Bridgewater Triangle Monster Snakes & Vanishing Lakes



Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) workers clear a swamp.


"Huge mystery snakes have been sighted before in the Hockomock region. In 1939, Roosevelt-era CCC workers, completing a project on King Philip's Street at the edge of the swamp, reported seeing a huge snake as large around and black as a stove-pipe.' The snake coiled for a moment, raised its spade-like head and disappeared into the swamp. Local legends claim that a huge snake appears every seven years." Loren Coleman, Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide To The Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures.



Raynham, King Philip, Pine Swamp and Fowling Pond



Although Fowling Pond was the same size as nearby Lake Nip, this lake disappeared in less than a hundred years. By 1800, only small remnants of the pond remained. By the turn of the century, it had completely dried up to a swath of land known as Pine Swamp on King Philip's Street. In 1840, the following was included in a book called "Historical Collections of Massachusetts" by John Barber: "Fowling Pond, is itself a great curiosity. Before Philips' war it seems to have been a large pond, nearly two miles long and three quarters of a mile wide. Since then, the water is almost gone, and the large tract it once covered is grown up to a thick-set swamp of cedar and pine. That this, however, was once a large pond, haunted by fowls, and supplied with fish in great plenty, is more than probable, for here is found, upon dry land, a large quantity of white floor sand, and a great number of smooth stones, which are never found except on shores or places long washed by water."

"What could induce Philip to build his house here? It was undoubtedly, fishing and fowling, in this, then large pond. But more than than all, there is yet living in this town a man of more than ninety years old, who can well remember, than when he was a boy, he had frequently gone off in a canoe to fish in this pond; and says, that many a fish had been catched, where the pines and cedars are now more than fifty feet high. If an instance, at once so rare, and well attested, as this, should not be admitted as a curious scrap of the natural history of this country; yet it must be admitted as a strong analogical proof, that many of our swamps were originally ponds of water: but more than this, it suggests a new argument in the favor of the wisdom and goodness of that Diving Providence, which "changes the face of the earth," to supply the wants of man, as often as he changes from uncivilized nature, to a state of cultivation and refinement." (Collections of the The Massachusetts Historical Society.)

Carolyn Owen, former Old Colony Historical Society Archivist speculated on the mysterious disappearance: “Perhaps a great storm cut a swath through the embankment and drained the pond, it is one of nature’s curiosities where once King Philip rested and summered on the banks of a beautiful body of water and the tribe stocked to food to last through the long cold months ahead, there is now nothing left but the tall trees rising from a murky swamp.”

It is interesting to explore the connection between the location of the CCC worker's sighting of the monster snake and what that area was: A place King Philip called home. I personally have never heard of a disappearing lake. But if one was going to disappear, I am not surprised it vanished in the Bridgewater Triangle.

Almost every Bridgewater Triangle enthusiast knows this story. But there is much more to this legend. What Coleman didn't mention is that the King Philip's Street, located in Raynham (not Bridgewater), is home to the former summer camp of King Philip (hence the name of the street.)
King Philip's Street, Raynham, Photo by Kristen Good
In researching Fowling Pond recently, I was stunned when I stumbled across information that proved that Fowling Pond--a lake reported to have been a sizable body of water that mysteriously disappeared by the turn of the century--was on a tract of land now known as Pine Swamp. THIS, not Hockomock Swamp--as legend has it--is the true location of the Civil Conservation Corps workers terrifying sighting in the 1939.

Fowling Pond, I learned  (a very sacred spot to the Wampanoag) was the summer home of the great King Philip, Metacom, Chief of the Wampanoag Tribe, until the end of the war that was named after him; when he has shot, dismembered, his remains being intentionally scattered throughout southern Massachusetts so that his "soul would never rest." In times of peace Metacom spent many a summer night on the shores of Fowling pond in Raynham.
Fowling Pond--King Phillip's Summer home--was a pond the size of nearby Lake Nippenicket. But this lake mysteriously disappeared by the turn of the century. The spot where Fowling Pond was is located on King Philip's Street in Raynham is now a tract of land known as Pine Swamp. In the 1939,  CCC workers witnessed an enormous black snake that did not look indigenous to the area. Photo courtesy of the Old Colony Historical Society. All rights reserved.
Although Fowling Pond was the same size as nearby Lake Nip, this lake disappeared in less than a hundred years. By 1800, only small remnants of the pond remained. By the turn of the century, it had completely dried up to a swath of land known as Pine Swamp on King Philip's Street. In 1840, the following was included in a book called "Historical Collections of Massachusetts" by John Barber: "Fowling Pond, is itself a great curiosity. Before Philips' war it seems to have been a large pond, nearly two miles long and three quarters of a mile wide. Since then, the water is almost gone, and the large tract it once covered is grown up to a thick-set swamp of cedar and pine. That this, however, was once a large pond, haunted by fowls, and supplied with fish in great plenty, is more than probable, for here is found, upon dry land, a large quantity of white floor sand, and a great number of smooth stones, which are never found except on shores or places long washed by water."


"What could induce Philip to build his house here? It was undoubtedly, fishing and fowling, in this, then large pond. But more than than all, there is yet living in this town a man of more than ninety years old, who can well remember, than when he was a boy, he had frequently gone off in a canoe to fish in this pond; and says, that many a fish had been catched, where the pines and cedars are now more than fifty feet high. If an instance, at once so rare, and well attested, as this, should not be admitted as a curious scrap of the natural history of this country; yet it must be admitted as a strong analogical proof, that many of our swamps were originally ponds of water: but more than this, it suggests a new argument in the favor of the wisdom and goodness of that Diving Providence, which "changes the face of the earth," to supply the wants of man, as often as he changes from uncivilized nature, to a state of cultivation and refinement." (Collections of the The Massachusetts Historical Society.)


Carolyn Owen, former Old Colony Historical Society Archivist speculated on the mysterious disappearance: “Perhaps a great storm cut a swath through the embankment and drained the pond, it is one of nature’s curiosities where once King Philip rested and summered on the banks of a beautiful body of water and the tribe stocked to food to last through the long cold months ahead, there is now nothing left but the tall trees rising from a murky swamp.”


It is interesting to explore the connection between the location of the CCC worker's sighting of the monster snake and what that area was: A place King Philip called home. I personally have never heard of a disappearing lake. But if one was going to disappear, I am not surprised it vanished in the Bridgewater Triangle.