Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 12th, 2010
Victoria Daily Colonist
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
November 17, 1885
An Extraordinary Appearance in Cowichan Lake.
A short time ago as Mr. Charles Morrow, accompanied by an Indian man and woman, was paddling in a canoe through Cowichan lake, he was suddenly transfixed with astonishment and terror at the appearance of an extraordinary object which quickly lifted its head out of the water, and continued to raise it until it was some 20 feet above the surface. The head was eel-like in shape and the part of the body that appeared above the water resembled that of a gigantic snake, being of a reddish brown hue on the back and a dull white star on the belly. The monster, Mr. Morrow says, was “as big around as the Amelia’s smokestack.” After surveying the party in the canoe for a few moments the serpent (for such it appeared to be) took a “header” and disappeared, leaving the water as greatly agitated as were the occupants of the canoe. In conversation with some old Indians afterwards Mr. Morrow was told that there was a tribal tradition that many years ago several huge water snakes were often seen in the lake and that the forefathers of the Indians now living were in the habit of shooting arrows into them. If the presence of a veritable serpent in Cowichan lake should be demonstrated[,] what an attraction for tourists the lake would become; and a price would probably be set on the head of any man who should offer to harm one of the remarkable creatures.