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  • This tombstone marks the spot of the first murder in the county where I live. It, too, is deep in the woods.

    The stone marks the final resting place of Jost Folhaber, a local traveling peddler killed by a robber, Benjamin Bailey, who was later captured and hung. The peddler was buried under the tree where he met his untimely end. The local people donated the stone. The year was 1797.

    According to legend, the grass withered and never grew again and the snow which fell to a great depth all around the spot would melt at once as it fell about the tree. Passerbys saw strange sights. One young man reported that he had seen the peddler, whom he had known well in life, running around the tree pursued by a man with an axe, reliving the crime. So dreaded was the spot that no one ventured to pass the grave if they could avoid it, and there were rumors of moans and cries in that vicinity, heard near and wide.

    As has been the custom for centuries, you must leave a coin when you visit the peddlers grave. Wouldn't it make a lovely ghost story?
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