In1867 there were a number of sightings. A man named Harbeck saw a "saurian" in the water several times and claimed to have once encountered it on shore, where the creature "hissed at him." Another time it grabbed his trolling hook and pulled his boat along.. A Mr. R. Hassam saw the creature in the rushes at lake's edge. At first he thought it was a tree limb. "On closer examination he saw it was a thing of life and stuck it with a spear, but could no more hold it than an ox," reported the local paper. Fred Seaver saw it twice, once after the creature seized his trolling hook and pulled his boat "at a rushing speed" more than half a mile, until Seaver cut the line. It soon had a name, "The Rock Lake Terror."
Then a sighting occurred in 1882. Ed McKenzie and D.W. Seybert were rowing boats on the lake, racing each other to a sandbar. Ahead of them they saw what appeared to be a floating log. It turned out to be an animate object with 3 feet of it showing above the surface. It suddenly came to life, raised it's "snake like head" out of the water and opened its jaws and then dove under the lake surface. It then reappeared almost immediately next to McKenzie's boat. McKenzie reported that it was as long as his boat and that it was the colour of a pickerel. According to the Aug. 31, 1882, issue of the Lake Mills Spike newspaper Seybert yelled to McKenzie to strike it with his oar to drive it away. McKenzie stood up in his boat and called to shore for help. "Bring a gun! Bring a gun! There's a big thing out here. Come quick!" he shouted to witnesses on a nearby boat landing. One of them, John Lund, said he clearly saw the creature, though at first he took it to be a man struggling in the water.
"The air all around was heavy with a most sickening odour," reported the Lake Mills Spike newspaper. McKenzie was pale. His teeth were chattering.
Then there was a reported sighting of the lake creature was in July 1943. Joseph Davis, was 15 years old at the time and he went out to fish on
Indian legends tell of a time when the Ho Chunk were camped on the shores of the Rock River, not far from
"In this stream lived a huge and terrible monster. The older people of the tribe say this
creature had a large head, awesome jaws, and body likened to a serpent. It is said to have
ranged the whole length of the stream, preying on both animals and men, as to which he
most preferred no one knows. Hapless creatures that went to the water to drink were
frequently seized and swallowed. At all of the fording places this demon found hunting
good. Indians crossing at these places were promptly dragged beneath the water and
never seen or heard of again. Some Indians believed that there were several of these
monsters living in the waters of the
other desirable things to appease the wrath of the monsters."
A few miles from
At the time, it was also thought that the two lakes Rock and Red Cedar were connected by an underground river.
There appear to have been no recent sightings. Could it have been an out of place crocodile that has now died out? Certainly a strange story .