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The legend of Hannibal's Lovers' Leap is a love story of the tragic variety.

Any sightseeing trip to America's Hometown must include a trip to a high bluff at the south end of Hannibal known as Lover's Leap.

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But, do you know how this point with the panoramic view of Hannibal and the Mississippi River got its name?

According to an 1884 History of Marion County, there are about a dozen points along from the Minnesota to southern Illinois also known as Lover's Leap.

And, according to the article, they all have similar "legends" on how they got their names.

There's a plaque at the top of Hannibal's Lovers' Leap with the local version of the legend, as recounted by historians Hurley and Roberta Hagood:

"While the story varies according to the teller of the story, the main elements are that an Indian brave and an Indian princess from warring tribes were prevented from marrying by their parents and tribes. One evening when the Indian brave landed his canoe in Bear Creek, he was observed meeting and walking with the Indian princess. A treacherous observer revealed this to the father of the Indian princess, who was the Chief of the tribe. The angered father offered an otter skin to anyone who would kill the brave. A number of the younger warriors started after the brave. When the couple realized they were being chased, they climbed Lovers' leap, hoping to elude their pursuers. Cornered on the rock prominence, the brave knew he was about to be killed. The princess also realized this, and decided that life would not be worth living if he were killed. The two embraced and threw themselves off of the top of Lover's Leap to their deaths. Lover's Leap is thus a memorial to these two young Indians who sacrificed their lives rather than be apart, according to legend."

TSM Photo
TSM Photo

Happy Valentine's Day.

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