history

Don't Go Near The Water

One of the more bizarre incidents in our colorful history took place in June of 1907. The June 25, 1907 issue of the Traverse City Evening Record ran a font page story titled, “Sea Serpent in the Bay." A number of people living on the western shore of the West Bay reported seeing a sea serpent crawling on the beach and swimming in West Bay. The witnesses all agreed that the creature had a body about four feet long and was covered with dark brown hair. It had a flat head and two white tusks protruding from its mouth and made grunting sounds.

The next day there were more sightings, this time on the eastern shore of West Bay. A launch with five people on board came within fifty feet of the creature as it basked in the sun. The estimated length had increased to six feet. The next day there were two sightings, one in the Bay and one in Lake Ann. A Lake Ann resident actually reported having captured the creature and announced plans to have it stuffed and preserved. However, he would not allow anyone to see the animal until it was ready for display.

 

On June 25, a photograph of the serpent appeared in the newspaper. The photo showed a fishlike creature lying on its back with its head raised. The head looked human with large protruding eyes and two small horns. It was identified as a species of “degenerate walrus”. Whether it was a hoax or an attempt to attract more tourists is unknown. The newspaper made no further mention of the creature. It may still be at large somewhere near Greilickville. A word to the wise on this matter should be sufficient.