Jesse Elliot, a young whipper-snapper known to be a pretty high livin', reckless sort, was prone to racing horses, especially on Sundays.

Now Jesse lived in a God-fearing riverside community, where the oldest church in North Carolina, and one of the oldest in America - St. Thomas Episcopal Church - stands. One particular fall afternoon in the 1800's, Jesse shouted to his horse galloping down the race lane, "Take me in a winner, or take me to Hell." Whereas, the horse dug its hoofs into the soft ground in two mighty leaps and hurled Jesse against a near-by tree, killing him instantly.

Throughout the years, the hoofprints have remained, refusing to be filled in. Nothing covers the hoofprints for long, though many have tried by piling leaves, sticks or other objects into the crevices, only to return later to find them bare.


New Bern History
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