A spooky legend about Silver Run Tale makes good fodder for campfire sessions

July 19, 1998|By Lisa Breslin

There's a legend about the town of Silver Run that rivals any ghost story you'll tell around the campfire this summer. Union Mills author Lois Szymanski weaves the local legend into her children's book, "Silver Lining," published by Avon, Camelot Books.

According to Szymanski's research, Silver Run residents' versions and old news accounts, the legend goes like this:

Many years ago a German settler named Ahrwed and his beautiful daughter, Frieda, moved into the fertile valley known today as Silver Run.

Ahrwed was a silversmith who befriended Indians living in the area. Each evening he and his new friends disappeared until daylight.

Everyone wondered where they were going and how Ahrwed found the resources and time to make the beautiful, handcrafted silver jewelry.

Must remain secret

Now Frieda, who was both beautiful and curious, begged her father to tell her what he was doing each night.

She begged so often that one day he finally told her that each evening he was going to a buried silver mine with the Indians and he could not reveal the location to anyone.

"The mine must remain a secret or all who know about it will be punished and the mine will disappear," Ahrwed sternly warned his daughter.

Frieda begged to hear more about the silver mine and, again, her father relented. The mine is near a stream that runs into the valley near the town, Ahrwed told her.

"I want to see it," she begged. So Ahrwed blindfolded Frieda and took her to the mine, warning her sternly along the way to keep their secret.

Unknown to her father, Frieda left a trail of broken branches along the way so that she could return.

Weeks later she returned, taking a friend with her. When the Indians found out, they were enraged. The mine was buried. Ahrwed disappeared and, of course, Frieda and her friend were never seen again.

But folks say they have seen the light of a lantern glowing near Rattlesnake Hill, a local landmark where many people believe the mine is hidden. Some residents talk of headless bodies wandering aimlessly near the sight.

Adventurers have searched for the lost mine ever since, though no silver has ever been found.

Pub Date: 7/19/98

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