Mary Jane “Minnie” Quay

Mary Jane “Minnie” Quay

New York, USA
Death 27 Apr 1876 (aged 14)
Forester, Sanilac County, Michigan, USA
Burial Carsonville, Sanilac County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 13580810 · View Source
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Minnie was born in Forester, Michigan, the first-born daughter of James and Mary Ann Quay from New England. They'd moved to Michigan in 1852, and owned a tavern with the name "Quay" lettered above the door. It is still there today, although abandoned. At that time, Forester was a busy lumbering town and a busy ship port for boats hauling lumber to various places on the Great Lakes. There were four long warehouses and a pier that extended out into the bay (the pilings of the pier can still be seen today) and people from town came every day to see what ships had docked and to get news from the outside world. Like many young girls who lived in ports, she fell in love with one of the sailors who visited Forester. No one knows for sure what his name was but the relationship was greatly disapproved of in town, especially by her parents. The Quay's did not want their daughter carrying on with a sailor and they forbid her to see him again. In the spring of 1876, word reached Forester that the ship that the young man had been working on had gone down in a storm. Minnie was heart-broken, especially since she had not even been able to tell him goodbye the last time that he had been in port. A few days later, she committed suicide by plunging off the town pier and into the icy cold waters of Lake Huron. She was buried in the Forester Cemetery on the north end of town... but most say that she does not rest in peace. The legends say that her ghost has been seen walking along the shore of Lake Huron near Forester. She is said to cry mournfully for the spirit of her lost love, for whom she seeks but never finds. Over the years, several young women have reported that Minnie has beckoned to them from the icy waters as if inviting them to join her. It is even said that one girl drowned after claiming that she saw Minnie one night....suicide? Or simply the invitation of a ghost who is lonely in her watery grave of despair?

The following is what appeared in the newspaper:
"A young girl named Minnie Quay, about fifteen years of age, committed suicide by throwing herself into the lake from Smith's dock, at Forester, one afternoon last week. She was seen in the act of jumping by her little brother, who was on shore. A quick alarm was given, and men commenced at once to grapple for the body, but it was an hour before it was discovered. Her father is a mechanic in Smith's mill, and is highly respected. No cause is assigned for this rash act."

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Always with Love
  • Added: 10 Mar 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 13580810
  • Judy Miller
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Jane “Minnie” Quay (May 1861–27 Apr 1876), Find a Grave Memorial no. 13580810, citing Forester Township Cemetery, Carsonville, Sanilac County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .