The Story of the Silver Cross
from the Annals of St. Michael’s Parish
Fort Loramie, Ohio, 1907
by The Reverend Wilhelm P. Bigot
A special blessing rests over the site where Loramie’s store and station had been located for thirteen years, from 1769-1782. It is the blessing of the Holy Cross. In the year 1872 a solid silver cross was found, nine inches long and six inches in width, made according to an artistic form. With the finding of the cross, proof was accepted that in Loramie’s time, Christian life and works were there.
The circumstances of the finding of the cross are as follows: On the southwest side of the place where the Indian village and Loramie’s store had been was a field path from Loramie (Berlin) to Minster. Along the edge of this path were some trees whose roots, on account of the water, were partially up-rooted, causing them to lean very much and seem ready to fall over. The neighboring farmers, Mathias Utz, Herman Bramlage, and H. Broering, saw the danger and decided, in order to avoid a possible accident, to cut down the trees. On an appointed day the three men came, each equipped with a sharp ax, and went to work. The tree began to fall, the men ran aside, and with a loud crash the giant tree fell to the ground. In this ground, Mathias Utz noticed an object resembling a cross, black from oxidation. He took his find home, cleaned it, and soon it was a beautiful silver cross… A happy excitement took place for all who heard of the finding of the cross. They came from all directions to see it. This was taken as a sign that Loramie, as the first white man, was a messenger of the gospel; that with cross in hand he went amongst the Indians in the wilderness to spread Christianity and thus prepared this region for the present arch-diocese of Cincinnati… The name of Loramie seemed very strange to the first Germans… they never knew any different than Loramie had been a missionary. The finding of the silver cross strengthened their belief, and they thanked the dear Lord that here, in the new world exactly at this place blessed by the cross, they had found a new home…