Trotten family graves relocated to local cemetery
The remains of the Trotten family, once interred at the former Sparrows Point steel mill site, have been relocated.
Tradepoint Atlantic, owner and developer of the 3,100 acre site, announced last week that the remains of the long-deceased former residents have been reinterred.
“Yesterday, under the oversight of a funeral director from Connelly Funeral Home of Dundalk, and with the help of Sacred Heart of Jesus cemetery staff, we respectfully disinterred and reinterred the remains of the four family members of the Trotten Family from our site to a proper resting place, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery in Dundalk,” Tradepoint officials said in a statement on May 2.
The remains of the family have been reburied together in the “Our Lady of Fatima” section of the cemeter y.
“We have erected new headstones noting the family’s historic ties to Sparrows Point, and conducted a proper Christian re-burial,” officials added, noting, “The Trotten family will not be forgotten, they will be at peace, and their legacy will live on.”
The remains were located in a small graveyard located between what were once H and I streets in the town of Sparrows Point, though the graves themselves pre-date the presence of the steel mill.
The remains are those of four members of the Trotten family, once residents of the site, including John Trotten (died 1809, age 38), Sarah Trotten (died 1856, age 68), Thomas Long (died 1823, age 16) and James Trotten (died 1804, age nine months).
The family graveyard once stood next to the Trotten farmhouse. That home would become headquarters of the Sparrows Point Golf Club in 1919, later serving other purposes as the town grew. The house was demolished along with the rest of Sparrows Point in the 1970s.
The graveyard, however, remained, though it would fall into disrepair as the years wore on. Overgrown with grass and weeds, the headstones became nearly unreadable with erosion and the passage of time.
Officials with Tradepoint Atlantic sought permission from the Baltimore County State’s Attorney to relocate the graves earlier this year. A notice of this intention was placed in the Baltimore Sun and the Dundalk Eagle in March.
According to Tradepoint officials, descendants of the Trotten family were contacted and present during the disinterment and reinterment process.
“TPA and decedents of the Trotten family that we were able to contact believe that relocating the graves to a better resting place was the right thing to do,” Tradepoint vice president Aaron Tomarchio told the Eagle, noting that, “175 years ago, the family that once owned this property could not have envisioned the quiet bluff overlooking the Patapsco would be transformed into a mammoth sized steel mill that would eventually envelop the original cemetery.”
Tomarchio also stressed Tradepoint’s commitment to respectful reinterment.
“It was important to do this the right way for so many reasons,” he said.
“First, the graveyard was a very desolate place and the gravestones that were left were no longer identifiable, so the new cemetery location at Sacred Heart of Jesus provides for a quieter, more serene resting place along with new headstones that will stand the test of time,” he explained.
He referenced the difficulty of trying to preserve and work around the cemetery as development continues on the site.
Tomarchio also pointed to the fact that, in their new location at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery, the graves are more accessible to family members and the public.
”The legacy of the Trotten family is now better preserved and more accessible to the public than ever before,” he said, concluding, “The Trotten family and their legacy will now truly be remembered for the ages.”
A Christian service was held during the reinterment process.
New headstones mark the resting places of the Trotten family at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery.