Join A New York Minute In History for the first episode of a special series on folklore. In this initial journey of our “Legends and Lore of The Empire State” series, co-hosts Devin Lander and Lauren Roberts explore the legend behind a storied lake monster in northern New York.
If you happen to find yourself driving along on Cumberland Head Road in the Town of Plattsburgh, looking out across the brooding blue waves of Lake Champlain you may come across a red and gold sign with the title “Champy.” You pull over for a closer look and read this intriguing legend, told in a mere five lines of text.
LEGENDARY LAKE MONSTER LIVES
HERE. OVER 300 SIGHTINGS
REPORTED SINCE 1819. UP
TO 200 FEET LONG. NYS LAW
PROTECTS THIS REGIONAL ICON.
NEW YORK FOLKLORE
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2019
As with all folklore, there is a grain of historical truth to the Champy myth. French explorer Samuel de Champlain noted the existence of large fish in his 1609 journal documenting