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Contributed by Jim Reavis

 

Monster of Wallowa Lake Spotted in 1885
Chieftain, Nov. 5, 1885

A Sea Cow

The Monster seen in Wallowa Lake by a Prospector


Photo by Frank Reavis
I guess no one told them there could be a monster there!!
 

     A prospector, who refuses to give his name to the public, was coming down from the south end of the lake on last Friday evening in a skiff shortly after dusk, when about midway of the lake he saw an animal about fifty yards to the right of the boat, rear its head and neck up out of the water ten or twelve feet, but on setting him it immediately dived. He ceased rowing and gazed around in astonishment, for the strange apparition which he had just seen, when it raised about the same distance to the left, this lime giving a low bellow something like that of a cow. It also brought its body to the surface, which the prospector avers was one hundred feet in length. The monster glided along in sight for several hundred yards. It was tow dark to see the animal distinctly. but it seemed to have a large, flat head. something like that. of a hippo potamus, and its neck, which was about ten feet in length, was as large around as a man's body.
     Now this story may have been coined in the imagination of the narrator, but he was very earnest in his recital. However, it is a known fact that there is a tradition among the. Indians that the lake has a big sea cow in it, which on one occasion, many years ago, came up one evening and swallowed a young warrior and his dusky bride as they were gliding over the surface of the lake in a canoe. And to this day an Indian of the tribes who formerly frequented its shores cannot be induced to go upon its waters.
     The lake has been sounded to the depth of 270 feet, and it is a bare probability that some monster does inhabit its unexplored depths.

Wallowa County Chieftain, Bicentennial Supplement
July 15, 1976

 

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