The Schrum/Shrum Coat of Arms was used with permission from
Vernon J. Schrum
of Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina.
We would like to express our thanks to Vernon at this time.
THE SCHRAMM CASTLE
This sign is in front of the castle
Burg Hohenschramberg was built in 1457 to 1459 by Hans von Rechberg the forefather of the Schramberg family. The castle was built on the remains of the ruins of an earlier castle. It was built to withstand the fireweapons that were used at that time. During the next two hundred years the castle walls were reinforced several times. Despite all this, Konrad Wiederhold, the famous trial lawyer of Hohentwiel was able to capture the castle during the 20 year war. In 1648, the last additions were built by Hans Fredrich von Bissingen. During the Louis XIV war against Germany, the castle was destroyed on January 10, 1689. The remains, even though heavily damaged is the Kaeferlesturn (Tower) in the northwest, the fort (Wehrburg) and the two half round towers and the outside walls of the palace. Take note of the Family crest with the inscription 1499 of the von Rechberg Aristocracy above the northerly entrance to the fort (Wehrberg). The walls around the fort are 6 meters thick in several places and it contains many openings that were used to shoot through during the wars. The inscription above the southerly entrance to the fort tells of a fire in 1498 and the rebuilding.
The ruins is taken care of by the city of Schramberg and the "Burgpioniere" an organization of citizens of Schramberg. They donate their time without compensation with only the thanks of the citizens.
Massy Harbison's ordeal began when a Miami Indian grabbed her ankle as she dozed in bed after nursing her son in the family cabin near Freeport, PA in May 1792. It ended six days and an estimated 50 miles later, when she reached the Allegheny River at present-day Sharpsburg and was rescued on Six Mile Island by three frontiersmen who initially thought she was an Indian decoy.
Harbison, barefoot and six months' pregnant held up 1 year old John to allay their doubts. It prompted one of the men, James Closier, to step into a canoe and paddle across to what then was known as the Indian side of the river. Closier, one of Harbison's neighbors didn't recognize the exhausted 22 year old tottering in front of him.
Bob McCarthy, author of the recently published "Captive in the Wild", describes her appearance. Her clothes(the nightshirt she was wearing when she was captured and a cloak she managed to grab on her way out the door) were tattered and filthy. Her face, hands and exposed portions of her legs were equally grimy. Her (red) hair, after six days of exposure to wind, rain and dirt in the wilderness was tangled, matted and unseemly.
She looked anything but the image of the pioneer housewife. Closier was among the first to hear the tale of how she had escaped Indians, one of whom had murdered two of her young sons. She had gone six days without food, walking on bloody feet pierced by more than 150 thorns. I am just overwhelmed with her determination, her courage and her heroism, said McCarthy, 67, who lives in the Blackridge section of Wilkinsburg. In spite of all that she suffered, she still had the guts to escape from her captors at the first opportunity.
Harbison left an account of her capture that was published in 1825. McCarthy, a retired deputy administrator of Allegheny County Pleas Court and a former reporter and editor, was doing some research on another topic at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania in April 1995, and found a copy of Harbison's diary. I was fascinated, he said. McCarthy wanted his own copy but couldn't find one. A national book chain finally was able to locate one and he used it as the basis for his first novel.
For some reason, Harbison, whose first name has been spelled Massey and Massa, identified her children only by age in her diary. McCarthy was about to make up names for the children when he located one of her descendants, Dale Harbison of Freeport, Armstrong County.. He is descended from her youngest son, Benjamin, and he had all the names, McCarthy said. Dale Harbison's son, David, who also lives near Freeport, described his great-great grandmother as a strong-willed independent woman who tied up her children inside the cabin while doing her outside chores. That was her way of keeping them out of mischief. She was a remarkable person, and she was just a kid when all this happened to her.
Massy Harbison and her children, Robert, 5; Samuel, 3; and John, 1; were asleep when a group of Miami Indians walked in through an unlocked door. After a few of them ransacked the cabin, they joined others who were preparing to make a sneak attack on a nearby block house. The attack was foiled when Harbison shouted a warning to a soldier who had come out to get water. The Indians then decided to take her and the children captive. When a tearful Samuel refused to leave the cabin, he was killed and scalped.
The same Indian killed and scalped Robert later that day when he wouldn't stop crying after he, his mother and his brother had been paddled across the Allegheny River in a canoe. Two Indians had been assigned to take them to a village while 30 others went off to raid white settlements.
Harbison got little sleep that first night. The second night out, she was so exhausted she slept soundly. When one of the Indians left early on what she believed to be a scouting trip and the other Indian fell asleep and started snoring. Harbison managed to untie herself and escape. She was almost recaptured after John started crying when she briefly placed him on the ground. She escaped detection by hiding under the tangled roots of a fallen tree. But uprooted trees weren't always a safe haven. She found a nest of rattlesnakes in one of them.
She saved herself and her son by refusing to give up, by walking all night after almost being recaptured, and by the sound of muskets fired by deer hunters. The Indians may have given up the chase in the mistaken belief that the weapons had been fired by a rescue party.
Harbison, who didn't know the Indians had departed, kept pushing through the rugged wilderness to reach the Allegheny. Her ordeal, which began May 22, ended May 27. The dates are engraved on her tombstone in Freeport Cemetery.
Maj. James McCulley, commander of the defense forces along the Allegheny River, arrived shortly after her rescue, and supervised her recovery. Frontiersman Felix Nigley counted the thorns that were removed from Harbison's mangled feet.
On May 28, she and her son were taken by canoe to Pittsburgh and then by coach to McCulley's home. A doctor examined them and prescribed a course of treatment for her feet. It was two weeks before she was able to walk.
She gave a deposition to lawyer John Wilkins in which she related her capture, escape and rescue. After being reunited with her husband, John, they moved to a new home at what was known as Coe Station. McCulley dispatched a force of 150 men to find the Indians responsible for her capture. Although they located the camp where Harbison, her son and their captors had spent the first two nights on the trail, they never found the Indians. They abondoned the search after 10 days.
Harbison and her adventuresome husband, a scout and spy for Gen. Arthur St. Clair, had nine more children. "He'd be gone from spring through fall, get her pregnant during the winter and then leave the next spring." said Marion Jones of Glenshaw, a member of the Massa Harbison Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. "She raised those children on her own."
In 1820, after all the children were grown and gone from the homestead, Harbison, then 50, got a divorce.
"I think she could be a role model for the women of today," said Ruth Murray, the regent of the New Kensington based chapter, whose members live in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler and Westmoreland counties.
She was self-reliant. She had a spirit that I think is missing today. Adversity today seems to break people, but in their day, it seemed to make them stronger.
New Kensington remembered Harbison by naming a small park near the high school in her honor. The park, which includes a log cabin, is a popular spot for picnics.
A mural depicting Harbison's capture was painted years ago on a wall in Butler High School, but it and several other murals were painted over during a recent renovation of the school
Besides McCarthy's novel, Murray said Harbison's memory would be kept alive by "Floodtides Along the Allegheny," a book written in the 1940's by another descendant, Francis Harbison. We use Francis' book to raise money for our scholarship fund, Murray said. The chapter each year, awards $500. scholarships to two high school seniors.