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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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This Story was transcribed & Contributed by: Laurie Broetzmann

Marsh Marigold

By Elsa Eimmerman

Many, many years ago, near the marshy part of a certain country lived a young maiden, whose name was Mary and who was about twenty years of age. She was a tall, slim girl with blue eyes, black hair and rosy cheeks which together made her quite attractive. Mary lived alone and was addicted to stealing.

She lived in a small cottage, which was overgrown by ivy and wild grape vines. The cottage was surrounded by a lawn, which was always green and kept neat and clean. In the center of the lawn was a cluster of pine trees. Near one of the pine trees Mary set a bench, on which she would sit hour after hour and watch strangers pass by.

One day, while sitting on this bench, she heard some one talking about some gold which was hidden in an old cottage in the village. The village, called Angus, was situated about a mile from the girl's home.

The girl was always thinking of this gold and how she could manage to steal it. At last she made a plan and said, "I will go to the village this afternoon, and then I will stay until I have the money."

In the afternoon, she walked to the village and also went to the house in which the gold was hidden. She then went to the inn, ate her supper and departed. At about midnight when all the people in the village were sleeping, she went into the house, took the money and walked to her home.

A marsh was situated about a mile from Mary's cottage, in which the girl hid all the things she stole. At first she hesitated about hiding the gold in the marsh, because it was so heavy and would be lost from sight. But she decided to do so and afterward took the gold, hid it in the marsh and walked back to her home. In this condition she left it for a week. Then she went to see if it was still there.

During the week the marsh had become partly filled with water. Mary searched in the water for the gold but could not find it. But the ground was very sticky and Mary could not get out of the marsh. At last she reached the spot where the gold was hidden.

She took the gold out of the water and held it high above her head. She called for help but no one came. She staid in the marsh a week but during the meantime had been changed to a flower. Mary's body had been changed to the stem of the plant, while the gold was changed to the flower.

A few days later a young man went through the marsh and found this flower. He took it to the village and asked the name of it but on one knew it. He then said, "It must have been Mary, who stole the money, and hid it in the marsh, because she was greedy for money and knew where it was." After this the flower was named marsh-marigold, because Mary stole the money and gold, and hid it in the marsh.

To this day the flower and plant is found in wet places and marshes. The flower is of the same color as gold and always has its roots growing in water or wet places.

This event being over, no one would live in the cottage and it was forsaken and went to ruin.

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