Arcadia is a picturesque district of the Peloponnesus in Greece, the traditional home of pastoral poetry; hence any region of ideal rustic simplicity and contentment. The motor patrol boat SP-577 and the cargo ship Id. No. 1605 were presumably named for the Peloponnesian district.
However, the destroyer tender AD-23 was apparently misnamed Arcadia in an effort to commemorate Acadia, the name for Nova Scotia before England expelled French colonists from the region of Canada in 1755. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described the plight of these refugees—many of whom settled in southern Louisiana—in his epic poem Evangeline.
(MB: t. 30; 1. 55'0"; b. 14'1"; dr. 4'3" (mean); s. 10.4 k.; cpl. 13; a. 1 3-pdr., 1 1-pdr., 2 mg.)
The first Arcadia was a wooden motorboat built in 1915 by Frank S. Terry in Brooklyn, N.Y., that the Navy acquired, by charter, for service as a section patrol boat. Taken over at New York on 8 October 1918, Arcadia was designated SP-856. No logs exist that record the nature of her duty, and there are conflicting dates as to her disposition. One source states the Arcadia was turned over to her owner and stricken from the Navy list on 6 November 1918, while another indicates that a lump sum for the charter of the craft had been determined on 3 February 1919 and that the boat had been authorized for return to her owner.
Arcadia (AD-23), underway in this undated view from the 1960's. (NH 96652)