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W-File: lmkoshkonong.html

Type: Lake Monster
Location: Lake Koshkonong, Wisconsin

Source: Edgerton, WI Reporter, May 26, 1982

Water Monster of Lake Koshkonong

Many years ago the Mascouten, or Prairie Potawatomi, had villages on the shores of Lake Koshkonong. A water monster of great power and terrible form dwelt in its depth and made havoc with every Indian canoe. No Indian dared to attempt to cross the lake from shore to shore even in mild weather, because of fear of the destructive denizen of its waters. No white men came to grief; the lake passage was unlucky for red men only.

Near the narrows of the lake rises a high rocky hill, and near it there is an island on which the Indians camped when trapping muskrats. On the west side of the hill there was a place where no Indian could cross. All who attempted it were sure to be drowned.

Once there were two Potawatomi brothers who concluded that the story of the water monster was false. One day, starting in opposite directions, they set out to navigate the lake in their canoes. All the Indians watched them in fear, they expected that they would never be seen again. Soon a big wind arose, and it was so strong and fierce that it even blew the ducks that were flying overhead into the water. The Indians in the camp sang sacred songs for the well-being of the two boys, but night came and they did not return.

The two canoes were later found capsized. After some time several white men told the Potawatomi that they had found the bodies of the boys floating in the lake. There was white clay in their nostrils and ears, a sure sign that the Lake Koshkonong monster had caught them and drowned them. Some Indians are afraid of the waters of Lake Koshkonong to this day, believing that the water monster still prowls about its shores.

Before the Potawatomi came, Indians of the Sauk tribe lived on the shore of this lake. They had enemies, probably the llinois, who once trapped a number of them on an island. They were unable to escape, as the island was partly surrounded by a large swamp. The Sauk were here, exterminated by the arrows of the enemy, and some also perished through starvation. This happening gave the lake a bad name.

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