2.1 min readBy Published On: October 11th, 2011Categories: Arts and Entertainment, Lifestyle0 Comments on Castle Island Sea Serpent

We know that South Boston has everything but did you know it once had a sea serpent?  Yes, that’s right – a sea serpent!  There is a recorded 1818 sighting by a couple of sentries at Fort Independence.

Here’s the story:

Almost 200 years ago, on August 15, 1818, two sentries at Fort Independence, Castle Island, in Boston Harbor, reported seeing a sea serpent swim past. Their superior, Colonel Harris, verified the sighting along with a local resident. So why hasn’t there been any more sea serpents in the last 200 years?  We’ll duh – everyone knows they are extremely shy and if they were making appearance all the time then nobody would really care would they.  And who knows, maybe other people have spotted the Southie Sea Serpent and just haven’t gone public with it for fear they might thought of as crazy!

Local artist and mom Deb Putnam believes in the Castle Island sea serpent.  She uses it as teaching tool in the art room at South Boston Catholic Academy.  She also wrote a $3900 Art Teacher’s Renewal grant for her art room based on the sea serpent’s 1818 sighting.  This past summer Deb designed a t-shirt with her son Cale’s help.  She used  the sales – 100% – and  raised enough funds for new computer software for the computer classes at SBCA. 

And who wouldn’t love an adorable t-shirt of the Castle Island Sea Serpent on it?  It’s definitely a conversation started. 

If you would like to purchase a t-shirt go to: http://www.cafepress.com/castleislandseaserpent    If you would like a black t-shirt with a white logo, you can order directly through Deb and she will have them printed as ordered from the Spot in Southie.  Email Deb at [email protected]


“August 15, 1818, two sentries report sighting a sea serpent swim past Castle Island. Their superior, Colonel Harris, verifies the sighting, as does a resident, James Prince, who later describes the creature thus: ‘His head appeared about three feet out of the water; I counted thirteen bunches on his back—my family thought there were fifteen—he passed three times at a moderate rate across the bay….I had seven distinct views of him from the long beach so call and at some of them the animal was not more than a hundred yards distance.'”
When in Boston: a time line & almanac
By Jim Vrabel, Bostonian Society