Rain during the Memorial: Just a weather pattern or the so-called ‘curse’ of Chief Leatherlips?


DULBIN, OH (WCMH) – Could the rain in the forecast for the final round of the Memorial Tournament be just the annual weather pattern, or is a supernatural phenomenon to blame?

Rain at Muirfield has been par for the course since 1977, including Friday’s second round, when there was a one-hour stoppage around 5 p.m.  Rain delays have occurred in at least 28 of the past 43 years.

The final rounds have especially been impacted, with Mother Nature sending rain to central Ohio up to 70% of the time, usually in the form of sudden downpours.

Some call it the so-called “curse” of Chief Leatherlips, who is buried along the banks of the Scioto River near Riverside Drive.

Chief Leatherlips was put to death in 1810 by a half dozen rival members of his Wyandot tribe. Legend has it that the old chief’s restless spirit is not happy about a golf course near his home turf across the river.

Jim Thompson’s great-great-grandfather Joseph, who died in 1862, was the caretaker for Chief Leatherlips’ grave. A monument built in 1889 marks the site near an ancient burr oak tree where the chief was killed.

Thompson, a Dublin historian, places a flower at the gravesite every year, because he believes Chief Leatherlips was a local hero. The Wyandot chief had formed a personal relationship with the five Sells brothers in Dublin and was widely respected. 

Thompson posits that one of the reasons he was executed was because he did not want to side against the Americans on the eve of the War of 1812.

He said that the name Leatherlips translated to “never told a lie,” adding, “Sometime back in the 1850s, this hatchet was given to my great-great-grandfather by some of the last Wyandots to live in these woods.” 

Despite the legend surrounding Chief Leatherlips, the whole rain “curse” thing may be nothing more than water over the dam.

The period between the middle of May and early June is the rainiest part of the year in center Ohio, even though it has rained on six out of every 10 tournament days, more than you would expect by simple chance in the Columbus area.

The problem is, when it rains, it pours. It might happen again today, briefly, which is statistically to be expected.

2018-06-03 16:21:34

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