens of Norway on this twenty-fifth
Liberation Day in May 1970
by the citizens of Virginia Beach, Virginia
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 24, 2018, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 258 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 24, 2018, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.   4. submitted on February 23, 2018, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 21, 2021