Sylvia's "Sea Serpent"
As the Sylvia Lake webmaster, I get lots of questions about Sylvia Lake. Some I can answer, some I have to research, and some can only be answered by long-time Sylvia Lakers like Mary Jo Whalen or Katie Pistolesi. Just today, I got a message from Liz Donaldson. She wrote: Growing up there, I always heard reference to the Sylvia Lake monster, any ideas on where this came from??? (email, August 27, 2005)
The Sylvia Lake Book, 1980, refers to the Sylvia Lake Sea Monster as a Serpent on page 12. It references the pamphlet written by Charles A. Ferguson in 1956, titled, Sylvia Lake: The History of Sylvia Lake Since 1800. Regarding the Sea Serpent, Mr. Ferguson quotes an article from the Gouverneur Northern Tribune of June 14, 1916.
For the second time in nine years Sylvia Lake's sea serpent has been seen according to visitors from Spragueville. They maintain they saw the sea serpent while out on the lake Sunday morning, according to word brought here by Gerald Delaney and other members of the State Road force on the Gouverneur-Edwards road."
"According to the description, the sea serpent is about nine feet long, has a head as big as a man and a long spiny tail. The spectators sway that while they are not sure they think they saw six legs when the serpent dived into the water, frightened by their approach. It has, according to their descprition, ears like a mule, and dark brown eyes. Its face is covered with what appears to be light brown hair in the form of whiskers from the lower chin and jaws...
Tales of a sea monsters in the lake might have arisen because of the incredible depth of Sylvia Lake. This representation of such a monster (above) looks only a little like the description from the Spragueville visitors.