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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Arlington in Hancock County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Shipwreck History

 
 
Shipwreck History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, October 28, 2020
1. Shipwreck History Marker
Inscription.  
In the month of May, 1831, a group of emigrants from the Odenwald region of Germany started on the 400 mile trip through Darmstadt and Kassel to Bremen, where they finally sailed for America in late July. They severed all ties that bound them to their homeland and relatives left behind. Those sailing on the British vessel “Famous Dove” were bound for Baltimore, Maryland. Families on board were named Arras, Beach (Beitsch in original German), Bosse, Essinger, Gossman (Gassmann),Heilman, Luniak, Price (Preisz), Traucht (Tracht with 22 individuals so named), Wilch (Willisch), and others. Despite inferior food and the usual hardships of ocean travel in those days, everyone was in good health. Two children, one an infant, had been buried at sea; otherwise the trip was uneventful.

The emigrants were on the water several weeks when a northwest storm caught them when they were close to the shore of America. They were cast about and blown off their couse, losing first the mast and then the rudder. The wind changed to the northeast with heavy seas washing the decks. On September 16th, the ship started to fill with water faster
Shipwreck History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, October 28, 2020
2. Shipwreck History Marker
full view of marker
than the sailors could pump it out. At about midnight, all had moved to the upper deck, and waves were high. In the darkness on the ocean, no one knew just where, the ship was sinking. Some were praying, but the captain, having been under the influence of liquor from the time the ship left Bremen, became sober in the face of disaster and ordered the mates to launch a lifeboat in which he intended to escape the sinking vessel. However, the leader of the expedition, Johann Adam Tracht, was inured to danger; he had not campaigned with the mighty Napoleon for naught! He was the owner of seven guns which he was bringing to America- not for the purpose of shooting Indians, but in anticipation of hunting game, a pleasure which was “verboten” to the common people of Germany. Perceiving the captain intended to abandon the ship and leave the passengers to their fate, he armed six men of his party, keeping a gun for himself. His orders were to shoot anyone who tried to go over the side. None tried!

In the midst of all the confusion, fourteen year old Margaret Arras said that Christ stilled the waves and saved the disciples from drowning… “Maybe He will save us also”, A sailor standing nearby said to ‘slap the dumb girl in the mouth for talking foolidhly, that anyone could see that the ship was sinking and all will be drowned”. The girl started singing
Shipwreck History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, October 28, 2020
3. Shipwreck History Marker
marker as seen from a distance, SW corner of cemetery
a hymn. Her faith was contagious, and the emigrants were soon all singing., with most of the sailors joining in. The ship sank no further, and the waves began to be smaller.

When daylight came, they found they were close to land. The ship had blown off course to a sand bar of the coast of Virginia, east of Norfolk, close to Cape Henry. The unmarried men remained aboard the wrecked “Famous Dove” until the children and parents were landed, and it is interesting to note that Johann Adam Tracht, the organizer of the group, was the last one to leave the vessel. Black people, ready to give assistance, gathered on the shore; these were the first such people the immigrant had ever seen. Many, on reaching shore, knelt down and poured out their hearts in gratitude to the Saviour for deliverance. They solemnly vowed that annually on that day a “Schiffbrunchsgottesdienst” (shipwreck thanksgiving festival) should take place in remembrance of that abject terror and the wonderful rescue. The occasion is still observed.

In 1832 passengers of the shipwreck settled in this area and were instrumental in establishing Trinity, jenera, and St. Paul’s, Jenera. St. Paul’s then developed Good Hope, Arlington, and St. John’s, Dola. Shipwreck Sunday is observed in honor of the conviction of these early settlers as they worked to establish life and witness in
Shipwreck History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, October 28, 2020
4. Shipwreck History Marker
artwork on marker
this "new world".
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionDisastersSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 40° 53.075′ N, 83° 41.446′ W. Marker is near Arlington, Ohio, in Hancock County. Marker is at the intersection of Trail 32 (County Road 32) and Trail 66 (County Road 66), on the left when traveling west on Trail 32. marker is in St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9745 Rd 32, Arlington OH 45814, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.9 miles away); a different marker also named Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.9 miles away); Village of Arlington / The Arlington Heritage (approx. 2.4 miles away); Williamstown (approx. 4.1 miles away); Hull’s Trail 1812 (approx. 4.6 miles away); Rawson and the Railroads / (approx. 6.8 miles away); Johnny Appleseed (approx. 7 miles away); Mt. Blanchard (approx. 7.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
 
Shipwreck History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, October 28, 2020
5. Shipwreck History Marker
gate post of cemetery
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 29, 2020, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 156 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 29, 2020, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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