This vintage postcard is dated 1909 showing an historic cliff in Cumberland, Maryland called “Lovers Leap”. This cliff has been the stuff of local legend in Cumberland for generations.
From Harold Scott, Sr. (Compiler), Legends of Allegany County, Cumberland, Maryland, 1994, p.vi we get the following history of the cliff:
In Cumberland, Maryland the Lovers’ Leap story involves the daughter of an Indian chief and a white mother. The chief, for financial reasons, wanted his daughter to marry a white officer from the nearby fort, but she wanted to marry Jack Chadwick, a white hunter. After Jack discovered silver on his property, he thought that his problems were behind him, so he confidently went to the chief, and asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
The chief not only refused, but attacked Jack with a club, and, in the struggle, the chief was killed by a stone thrown by the young suitor. The girl, being distraught over the death of her father whom she loved very dearly, now knew that she could never be happy in marriage to a man who had killed her father. The legend concluded that Jack and the princess leaped, hand in hand, to their deaths.
There are other versions of this story, but any version keeps it an historic cliff that will be the focus of local legend indefinitely.
Lovers Leap is located at the top of Wills Mountain, overlooking “The Narrows” of Cumberland, Maryland. It is 1,652 feet above sea level and made up of oddly squared projectories of rock, from its top, all the way down to the National Highway (U.S. Rte. 40) below. The City of Cumberland and the surrounding states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia may be seen from the vista on top. It is known that the air currents whipping up and around the precipice are so strong, that a climber cannot be heard from the top once over the lip, nor can be easily seen due to the projected rock angles.
The Lovers Leap cliff is a great attraction when visiting the historic town of Cumberland, Maryland, whether as a history buff or a sports enthusiast to take advantage of the surrounding natural beauty, the hiking, biking, fishing, and other activities.