TRAGIC HISTORY OF ABIGAIL MUELLER
In the 1800's, before excavation was common, areas near Waseca would often flood during wet years. Even in the high ground, natural depressions would collect and hold water, creating dangerous bogs. One of these areas existed east of Waseca, on a hill overlooking Clear Lake.
In October, 1839, nine year old Abigail Mueller, daughter of German immigrants who farmed near the lake, wandered off from the farm. Abigail would often climb the hill overlooking the lake and spend the day there playing with her dolls, so the Muellers weren't really concerned about her whereabouts until that evening, when she didn't return home.
When the Muellers realized that little Abby was missing, they began searching. They searched every inch of the hill she so frequently played on, but to no avail.
It wasn't until morning, that they found her muddy footprints going into the bog. They followed the tracks through the rotting vegetation until they disappeared beneath the surface of the water.
They dug frantically, but thick wet peat can go deep down into the earth, and her body was never recovered.
That low depression, along with others in the area, has since been tiled and filled, to prevent these kinds of tragedies, and to make the land more useable .
Many attempts have been made to develop this area, and all have failed under strange circumstances. In 1883 a three story hotel was built at the top of the hill, only to burn to the ground just sixteen years later in 1899. During its tenure, many police reports were filed by customers, of someone breaking into their rooms and leaving dolls in the beds. Even in the winter, the caretaker claimed to hear a little girl running and giggling, even though he had no children and there were no guests there. The only thing left standing today is the remnants of a lodge, and several rundown cabins.
This land has changed hands many times over the centuries, and is now the landmark known as Maplewood Park, where the Sinister Forest event is held. There have been many claims over the years of seeing a little girl carrying her doll in the woods, but none have been validated or proven.
Somewhere up on that hill still lie the remains of Abby Mueller, encapsulated in the thick peat below the surface. The details of what really happened that day, are buried with her. So, for now, the story of little Abigail Mueller will continue to remain a mystery.