Sea Serpent Captured in Chats Lake




Horseshoe Falls at Chats Lake 
    before the dam was built 
    Source: National Archives                           Chats Falls Dam
    Photo # PA-009337

Photo from Bytown or Bust


July 7 1882 — notes from the Almonte Gazette


The Arnprior Chronicle is responsible for the following; which reads a little “ snaky” : Sea serpent stories have been given the go by by newspaper paragraphers of late, owing to the incredible yarns told by people who profess to have sees the “rare old devil himself.”

Many people are said to have, seen these monsters in venous parts of the country, but as no one has ever been known to to capture one. It is but a few years since Mr. Robert Young, one of our most worthy and respected citizens, caught a glimpse of an aquatic monster m Chats Lake, which he describes as being of enormous size and proportions.

Capt. Brown, of the steamer Alliance, also got a view of one of these monsters in the waters the summer before last, and various other people claim to have seen large specimens at different times and at divers places.



Photo from Canadian Virtual Museum


But this week we  are in a position to announce the capture of what is probably one of the of the real, original Old Chats Lake serpent, which has often struck terror to the hearts of superstitious river men. While coming down from the Snow Rapids with a tow on Monday morning, and while off Blackwell’s island, the crew of the Levi Young noticed a huge serpent swimming ahead.

Mr. John Dungan, chief engineer, and a deck hand named Shaw jumped into the bun and steered in pursuit of the reptile. They succeeded in getting within striking distance of the serpent, when Mr. Dungan struck it a blow over the head with his oar. The beast then turned and made for the occupants of the boat literally churning the water with its tail in fury.

Another powerful and well directed blow with an oar on the neck of the serpent laid it dead when it was taken its tow and brought aboard the steamer. The crew of the boat stretched it out on the rail, and measured it with a rule. Its total length was eleven feet, while its body was over thirteen inches in circumference.

Its jaws was pried open and a pair of compasses inserted, which were opened out to a distance of six inches. The description given of this reptile is to be the same as that given by Mr. Young and Capt Brown,- so that it is possible that why they just killed was a descendant of the old King Snake who has sported himself in Chats Lake for years past.



Photo from Bytown or Bust


Related reading

More Lake Monsters–Moose or Monster?

Did You Ever See the Monster of Otty Lake?

Could the Giant Pike of Carleton Place Have Turned Into the Lake Memphremagog Monster?

The Ghost Ship of Brown’s Hill

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun


About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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