Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 16th, 2009
I’m at the Mass Mystery Weekend and Mass Monster Mash today and tomorrow.
Here’s an oldie but goodie. The tone is rather typical of some October articles. ~ Loren
Cape Vincent Eagle
Cape Vincent, New York
October 2, 1913
THAT SEA SERPENT
Clayton People, Of Course,
Since the town of Clayton went for [liquor] license, and red-eye once more became the favorite beverage in the village, it is not to be wondered at if strange things should be seen. The latest is the sea serpent, and it was seen, or said to have been seen, not long ago from the deck of the steamer America and at the head of Grindstone Island [New York]. It was first noticed, as is claimed, by a great commotion in the water directly ahead of the steamer, and the captain called the other officers to view the sight. By that time the passengers had all noticed the commotion and all on board watched.
The creature, according to the description furnished, was anywhere from 20 to 30 feet in length and resembled a huge garter snake. When the America neared the spot where it was sporting itself, it dived and did not reappear. As it lay on the water it might easily have been taken for a floating barber pole, it is said. When the steamer reached Kingston the story of the “sea serpent” was told to numerous naturally incredulous listeners, who thought that the story was an old bald headed fake, but upon finding the relaters of the yarn in earnest, they wondered if the bar on the steamer had been doing an exceptional business on that day. The captain of the boat and all who claim to have seen the strange creature are still positive that it was no ordinary fish, but was a real sea serpent.
Nearly every summer there are one or more reports of this kind regarding big reptiles which are seen at the sea shore. It is the general opinion around the river resorts that these monsters are merely large muskellunge or sturgeon, which are surprised when sporting themselves at the surface, and the imagination of the onlookers make [sic] up the rest.
Thanks to Jerome Clark for this archival report.