Arkansas’ first state park is named after a tale of love, deceit, death and the character locals know as “Petit Jean”.
While the French explorer Chavet was exploring this region of, his faithful, loving fiancée Adrienne waited behind in Paris. Despite her incessant begging to journey along with him, Chavet claimed the trip was too dangerous for a woman. Chavet set sail for America, His crew included a new edition: a young cabin boy everyone called “Petit Jean”, “little John”.
While exploring the Ozark Mountains during the winter Petit Jean became fell sick. It was then discovered that he was a she. Chavet’s fiancée Adrienne in fact. She died in Chavet’s arms, and was buried atop “Petit Jean Mountain.” Her grave can still be seen, a low mound on the edge of a cliff.
She was a real person and is supposedly a real ghost that haunts the park in Morrilton. Locals have see a bright light emanating from around her grave. Others have seen her apparition gazing eastward across the mountains towards her far off home.