For that purpose the “Legend of Lovers Leap” was made to order.
The story of doomed romance was attributed to the Waco Indians, who lived on the banks of the Brazos, and it’s set on the tallest limestone cliffs in Cameron Park, still called Lovers Leap. The cliff park is now under renovation, to reopen in time for the park’s centennial next May.
It was on this cliff that the fair maiden Wah-Wah-Tee, daughter of the chief of the Wacos, stood in the moonlight embracing her secret Romeo, a brave from the enemy Apache tribe, according to the legend. And it was here that the couple, cornered and facing the vengeance and “demoniac yells” of her father and fellow tribesmen, made their fateful decision, recorded by one Decca Lamar West in 1912.
“Quick Wah-Wah-Tee and her lover, in the last embrace of love and death, sprang from the cliff into the maddened waves below, since which dreadful night it has been known as Lovers Leap,” West wrote in a widely reproduced booklet, The Legend of Lovers Leap.
Such is the legend, told with some variations in songs, poems, postcards and Chamber of Commerce brochures over the years. But an authentic Indian legend? Don’t bet your tomahawk on it.
For more on the subject, see The Myth of Princess Wenonah.