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The Serpent of Lake Memphremagog | Townships Heritage WebMagazine
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The Serpent of Lake Memphremagog

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medium_memphre.jpgLake Memphremagog is located partly in Canada and partly in the United States. Europeans have been living around the lake for only the last two centuries; before their arrival, the area was occupied by the Abenakis, the indigenous people who gave the lake its name, which roughly translates as "beautiful waters."

The lake is steeped in legend. One such legend pertains to a creature that is said to inhabit the depths beneath Owl's Head Mountain. According to a document from 1816, when the first settlers arrived from New England, the Native people told them that they were afraid to bathe or swim in the lake because it was inhabited by a sea serpent.

Over the past two centuries, more than 225 sightings of the monster have been recorded. One of the earliest reports dates to 1847 when The Stanstead Journal proclaimed that "a strange animal, something of a sea serpent... exists in Lake Memphremagog." Known in the past by such names as the "Sea Serpent," "the Anaconda," or "the Lake Memphremagog Monster," in recent years, the creature has been affectionately dubbed "Memphré."