William Irving Broken Heart  LbNA # 3042

Placed DateJun 1 2002
CountyNew London
LocationBozrah, CT
Planted ByThe Maple Leafs    
Found By mamooshatoots
Last Found Jan 24 2023
Hike Distance?
Last EditedOct 11 2015

William Irving Broken Heart

Johnson Cemetery
Easy-15 minutes
Planted by the Bonnie and Clyde Gang, June 2002. Kindly adopted by The Maple Leafs in August 2009.

THIS BOX WAS REPORTED MISSING APRIL 2010, AND I COULDN'T FIND IT EITHER...SO AS OF 5-26-2010, A NEW BOX AND STAMP WERE PLANTED, AND THE CLUES UPDATED BETTER. Another new book, replaced by a kind fellow Letterboxer, as it was reported wet. THANKS.

This letterbox marks a tragic event in Bozrah called the Legend of the Irving-Johnson Murder. The story goes that on February 5, 1872, Jane Maria Johnson was murdered by William Irving who then took his own life. Jane Maria was the daughter of the prominent Dr. Samuel Johnson and William Irving was a handsome Irishman who worked as handyman and gardener at the Johnson estate. It is said that Jane and William were mutually in love with each other but recognized that they could never be married because of her and his different social backgrounds. He killed her because he realized that their love was an impossible dream. Still others say that there was no mutual love and that William, in anger, killed Jane because she rejected his repeated, unwanted advances.

The murder took place at the Johnson house in the living room where Jane was shot and beaten. William then locked himself in Jane's bedroom and took his own life with a razor. It is said that Dr. Johnson had to climb a ladder to the bedroom window to get the murderer's body himself. Jane was buried with much ceremony in the front of the cemetery next to the impressive family stone, whereas Dr. Johnson had William's body placed far away in the back where it would be forgotten. Some say that his body was never buried there, that Dr. Johnson donated it for medical research. In any case, there were broken hearts over this tragedy, two young hearts, and that of a lonely father who lost his only daughter.

From Exit 23 off Rt. 2, head north, over bridge to intersection. Main's Store and Exit 23 Restaurant are on your left. Go left, west on Old Route 2, passing by the first road that says "Schwartz Rd." but taking the second road that says "Schwartz Rd." (Schwartz Rd. loops on and off Old Route 2) The Johnson cemetery is straight ahead. Do not drive in, but park to the left by the iron gate. Walk through the iron gate on left hand side of the cemetery. Immediately you will find the Johnson family tombstone. Jane Maria's is there. From her grave, proceed North and follow along stonewall. The stonewall will end, but keep going along the outer edge of the cemetery, keeping the river on your left. You will pass by a few graves here or there, by a few trees, up a little hill. Keep going, William's grave is nestled ALONE, down in the west corner of the first section midway to the back of the cemetery next to an oak, and facing the river. From his grave, walk about 20 paces (40 steps)(walking around the trees and bushes that are a-ways out from the wall and walk) North along the wall. From where you are now, if you see about 15 feet above you near the road-- 2 stones (one Peckham)--then you went too far. Box is in the wall near 2 flat large top stones on the wall. Carefully rehide. Thank you.