Tragedy: Businesswoman found drowned

PUBLISHED: 12:53 15 March 2011 | UPDATED: 12:57 15 March 2011

Margaret Lewis, archivist and curator at Allhallows Museum, holding the Mary Doidge sampler. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhh 3731-10-11AW

Margaret Lewis, archivist and curator at Allhallows Museum, holding the Mary Doidge sampler. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhh 3731-10-11AW

Archant

American Lisa Roswell, 51, had struck a deal in Honiton after reading a Midweek Herald ghost story.

THE body of an American businesswomen, who struck a deal with Allhallows Museum in Honiton after reading a ghost story on The Midweek Herald’s website, has been recovered from flood water in Ohio.

Lisa Roswell, 51, had just posted packages to the museum’s archivist, Margaret Lewis, and Herald editor Belinda Bennett when her blue Volkswagen Beetle was swamped with flood water.

She made a desperate 911 call from the car, but the vehicle sank to a depth of 12 feet before she could be rescued.

Mrs Roswell, a mother-of-three, was the owner of Primitive Needle, which specialises in the sale of old fashioned cross-stitch patterns.

She was captivated by a Midweek Herald report in October 2009, which described an extraordinarily exquisite sampler made by eight-year-old Mary Doidge on Hallowe’en in 1844.

The sampler, given to the museum more than 60 years ago, became the centre of a spooky tale when mediums said it had been taken off display - much to the dismay of Mary’s ghost.

Psychics said she had been very proud of the work and wanted it kept on show.

After reading our story and seeing a picture of the sampler, Mrs Roswell asked if she could reproduce the pattern for sale - with a percentage going to the museum. The museum’s trustees agreed and Archant, which owns The Midweek Herald, gave permission for our story to accompany every order.

The pattern packs went into production last month and first edition copies, together with personal letters, were sent by Mrs Roswell to her contacts in Honiton.

Mrs Lewis told The Midweek Herald: “I’m shocked and saddened by the news about Lisa.

“Allhallows Museum was delighted to grant Lisa permission to reproduce Mary Doidge’s sampler, so that people all over the world could create a replica.

“She was a very talented lady with a great sense of humour and highly respected in the world of needlework and samplers.

“Lisa’s favourite day of the year was Hallowe’en - Allhallows Eve, October 31 - the date on which Mary Doidge finished her sampler.

“Just imagine how difficult it would be to explain to Mary (or for Mary to understand) how the work that she finished in 1844 when she was only eight years old was scanned, emailed and reproduced in America and now anyone, anywhere can admire it.”

Mrs Lewis added: “There was already a great deal of interest in the sampler pack and it was greatly admired. We are waiting to hear from Lisa’s family to know if Primitive Needle will continue.”

Mrs Roswell’s daughter, Mariah, told The Midweek Herald in an email: “My mum’s car was swept away in a flood. She and her car were missing until Tuesday morning (March 1).

“They found her car and her body was in it.”

Mariah is trying to fulfil orders for the pattern, but says she cannot cope with new orders at this time.


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