“The Sea Serpent’s Lair” by Elihu Vedder is a stunning depiction of the great New England Serpent. From 1638 until the 1970’s, hundreds of sea serpent sightings were recorded from along Maine’s coast down to Cape Ann, Massachusetts.
The first recorded sighting was in 1638 when English traveler John Josselyn wrote “An Account of Two Voyages to New England”. Josselyn recounts the first known account of a sea serpent in the region, this one from what is now Gloucester, Mass: “They told me of a sea serpent or snake, that lay coiled up like a cable upon a rock at Cape Ann; a boat passing by with two English on board, and two Indians, they would have shot the serpent, but the Indians dissuaded them, saying that if he were not killed outright, they would be in danger of their lives.”
Elihu’s 1864 oil painting always reminds me of Josselyn’s account of the great serpent coiled up on the shore, watching all who pass by with the ruling eyes of a top predator. This painting can be found, appropriately, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Find out more about Maine’s Sea Serpent and 40 other mysterious creatures in and around Maine in “Mythical Creatures of Maine”, available for pre-order or wherever fine books are sold on 9/1/2021! Preorder a signed copy: https://tinyurl.com/mythicalcreaturesofmaine