The Black River Monster Sightings In Watertown and Lyons Falls, NY
Some things have to be seen to be believed. Like old articles about “The Black River Monster,” a sea-serpent spotting roaming in various places on the Black River in New York State over the years. The first known recorded sighting was published in the Watertown Daily Times on July 7, 1911. It is printed below in its entirety. Following that is the article from the Syracuse Post-Standard printed on Friday morning, July 11th of 1911.
Sightings of “Sea Serpents” and “Sea Monsters” were frequently reported in the Watertown Daily Times from the 1870s through 1920, most of them occurring on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and particularly Chaumont Bay.
CROWD ON BRIDGE SEES SEA-SERPENT
Suffering snakes!Scorching scorpions!This is awful.What do you know about it?Watertown has a real live sea-serpent right in its midst; a wriggling, crawling, scaly monster that twisted its squirming way up Black River and this noon poked its slimy head out of the greasy water beneath the Court Street Bridge.
The monster was seen by a number of people who happened to be on the bridge at the time.It is variously described as being from six to 36 feet in length; as being long and slim and smooth with a snake-like head, and again as shorter, thick and scaly with a shaggy head.Those who saw it say that it swam up the river and suddenly showed itself at the surface.
The shouts of the people who first detected the being as it stuck its head above the surface of the water quickly attracted a crowd and for some time the railing of the bridge was lined with gaping faces peering into the turbid waters of the river in an attempt to gain sight of the repulsive thing, swimming below.The animal or reptile, either of which it may be described as, disappearing within a few minutes below the surface and, although people stood about for a long time attempting to see it, they were not successful.
According to one person it was an alligator that attracted so much attention and the eyes of the others who saw it failed to register correctly what was seen.This person said that some one here in the city lost a tame alligator a few days ago and that doubtless the animal in the river was this cayman.Others disagree, however, and just what the strange thing was is yet to be determined.
Here is the article regarding the Black River monster from the Syracuse Post-Standard on Friday morning, July 11th. Click the link to view the article, bottom-center of the page, but it’s transcribed below due to its legibility.
Sea Serpent Seen In Black River. Sober Watertown Citizens Watch Monster From Court Street Bridge.
A strange creature made its appearance in Black River near the Court Street Bridge early this afternoon, and tonight certain citizens, perfectly sober, are swearing that the “thing” which paddled upstream, then dove from sight, was nothing more or less than a true species of sea serpent.
Just how it made its way over dams and falls to get to Watertown isn’t very plain to the beholders, yet this is regarded as a matter of secondary consideration. There are others who claim that the creature was a pet alligator, which escaped some time ago.
The incident attracted a big crowd to the Court Street Bridge. Proprietors of stores in the vicinity deserted their businesses to take a peep at the creature. Thirsty ones at neighboring bars left their drinks but half-finished, men at work in mills rushed to the windows, while small boys appeared with air rifles. The creature swam around a few minutes and then disappeared.