I expected a dry set-of-facts type of book. But “The Ashtabula Disaster” by Rev. Stephen D. Peet in 1877 was not that at all! Because of visiting the grave site and the historic marker I knew the facts. In Ashtabula, Ohio ninety-two people of 159 perished in a train crash. In a terrible blizzard as the train crossed a bridge, the bridge collapsed and dropped seventy feet into the gorge. Many died from the fall, from drowning, from fire, and from robbers.
I love watching trains and riding in trains. Seeing the grave site of the unknown dead and hearing a train whistle in the distance as I gazed upon the site, I had to know more. I borrowed the book from the library and read. Chapter by chapter I was immersed into the life train, the survivors, the dead, the robbers, and those who helped. What a marvelous read about one of the world’s ten worst technology disasters.
The songwriter Phillip Paul Bliss and his wife died in this crash. He was a gospel songwriter who wrote “It Is Well With My Soul”. Now when I sing that song I will remember how the songwriter survived the crash but went back in to die with his wife and it was well with his soul.
Juel A. Fitzgerald has a degree in English and is a Toastmaster trained public speaker, loves to travel, walk long distances with friends, and is a driving instructor for teens. She writes in four blogs and is the author of “Lives of a Gem! God’s Treasured Possession”, “Bible Trek: Reading the Bible in Thirteen Weeks”, and “The Twelve: Fishers of Men”.
These are her four blogs:
- Heart Emissions – weekly spiritual devotionals.
- Juel’s Travel Beacon – travel information and tips.
- Walking For God Challenge – one year blog to raise funds for HOPE worldwide.
- Writer’s Blog – writer’s journey, news and other information
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