Ok, ok. The grave
really didn't move. So, that part of the legend is false.
The inscription on the headstone reads:
In memory of Levi Smith, Sept. 25th, 1774 to Jan. 5th, 1820 and Ruth
Holbrook Smith (his wife) , Jan. 2nd, 1779 to October 28th, 1818. Who
moved from this farm from Derby, Connecticut in 1814
So, this is the grave of Levi and Ruth Smith, who migrated here in the
early 1800's. They died a few years after they arrived, at a
fairly young age and within a short tune of each other. It is not known
how they died.
Derby, Connecticut, where the Smiths came from, was one of the first
towns established in the American colonies in the late 1600's. What is
also known is that Connecticut was a hotbed for alleged witchcraft
delusions. Following the Revolutionary War, the colonies acquired a
great amount of land, including the Ohio and surrounding Ohio Valley,
and used it to provide property for displaced colonists following the
devastating war. This land for many years was known as the Connecticut
Levi Smith is known to be one of 12 members who started a small church
in Kirtland, which later evolved into Mormonism. From its inception, the
church met with a string of bad luck.
The first log church burned down under mysterious circumstances shortly
after it was built. Another church was built. That one was quickly
destroyed by a cyclone. Yet another church was built. But changes in the
local population (most Mormons were driven out of the area by increasing
hostilities from other settlers) caused the church to be relocated out
Did we find any evidence of alleged witchcraft that would lend credence
to this legend? No.
But one wonders if the legend has its origins in anti-Mormon sentiments
against one of the movement's earliest founding fathers.
The grave, by the way, is in remarkable condition, with barely any signs
of wear or vandalism. It's quite an interesting thing to see while going
on a casual Sunday drive in Melon Head country.