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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

SS Central America Bell

 
 
SS Central America Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Erik Christeson
1. SS Central America Bell Marker
Inscription.  The SS Central America, known as the Ship of Gold, was a 280 foot sidewheel steamer that operated between Central America and the eastern coast of the United States during the 1850s. The Captain of the ship in 1857 was Commander William Lewis Herndon (1813-1857), one of the United States Navy's bold explorers of the era. The ship, with 575 people on board and 30,000 pounds of gold, foundered during a hurricane on September 12, 1857. After transferring as many women and children as possible to safety, Herndon stood his post in the wheel-house as the ship sank, refusing to leave while there were any souls left on board. His heroic actions resulted in saving the lives of 152 people. Despite his efforts, it was the largest loss of life in a commercial ship disaster in United States history and the loss of gold had devastating effects on the US economy, contributing to the Panic of 1857. The Herndon Monument was presented by the class of 1860 in his honor for his heroic actions on board the SS Central America.

The bell was found during recovery of the ship's wreckage in 1988. It was donated to the United States Naval Academy and dedicated
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on May 23, 2022.
 
Erected by Mr. Dwight N Manley and the USNA Class of 1983.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: HeroesWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is September 12, 1857.
 
Location. 38° 58.94′ N, 76° 29.161′ W. Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is on Blake Road, on the right when traveling north. The marker and bell are in the park directly across Blake Rd. from the Naval Academy Chapel. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Annapolis MD 21402, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Commander William Lewis Herndon (a few steps from this marker); Old Fashioned Anchors (within shouting distance of this marker); One Hundredth Anniversary of the U.S. Naval Academy (within shouting distance of this marker); Zimmerman Bandstand (within shouting distance of this marker); Spanish 18-Pounder (within shouting distance of this marker); San Cayetano (within shouting distance of this marker); On this spot (within shouting distance of this marker); Joseph Nicholson Home Site and Bandstand (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Annapolis.
 
SS Central America Bell image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Erik Christeson
2. SS Central America Bell
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 11, 2022, by James King of San Miguel, California. This page has been viewed 131 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on June 19, 2022, by James King of San Miguel, California. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 11, 2022, by James King of San Miguel, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 3, 2024