Broad Street Bridge Area
Gadsden, Alabama 35901
The Coosa River monster was first documented in a letter to the Gadsden Times in 1816. The letter stated that a number of Saint Clair County settlers near Ten Islands Alabama had killed a sea monster that was sick and found half on shore and half in the water. When they open up the beast it had recently eaten an Indian, his canoe, a deer, a bow with arrows and a rifle. It was believed that the sea monster had become ill from eating the rife. The beast itself was not described in any detail.
The next documented incident occurred in 1862 near Gadsden Alabama by a woman named Mrs. Martin. She spotted a serpent like creature floating on top of the river. Later that year two prominent citizens, Cherokee County Judge Lemuel Standifer and Captain J.M. Elliot saw the creature at two other times further up the river near Rome Georgia.
On June 8, 1877 the Gadsden Times reported the "Sea Monster of the Coosa" had been seen near Ball Play Creek. The story said that respected citizen Marcus Foster was setting up a trot line when he thought he saw a man standing in a boat drifting slowly on the opposite shore. He decide to get better look and as he got closer he thought it was a woman waist high in the water until he got about 50 yards away from the object. At that point it appeared to be a sea monster with s long neck and the face of a horse. The creature looked at him and had large glowing "popeyed" eyes and a fiery red colored tongue. Mr. Foster fled the scene in his row boat and got back to shore on the opposite bank where he watched the creature move along the shore until it plunged into the water and disappeared. The creature was spotted three more times in 1877 and was reported as being black in color.
In June 1882 a Gadsden Times Reporter was in a row boat on the water about a mile and a half above Broad Street Warf when the water near him began to bubble up and a large black mass came up to the surface. It scared him but he realized that it a great mass of grass and leaves from the bottom of the river that had been pushed up by the bubbling gas and was covered in foam. The reporter was convinced that this was probably the sea monster of legend and the stories about the creature began to fade away until the 1950's.
Sightings continue today, from alligator like creatures to serpents. Some are probably attributed to the Alligator Gar which can grow up to 10 feet and is often seen swimming hear the top of the water close to the shore. In June 2009 a 3 foot long dead Bull Shark was found in the Tennessee River in nearby Guntersville Alabama, so it is possible that an uncommon or very large species could explain the sightings. We consider it a Mystery.