Communities tied by century-old shipwreck share technology, ideas during visit

Article By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff, Bangor Daily News

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ORONO - In October 1898, the Cheseborough, a Bath-based ship, sank off the coast of Japan. Residents of the village of Shariki, in Aomori prefecture, saw the ship go down and went out into the turbulent sea to rescue any survivors.

Four Americans were pulled from the water. The rest, including the ship’s captain, never made it back to shore.

The Shariki townspeople built a memorial in honor of the wreck’s victims, and many of them developed an interest in this place called Bath, Maine.

After the wreck, crates of pears from Maine washed up on shore. The townspeople tried them, enjoyed them, and planted trees of their own. To this day, on the anniversary of the wreck, the people of Shariki leave pears on the graves of the sailors who lost their lives when the Cheseborough sank.

A relationship between the Japanese prefecture and the American state grew — and persists 113 years later.

A pair of delegates from Aomori, Japan, visited the University of Maine on Thursday for a tour of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center and to swap ideas about projects.

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