This informative book of 160 pages, with 146 black and white photographs as well as 22 maps and charts, documents the historical and social account of Lincoln Lake, Spencer Township, as well as the village of Gowen, Montcalm Township, Michigan. It also explores the folklore surrounding Lincoln Lake with colourful illustrations of the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog by Barry and Wendy McGlashan of Aberdeen, Scotland and by students of the Lincoln Lake Heights Elementary School, Gowen, Michigan.

'The History of Lincoln Lake' can be purchased for $30 plus postage ($3.85) in continental United States (including Alaska and Hawaii). 


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An Artist's Impression Of The Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog.


Photos of Lincoln Lake taken between 1924 and 1930



If you go to Lincoln Lake, Spencer Township, Kent County, Michigan today, you may well find the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog alive and well and living in the marshes and swamps surrounding this historic and mysterious lake. The legend dates back to the logging era of the area. Local folklore supports claims that some lumberjacks who had seen the beast never returned to the forest to work again.

Local residents claim that there is a steady influx of reported sightings of the elusive beast throughout the lake area. As stated in ‘The History of Lincoln Lake’, by author Duane Mead, it is described as a furbearing beast which is about the size of a dog, has a wolf-like snout, beaver tail and webbed feet, and a pungent odour. Even Scottish artist, Barry McGlashan, who visited the area two years ago, drew sketches of the beast after he and his wife saw fleeting glimpses of the beast. Well-known Michigan poet, Bob VanderMolen, has even written a poem entitled ‘The Beast’, from his encounter with the beast. It is claimed there is now a ‘wealth of evidence’ favoring the existence of the mysterious creatures, and there is a certain amount of logic that an unknown species could be living throughout the Lake area. Lake residents claim that local encounters were being reported with a ‘steady and unnerving regularity’ despite the fear of being ridiculed.

A local amateur biologist claims that Lincoln Lake is a good, if risky, spot to catch a glimpse of the fabled beast known locally as the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog, or Marshy. Fishermen and swimmers may be lucky to escape with their lives or their ‘catch of the day’. It apparently possesses special powers and exudes malign feelings, which invade the minds of mere mortals, causing panic among the boaters and swimmers. It has been claimed that the furry beast is trying to send fishermen to the deep waters of Lincoln Lake. It is not always seen, but often heard and its presence felt according to local legends and Lake residents. It is rumored that one fisherman of recent times had seen the beast, rowed to the shoreline leaving his boat abandoned and vowed never to return to the lake alone. Another resident claimed to have shot at the beast three times with a revolver after it loomed up out of the mist.

The sightings have been attributed to several things – lake panic, hallucinations caused by lack of oxygen, swirling morning and evening mist and the beast truly existing. Two men recently walking in the forests next to Lincoln Lake, claimed to have spotted the beast darting in and out of the trees leaving a horrific odour behind. A team of private researchers may be sent to probe this historic mystery of the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog during the summer of 2003.




First Sighting:  After seeing the picture of the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog, a mystery has been solved. Years ago, I heard a story about an unidentified couple who were having an affair.  Only one problem, the lady was married.  One summer evening the married couple took the "other man" out fishing.  The amorous couple returned , without the husband, they said he was standing up in the boat, trying to unhook a large object from his line.  Later descriptions tell me it was the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog on the line, he must have pulled the unsuspecting husband into the water. He was never seen again.

Jim & Linda Conrad, Cedar Springs, Michigan.  Many Years Ago  

Second Sighting:  Years ago, my husband Frank, myself and our six children visited Linda and Jim Conrad at Lincoln Lake. Linda and I were crocheting mens' hats out of Blatz beer cans. The men had the difficult task of drinking the beer so she and I could cut the cans up and reconnect them with yarn. She had a large mass of colored yarn to choose from, which we could suddenly not find. It was late on a Saturday afternoon and the sun was shining on the lake. Suddenly one of the kids shouted, "Look Aunt Linda!" There out in the lake, about 1/4 of the way across was the hog. He was all tangled up in her yarn. Our kids still remember the excitement!  Shirley Fitzgerald  Years Ago  

Third Sighting

When my cousin, Michelle Evans and I, were young girls aged 10 and 11, we in 1984 saw something ripple the water’s surface just before an approaching storm. It appeared like a head and a hump in the water, rippling while playing. We of course immediately ran home and recounted the experience to our parents. Who knows, maybe it was the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog. 

