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The Long Lake Monster


It was about midnight on this date in 1883 when Joe Baker made his way home. He had to pass by Long Lake, and thought nothing of it despite tales of romance and tragedy on the shores of the lake told by the Dakota.

Joe was deep in thought as he crossed the railroad bridge. It was a walk he had taken many times, and nothing odd had ever happened during those evening treks. But as Joe was about halfway across the trestle, he was startled by a disruption in the water. The sky was clear and the moon was bright. But Joe could not see what made the disturbance. He continued on his way, expecting to return home with his curiosity unsatisfied, but the water under the trestle began to boil. Joe’s hair stood up on his neck; his eyes grew wide; and he watched in amazement as two great beasts rose from the water. They looked like giant lizards with great heads like alligators. Their eyes were red like hot coals. They each had jagged fins along their backs. As they roiled in the water, Joe could see that they each had four legs with hooked nails.

The beasts rose five feet out of the water. They snapped at each other with their ferocious jaws. Joe could see the gleam of their razor sharp teeth in the moonlight. Their tails slapped the water. Their snarls filled the air. Joe was frozen in place at the sight. Then he came to his senses. He realized he occupied a dangerous spot on the railroad trestle. He hurried to the other side, looking back when he reached solid ground. The animals still struggled with each other. Joe estimated that they measured twenty feet from nose to tail. Needless to say, he made the trip home faster than ever before. Some suggested that Joe had had just a bit too much to drink before he set out for home.

Today Long Lake is a popular recreation spot, with fishing, camping, and golf. There have been no recent reports of monsters in the lake.

Dakota Datebook written by Carole Butcher

The Fargo-Moorhead Sunday Courier, August 12, 1883

The Fargo-Moorhead Sunday Argus, August 12, 1883