(Springfield, Georgia – March 9, 1935 reprinted from the Savannah Morning News written by Mrs. N. F. Brinson)
Many persons have shown interest in the stone which was recently unveiled here to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the landing of the Salzburgers in Georgia. The accompanying picture shows the Hon. J. W. Reiser, oldest member of the Church (Jerusalem Lutheran) Council, unveiling the stone on January 24, 1934. Mr. Reiser is a direct descendent of the Salzburgers and he has spent his entire life actively in the interest of the church.
The stone unveiled is a replica of the stone said to have been placed by the Salzburgers upon landing. There is no record, but a legend comes down through generations to the effect, that as soon as these brave though weary tired little band of about fifty souls landed at the beautiful bluff on the Savannah River they gave thanks in prayer to God for having protected them in almost unbelievable hardships of land and sea, and set up a stone naming the place, “Ebenezer, Stone of Help”. This service was supposed to have been held on March 12, 1934 (Landing Day). The stone bears the inscription, “Ebenezer, 1734, 1934”. General Edward Oglethorpe through his broadminded far seeing trust of human nature gave these families aid and lands. And it is well to say here that his trust in them was never betrayed. When the revolutionary war was declared the Salzburgers gave their best – their all, Georgia’s first governor was a Salzburger, a teacher at Ebenezer, John Treutlen, who paid the highest price any man can pay for the privilege of serving his country – his life. Gov. Treutlen was killed by the Tories and British soldiers, when the British captured Savannah and occupied the adjoining territory. Although settled in a wilderness inhabited by Indians, it is an everlasting glory to them that they lived at peace with the Indians and were ever their friends.
The first building erected by the Salzburgers at Ebenezer, was an orphan asylum, a home for widows, a place of worship and a schoolhouse. A colony of 84 people – a town – yet there was no jail, courts nor civil officers for forty years……
(After the Revolutionary War, the British) ruined the colony, destroyed all the homes and scattered the people. The British left nothing standing, except the brick church that was erected in 1776, this church is still standing, a monument to the solid character of its builders and their painstaking skillful craftsmanship.
Rev. L. O. Dasher is the present pastor and services are held in this sacred place regularly.
March 12, 1935 the regular annual meeting of the Salzburger Society will be held at this place.
Plans are being perfected for a great day.
The executive committee of which E. B. Mingledorff of Springfield is chairman has prepared the following program for March 12.
Song: “Faith of Our Fathers”. Devotional led by Rev. C. B. Ray of the Methodist Church, Guyton. Introduction of speaker by the President of the Salzburger Society, Judge Gordon Saussy of Savannah. Address, Dr. Philip Weltner chancellor of the University of Georgia. Exiles hymn by special choir.
Adjournment for dinner.
In the afternoon the business session will be held, presided over by Gordon Saussy, President. Officers will be elected at this time. It is understood in all probability the present president will succeed himself, as he has only served one year and an officer can hold an office two terms.
A basket dinner will be spread on the tables under the beautiful trees on the church grounds. The ladies of the Parsonage Aid Society will have lunches for sale also, for the convenience of those not wishing to take a basket.
The Georgia Salzburger Society is celebrating the 275th anniversary of the landing of the Salzburgers on March 14, in Jerusalem Lutheran Church at Ebenezer at 2 p.m. The public as well as all members are invited to take part in this special celebration.
This article was compiled by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have comments, photos or information to share contact her at 754-6681 or email: email@example.com