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Indian and Rancher Report Sea Serpent in Oregon Lake

The first person to say he had seen sea serpent tracks in Lake County’s alkaline Lake

Abert was an Indian known in Lakeview as “John.”  Cowboys in the area did not believe the story, but John led them in 1900 to its tracks.

Years later, rancher S.B. Chandler said he saw a sea serpent swimming in the lake in March 1917.  He told anyone who would listen in Lakeview that he had stopped at the lake and the reptile swam slowly by about 100 yards offshore.  He said it was about eight inches in diameter and of unknown length.

Chandler was one of the largest land owners in the Lake County area from 1870-1930.  He ran large herds of sheep and cattle on his property from Abert Lake north to the Crooked Creek Valley.  His town house was in Lakeview.

Chandler and his wife, Mattie, donated part of their land to create Chandler State Park along Hwy 395 about 12 miles north of Lakeview.

The only known animals in the lake today are brine shrimp; the lake is too alkaline for fish to survive.


Sources: “CAMODOC-L Archives." rootsweb. Lake County Examiner, 22 Mar. 1917. Web. 13 Aug. 2016. ;  "Chandler State Park." waymarking.com. Oct. Web. 17 Aug. 2007. .

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.