Ashtabula Train Disaster Ohio Historical Marker
Location: Southwest corner of the grounds of Ashtabula County Medical Center
32nd and Lake Avenue, Ashtabula, Ohio
|Ashtabula Train Disaster
December 29, 1876
Near this site, an iron truss bridge collapsed into the Ashtabula River during a blizzard, plunging a passenger train with 160 on board into the gulf below. Nearly 100 people were killed in this, one of the worst train disasters in American history. The most well known passengers were Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876) and his wife, Lucy. A leading gospel songwriter, Bliss wrote more than 100 hymns including the music to "It Is Well With My Soul." The unidentified were buried in a mass grave at Chestnut Grove Cemetery that is marked by a tall granite monument listing the names of those who died. The local hospital was founded as a result of this disaster and features an audio history in the James Lewis Smith Memorial Courtyard in front. The incident also led to reforms in bridge design and railroad safety.
Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Bliss Remembrance Committee, The Ohio Historical Society 2003
Listen to Ashtabula Train Disaster Audio Memorial
Location: James Lewis Smith Memorial Courtyard in front of main entrance:
Ashtabula County Medical Center
2420 Lake Avenue, Ashtabula, Ohio
Photographs by Stephen & Dorothy Ross for WholesomeWords.org 2008-2009.
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