Trot­ten fam­ily graves re­lo­cated to lo­cal ceme­tery

The Dundalk Eagle - - EDITORIAL - By NI­COLE ROD­MAN nrod­man@ches­ Fol­low me on Twit­ter @NRod­man_Ea­gle

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.

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