Definitions

lover-leap

Lover's Leap

Lover's Leap (sometimes spelled as Lovers Leap or Lovers' Leap), is a toponym given to a number of locations of varying height, usually isolated, with the risk of a fall and the possibility of a deliberate jump. Legends of romantic tragedy are often associated with a Lovers' Leap.

Locations

The Lover's Leap at Hawk's Nest in Hawk's Nest State Park in the town of Ansted, West Virginia, USA, along the historic Midland Trail has a drop of 178 m (585 feet) from a high bluff overlooking the New River Gorge. The promontary was named "Lover's Leap" by settlers, and has acquired an urban legend involving two young Native Americans from different tribes.

Dovedale in the Peak District in the UK has a limestone promontory named Lover's Leap reached by a set of steps built by Italian prisoners of war captured in the Second World War. The local legend is that a young woman believed her lover had been killed in the Napoleonic war, so she threw herself off the top of the promontory. However, her flapping skirt caught in the branches of a tree as she fell and saved her life. When she got home she heard that her boy friend was alive and well.

Blowing Rock, North Carolina, a mountain outside of the eponymous town in America, has a similar legend of a young lover leaping from the cliff and instead of plunging to his death, is saved. In this version the lover is saved by the blowing wind which sends him back into the arms of his sweetheart.

St. Elizabeth, on the south coast of Jamaica, has a Lover's Leap 1700 feet above the Caribbean Sea, which has a legend of two young slave lovers who jumped to their deaths rather than live apart. The story was used as the basis for a romantic novel.

Wills Mountain has a Lover's Leap overlooking "the Narrows" at Cumberland, Maryland, USA. It is 1,652 feet above sea level and made up of oddly squared projectories of rock, from its top, all the way down to the National Highway (U.S. Rte. 40) below. The City of Cumberland and the surrounding states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia may be seen from this point.

Gadsden, Alabama has a well-known and oft-repeated legend revolving around the waterfall at Noccalula Falls Park, repeating the nationwide story about a "princess" (usually Cherokee) who is sold to a neighboring tribe (varyingly, Choctaw, Creek, or Chickasaw) by her father, usually in exchange for either material goods or peace.

List of locations

Legends

Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi writes: "There are fifty Lover's Leaps along the Mississippi from whose summit disappointed Indian girls have jumped. Princess Winona is one such legend, in which Princess Winona leaps to her death rather than marry a suitor she does not love. Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, USA, is one site for the Princess Winona legend, though other locations include Winona Falls in Pennsylvania, Camden County, Missouri and Cameron Park in Waco, Texas.

See also

References

Notes

Bibliography

  • Lover's Leap: Based on the Jamaican Legend, Horane Smith, Minerva Press (June 1, 1999), ISBN-10: 075410589X

External links

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