Each week I research dozens of strange newspaper articles for this blog, but the following story just may be the strangest I have ever read. The bizarre story takes place in Lancaster County during the time of the Civil War, after a teenage girl died from the measles. The girl's mother, while examining the corpse, noticed that a rose had blossomed from the deceased girl's mouth. Even more strange was the fact that the rose appeared to be made of ivory, and that it continued to grow in size from the time her body was prepared for burial until her body was laid to rest in a graveyard near Mount Joy. Was this a miracle? Or could there be a more logical explanation? The truth will probably never be known.
From the March 1, 1864 edition of the Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, PA):
The Trumpet, published at Elizabethtown, Lancaster county, relates the following singular phenomenon:
An unnatural phenomenon took place in Rapho township, three miles east of Mount Joy, on Thursday last, at the residence of Martin Inly. His daughter, aged eighteen years, died a quarter before eight o'clock. After the usual ceremonies were attended to, towards morning the attention of the mother was drawn to the corpse, when she discerned something unusual on the lips of the deceased. Attempting to remove it, apparently a voice seemed to say, "Let it remain". Astonishment caused an examination, and the fact was, there appeared in the middle of her lips and teeth, a complete rose-bud ready to open and on the left side of the bud a full bloomed rose- what florists call a double levy rose. On close examination it was ascertained that the bud and rose were a hard substance to the touch, and in appearance like ivory. It was perceptible that from the first and last nights of the phenomena it enlarged.
Thoughts were entertained that the removal of the body to the burying-ground (which was in a hearse and over a mile of rough road) might cause a separation, but the bud and rose still remained as when first seen, only increased perceptibly in size. The rose and bud were as white as ivory, and supposed equally as hard.
Many persons were eye witnesses of the fact. The rose was very natural, and those not knowing the fact felt satisfied that it was a real rose and bud placed there as an ornament, and reports caused many to witness the fact. The disease of the deceased was measles, a relapse took place attended with a cold, which caused her death.