This box was originally placed 4/29/03. It was moved to a new location 4/25/04, although the stamp was the same. Box replaced 4/21/07; new stamp carved by Silent Doug. Note that the title of this box has changed (to prevent accidental googlers - honestly has been a problem with this box), so you may have found this box already!
This box is placed with the kind permission of the park, so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE RESPECT THE PARK'S HOURS: Wed-Sat 10-4, Sun 12-4.
PLEASE BE DISCREET WHEN HUNTING AND STAMPING THIS BOX, SO THAT OTHERS MAY ENJOY IT, TOO.
Note: trails become quite muddy after rain. Please wear appropriate shoes/boots and use caution.
I like to visit historical houses, and there are several to choose from in Montgomery County.
This fine stone house was built in 1722, but it was the story of resident Elizabeth that most intrigued me. Although exceptionally well-educated and a social force in her own right, happiness eluded her. You can read up on her on-line or take the tour for the full interesting details. Suffice it to say, the story involves a fair share of broken hearts.
Elizabeth's presence is said to still be known at the park today. Apparently she can be seen walking along the pond in the moonlight, and roaming the grounds. I learned this
on the tour, too, although my guide dismissed it all. Being that I don't believe in ghosts, I chuckled at the fanciful nature of the stories.
It didn't seem so funny when I saw Elizabeth myself.
Immediately upon being discharged from the tour in front of the house (although if you take the tour you'll learn that which side is the front is debatable!), I walked down to the stream. I sat for some time, enjoying the sound of the water falling over the stone wall, and admiring the tree directly across with branches spreading out wildly, but low to the ground.
I gradually became aware of a soft but distinct sobbing coming from the tree to my left. I looked over, and saw the figure of a woman leaning against a large tree, crying! How do I explain? It was clearly a woman, but not clear enough to be a living, breathing human being! She was dressed in a floor-length silk yellow gown of old and, well, let's just say she looked shockingly like the portraits of Elizabeth I had just seen on the tour! I was stunned, to say the least. You see, even though I could see her clearly, I could also see the tree she was leaning against – that is to say I could see it clearly right through her!
After sitting motionless for a few moments, the sobbing only grew louder and her form more distinct. Not knowing what else to do, I finally worked up the courage to ask, "Are you all right, miss?" The woman – I'll call her Elizabeth for argument's sake – looked at me with alarm, and then dashed off, her gown swishing in the rush. She was clutching a small box to her chest.
I don't know what came over me, but I was off running, too!
She ran along the creek, turning to follow the grassy path along the stone wall to the left. I saw her pass a wild tree on the right, cracked and arched over to the ground; she paused and glanced around, then immediately darted to the right into the brush. When I caught up, I saw there was a trail there, and I took it, too. I came around the bend just in time to see her yellow dress flash down the trail on the right; I took off down the trail after her.
We raced along the stream in eerie silence. As I'm sure you can imagine, the air was still and every sound was shockingly loud and scary. I didn't know what I was doing following her – a ghost! – down this trail to a place I didn't know, but follow her I did. It seemed like I couldn't help myself!
We quickly passed one trail, then I could see her ahead of me, pausing at another. She looked back at the house with an anguished look on her face, but then gathered up her skirt and rushed on down the path along the stream again. The path seemed to dead end at the stream, but she showed no signs of stopping – she darted off to the left. I had to pause to catch my breath on the post marked 9, but not for long, as Elizabeth was moving fast. We rushed along the stream, her dress rustling loudly, every noise amplified as the blood throbbed in my veins. I followed at what I hoped was a safe distance – although you might ask, safe from what exactly?
Finally she took a path to the left, away from the stream, and we suddenly emerged from the woods. Elizabeth sped along the wide grassy trail to the left. Of course I followed, and as I rounded the bend to the right I saw her pause at a bench, but then run on. I myself was in need of a rest by then, and made use of the bench. I saw her run up a ramp ahead in the distance, and try the doors at the top; they were locked and she looked around frantically. She spied the tree next to the ramp and ran to it. Falling to her knees, she was sobbing as looked at the box in her hands. Suddenly she shoved the box into a natural cubbyhole in the tree. With that, she vanished!
Stunned, I cautiously made my way to the tree where I had last seen her. I looked, and sure enough the box was there! Looking inside, I found her portrait and a tiny journal! I left a note to her; should you have the courage to follow my tale, I suggest you do the same.