New Ireland

Reader Submission

I recently came across your web site and believe I can contribute to a story on New Ireland (Little Ireland).  I am not at all an expert on the area but have spoken with many who I believe could be called such.  I have actually lived in Limestone, the closest town to the settlement, my entire life.  I live directly across the valley from the hollow in which it is located and have been there on many occasions.  Since a child, I have heard stories surrounding the settlement.

Hearing accounts from persons both young and old, it seems as if the stories have been present since the Irish immigrants departed the area around the turn of the century; Stories from my father, a life-long woodsman and skeptic of such occurrences, about getting eerie feelings of being watched and even getting lost in the valley of it’s presence until dark, just to come out directly in front of where he left the vehicle.  His skepticism only emphasizes the mystery and truth of such stories.  I have read a book focusing on the area speaking of a woman who could not help but dismount from her horse and weep when passing thru on a near-by horse trail.  Another occurrence in the book regarding a hunter who upon falling asleep with his back to a tree, awoke to see a woman in “era” clothing quickly walking from his location.  I had the opportunity to learn about the settlement from a college professor that led a study on the settlement.  I accompanied the professor to the site where he stopped frequently to enlighten us.  I remember, vividly, the approach to a particular stone foundation in which the wall was partially collapsed.  I had an immediate eerie feeling as the group perched, peering down into the dark, damp pit where a house once stood.  The professor told of the death certificate of the woman who inhabited the house.  The certificate told of her unfortunate and untimely death due to, none other, than a house collapse.  The hair on my neck stood on end upon hearing the words.  The professor also reported findings that lead him to believe that Billy the kid, aka Henry McCarty’s own mother passed thru the settlement, staying for a short while perhaps with the young Billy, before moving on to points west where her son would make quite a name for himself.  I still visit the settlement now and then when my legs feel ready or visions of back country buck draw me into the shaded hollow in which history seems to still exist.