The Story of Alice Flagg and Lost Love
Imagine being an impressionable young girl living in the 1800's, member of a wealthy plantation family, falling in love with a young man who is well beneath your station in life.
Imagine being torn between your true love and your family.
This is the tragic story of a lost, forbidden love in it's saddest form.
Whether you believe in spirits or not, this story will surely touch your heart.
It is a story of a young woman who is spending her afterlife wandering her home and gravesite looking for a lost engagement ring given to her by her one love.
This is the story of Alice Belin Flagg.
Alice Belin Flagg
Alice was a beautiful young lady brought up in a wealthy plantation family. Her birth on November 19,1822 brought much joy to the family. Her parents, Ebenezer and Margaret Elizabeth Belin Flagg took great pains to assure that she and her bothers and sisters were brought up in the most proper manner.
When Alice was still a young girl her father passed away. In 1849, her brother, Dr. Allard Flagg, opened his home and offered his protection to his mother and sister so she could continue her training as a future bride of a wealthy plantation owner. At the age of 16, she was being groomed to bring more wealth and prestige to her family.
At the time of her move to her brother's home, the Hermitage in Murrell's Point, South Carolina, she was reported to be a beautiful girl with auburn hair and sparkling brown eyes. She seemed to be a curious combination of a headstrong girl and a young lady who was well schooled in what was expected of her. She truly loved her family and knew what her duty was to them but she also wanted what she wanted.
Meeting her true love....
There are a few different stories of how Alice and her unsuitable love met, I will tell you about my favorite ones.
The first tale of their meeting says that one day Alice was out riding in the woods by herself when she came across a lumberman. They got to talking and one thing led to another and they planned a second meeting.
Alice knowing that her family would not approve, kept the meeting secret.
They other story that is popular is that she was in town shopping when she met her lumberman. Again, they seemed to click, so to speak, and arranged another private meeting.
Either way it appears that her true love was a lumberman. Unfortunately for both of them this is not what her family had in mind as a suitable future husband for Alice.
One meeting led to another, and another, and another. Soon these two people were deeply in love.
Alice, wanting to share her happiness with her family and believing that they loved her enough to allow this love match, arranged for her young man to call on her formally at her home.
That's when things started to take an ugly turn.
The formal calling...
After meeting in secret for several months, and falling deeply in love, the lovers decided now was the time for formal call.
Somehow Alice's brother, Allard, got wind of it and met the young man out in the garden. Speaking to him briefly, Allard turned him away, and would not allow him to call on Alice.
Infuriated with the behavior of her brother and his treatment of her love, she continued to meet him in secret.
The couple soon became engaged and Alice accepted his rind and wore it on a ribbon tied around her neck. She knew her family who be furious with her if they found out, so she kept it hidden.
Off to boarding school...
Allard was furious at the thought of his sister loving a lumberman. He simply could not let this union happen. So, he gave it some serious thought and decided to sent Alice off to boarding school with her mother's blessing. The thought of Alice bringing a lumberman into the family was unthinkable.
The next thing she knew Alice was being shipped of to boarding school in Charleston, S.C. She was miserable. She pinned for her lumberman.
She tried to do the right things, go to balls, join clubs, meet the right people, but her heart wasn't in it. She grew pale and listless and soon became ill with a fatal illness.
The head of the boarding school got in touch with her brother with this alarming news. He traveled to the school and made arrangements for her to be transported home.
The trip home was damp and cold, adding to the severity of her illness. By the time she was home, she had fallen into a coma.
There is barely any information about the young lumberman that stole Alice's heart.
It is said that his name was John Braddock.
It was also said that he was so stricken with grief that he could no longer live in the area that held so many memories of Alice.
He was not at the funeral and was never seen again.
He was a romantic kind of guy. It is said that he had a saying engraved inside the ring he gave to his love.
"Love never fails, John".
Finding the ring...
As we all knew would happen, Allard found the ring. The story about the finding of the ring has a few versions. As with the meeting I will tell you of two of the versions.
The first version had Allard finding the ring when her was treating her illness. He ripped it from her neck and threw it into the marsh.
Alice woke briefly from her coma. She clutched her neck expecting to find her ring and it was gone. She fell back into a come while begging for her ring to be returned. She never recovered after that, dying still tying to find her ring at her neck.
The other story has Allard finding the ring as they prepare Alice's body for burial. He snatched it off of her neck and threw it in the marsh.
Either way it is sad that she was buried without this ring that was so important to her.
She died in January 1839 at the tender age of 16.
Alice was buried in a grave with a stone that only contained her first name Alice. Her brother was reportedly so angry at her for disgracing the family that her ordered that her first name and nothing else be etched on her stone.
Her first burial site is reported to be at the Hermitage. It was to be there temporarily until her mother could return form a visit to the mountains in North Carolina.
After her mother's return she was moved to the cemetery at the All Saints Church.
The ground around this plain tombstone of Alice's is bare. It is said that if you circle her gravestone backwards thirteen times you can summon her ghost.
On her gravestone you will often find flowers, coins, rings, and other little trinkets that people leave.
Soon after her death there began reported sightings of a beautiful young woman wandering in the graveyard looking down as thought looking for something she had lost. .The ghost is seen as a young woman clutching her neck as though reaching for her ring tied by a ribbon. She is wearing a white dress and seems to be searching for her ring.
There have been many reported sighting at the Hermitage on the stirs and in her room.
I hope someday she finds her ring.
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