Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 17th, 2010
Sioux Valley News
June 28, 1894
ALIVE IN CONNECTICUT.
Austin Rice of East Deerfield Saw the Sea Serpent.
Austin Rice of East Deerfield, Conn., is a plain unimaginative farmer, who for nearly fifty of the seventy years of his life has resided in his quiet home on the banks of the Connecticut river, says that nothing on earth can convince him that he did not see a snake in the river a few days ago that answers all the descriptions of the far-famed sea serpent. Farmer Rice’s story:
“I don’t expect that people who do not know me will believe the story, but those who do know me will believe I am telling the truth.
“I was near the bridge a little over a week ago when I heard what seemed to me like a grunt, followed by a splash. I looked out into the river, and not more than twenty-five feet away I saw a big snake. Its head was out of the water and its body raised some six or seven feet.
“At the neck the snake was about as large as a man’s leg at the thigh, and the body was about as large as an ordinary stovepipe. His eyes were as large as those of a horse, and his mouth, which was open, was nearly a foot across. The color of his body was black, and a white strip [stripe?] around his mouth extended down onto his belly.
“I followed the snake, trying to keep alongside. At one place he started for the bank and I away from it. His power of locomotion was so strong that he had no trouble in keeping still in the river against the current.
“When he got alongside a boat house, where some boys were hammering, he heard the noise and raised himself about ten feet into the air and then fell back into the water and disappeared.”
Mr. Rice’s reputation for veracity among his neighbors and acquaintances is good, and he never drinks.