Colonel Jonathan Buck died and was buried in 1795. His family and friends
of one of the founding fathers of Bucksport, Maine, and a hero of the
American Revolutionary War, erected in his honor a grand monument marking
his grave in 1852. Soon after the erection a mysterious image started to
conspicuously appear on the memorial. Repeated attempts to remove this
image have failed. The image, you may ask? Why, its an image of a female
leg and foot.
Okay, there's got to be story here and its probably tawdry. Yes, there is a
story and yes, it is cheap and gaudy.
Colonel Buck, a well respected married man with nine children, war hero, and
the Justice of the Peace in the Puritan town that shares his name, had a
long term dalliance with a widow woman in a neighboring township. Soon he
became the father of ten children. For a dozen or so years things were kept
under the table. Jonathan slipped money to the widow and she kept quiet.
Whether the woman wanted more money or she wanted to move to Bucksport to be
closer to her lover or she wanted her illegitimate crippled son to be
claimed a rightful heir to the Colonel or she became pregnant again, we
don't know. But we do know that she and Col. Buck had a terrible falling
out. Col. Buck, acting as the official Justice of the Peace, accused the
woman of practicing witchcraft and had her burned at the stake.
Just as they lit the fire she exclaimed, "Jonathan Buck, listen to these
words, the last my tongue will utter. It is the spirit of the only true and
living God which bids me speak them to you. You will soon die. Over your
grave they will erect a stone that all may know where your bones are
crumbling into dust. But listen, upon that stone the imprint of my feet will
appear, and for all time, long after you and you accursed race have perished
from the earth, will the people from far and wide know that you murdered a
woman. Remember well, Jonathan Buck, remember well."
Pretty nifty isn't it? Now we know why the image of a woman's leg and foot
appears on his gravestone.
Col Jonathan Buck's grave
Well, thats not all. There's just a teeny bit more to the legend.
Just as the flames started burning out, the little crippled boy ran up and
grabbed a charred leg from his mother, which broke off right below the knee.
He then proceeded to smack his father with it. The rest is history.