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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Mountain Maid

Photo from: Barry County Museum
Where Is It?

The Rest of the Story...
  Long ago, in the rolling hills surrounding what is now Roaring River State Park, there lived a very special lady. Her name was Jean Wallace and after staking claim to a 160 acre tract of Ozark land in 1892, she soon became known as, "The Mountain Maid." She came from a family of Scottish immigrants and was a direct descendant of Sir William Wallace whose fight for Scottish independence made him a famous historical figure. Miss Jean was blessed with what some called, "a sixth sense," which was passed down from her great-grandfather. Many people made their way to her small cabin to have their fortunes fore told. Miss Jean's sixth sense was that of clairvoyance and many people believed that she could see future events. In fact, this is the very reason why she never married. She said, "What husband would want a wife who knows his every secret and thoughts?" She did work as a nurse for awhile in New York City, but this soon ended when she grew weary of knowing the fate of her patients. As a young woman, Jean made the decision to move out to the Ozarks and live in isolation from the hub-bub of modern society. The spot she choose for her small cabin was on a high hilltop overlooking Roaring River. It wasn't long before folks became curious about the maiden on the mountain-top and eventually people made their way to her cabin. After several accurate predictions, Jean became known as a bonified soothsayer. She also became known for her kindness and though she never asked for anything in return for her predictions, many folks showed their gratitude by bringing her food or helping out with chores around the property. Some of Miss Jean's most frequent visitors were those of the Civilian Conservation Corps who were in charge or turning Roaring River into a state park. It became tradition for the young men to make visits to her cabin and help her in anyway they could. After living alone on the mountain and greeting curious guests for 48 years, Miss Jean passed away in a mysterious fire in February of 1940. She was buried in the nearby Seligmen Cemetery. Her original headstone was just a simple stone with her name and the dates, 1851-1940 inscribed on it. Later, a larger stone was erected that told of her life as the Mountain Maid of Roaring River.
Learn more and explore!!!

Story from the Barry County Museum

Personal website dedicated to the Mountain Maid

"Forest Green" performs, "The Dance of the Mountain Maid"

Grave site of Miss Jean Wallace

Bio page for Miss Jean's ancestor, Sir William Wallace