- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2006

BIG MOOSE LAKE, N.Y. — Grace Brown headed to the Adirondack Mountains hoping for a marriage proposal. Instead, authorities said, the pregnant woman’s lover killed her in a sorrowful saga that became the basis for Theodore Dreiser’s 1925 novel, “An American Tragedy.”

The story was spun into the Oscar-winning movie “A Place in the Sun,” television programs, plays, songs and books.

In observance of the 100th anniversary of the killing, two of Brown’s relatives gathered Tuesday to help unveil a historical marker next to the lake where she died.

“By memorializing Grace like this, it feels like we’re bringing her back into the family,” Robert Williams said of his great-aunt.

About 50 people gathered on the western shore of Big Moose Lake to witness the unveiling of the blue-and-yellow marker.

On July 11, 1906, Brown and Chester Gillette took an afternoon rowboat ride on the lake. Authorities said that Gillette struck Brown in the head with a tennis racket, and that she fell into the lake and drowned.

Gillette said Brown drowned accidentally, and that he panicked and fled.

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