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And, quite often, they have a basis in historical fact.
Washington County, like much of the South, has its share of unusual stories and tales.
One of the best known is Chipley's legend of the lime sink.
The lime sink legend is a ghost story that grew over time about a tragic 1890 drowning at a lime sink or "sinkhole" in Chipley.
The girls were apparently wading in the water when they stepped off into a deep chasm that drops to a depth of over 30 feet. Jeff Mc Millan, Neta's 14-year-old brother, was working in a nearby field and heard the screams coming from the lime sink.
He arrived in time to pull one of them, Graymore Pridgeon, from the water, but could not save his sister or Nannie Callaway.Residents from through Chipley rushed to the scene and launched a search and rescue mission.These unique geological features are commonly found in Florida and result from the unusual karst topography that is found under the soil in much of the state.Water passes through the limestone subsurface over hundreds and thousands of years, gradually eroding away the subsurface rock to create caves. Carswell researched the true story behind the lime sink legend for his 1991 book, (available for purchase through the Washington County Historical Society).Often, as these caves continue to enlarge over time, they become unstable and collapse, creating deep holes known as lime sinks or sinkholes. The facts he uncovered tell a story that is both tragic and haunting.Sometimes these features remain dry, but in other places they fill with water. During the late spring of 1890, a group of teenagers were playing at the lime sink, then on the property of Captain Angus Mc Millan. The others were 14-year-old Nannie Callaway and 18-year-old Graymore Pridgeon.