Kathy Evans (nee Kathleen Rentsman Brewington).  1984


Fourth Sighting: We visited Lincoln Lake in the summer of 1995, we were out in a boat one day when we spotted a strange creature on the side of the bank. We could not believe our eyes when we saw the picture of the animal on your site. We're sure it's the same creature as we saw that day. Its Amazing!

The Cooke's from the United Kingdom. July 1995


Fifth Sighting: Merlin and Theresa Buhl (and their 6 children) of Zeeland, Michigan possibly saw the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog diving in their secret swimming hole. July 2001



Sixth Sighting: On a late night fishing expedition Nancy Spaak, a 3-time winner of a Lincoln Lake fishing contest, and her family saw the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog devouring a baby swan! August 2001


Seventh Sighting: Mark Miller, Designer and Landscaper of the Lincoln Lake Silver Beach Resort Park, believes he saw a fleeting glimpse of the Lincoln Lake Marsh Hog in the park's woodlands. March 2002


Eighth Sighting: An accurate account written by Deb and Rob of Lincoln Lake, Michigan:

During the summer of 2001 while sipping a brandy on the deck after a warm humid day, the complexion of the lake, tinged with pink was smooth and quiet.  

Between the swaying willows a large rough animal was seen slinking south across the yards. As the surface of the lake deepened to a crimson peach, a light odor of garbage drifted across the deck. The animal, alerting to our presence, paused for a moment, dark snout lifted to the sky, beady eyes turning to take us in. Standing about 4 feet high and with a long and grey scaled tail, it's stare was ominous, and drove us from the deck to the safety of the cottage. 

After pouring a second shot of brandy we returned to the deck only to find that the creature had disappeared into the tall marsh grasses skirting the lake, leaving the lawns trodden and greased in its wake. September 2002


Ninth Sighting:
I lived on Lincoln Lake for most of my life (30 years +) and have seen something strange on more than one occasion.  My friends and I have always called our sightings "The Lincness Monster".  The first sighting was when I was probably only 12 or 13 years old. My brother Danny and I were night fishing off from a dock near the public landing.  It was a well moonlit night and we were watching our bobbers when we heard a splash, then saw two humps protruding out of the water, one after the other.  They were about 3 feet long and were moving very quickly across the surface.  They were close enough to know they were not ducks or swans and came out of the water too high to be huge turtles.  They made ripples across the water until they slowly sank below the surface.  I wanted to stay out to see them again, but when Danny said he had seen enough, I wasn't going to be the only one out there.  I have a sketching at my parents' house that we drew that night. We dated it and put it in my toy safe where it is today. It is no great work of art (I was 12 or so), but it reminds me of that night.  
The last time I encountered it again was more recently, when I was about 29 years old.  My cousin Brendan and I were night fishing on the north end of the lake in a canoe when the dogs around the lake seemed to begin going crazy.  They were quiet all night until this moment.  We were floating on the inside of a peninsula when we heard something large crashing through the brush and small trees of this point.  We speculated as to what it might be, but could only guess maybe a deer.  We could not see anything in front of us because it was very dark and a little foggy, so we turned on a battery powered lantern we had with us.  This did no good at all, it made it worse actually because it lit up the canoe and made the air darken around us.  The creature came closer to the shore, then plunged into the water!  We were about 100 feet from shore at this point, and looked at each other as we both thought (should we be worried and start paddling out?).  We kept saying, what is it?  I said, it's probably a deer that can't see us.  Brendan made some noise with his paddle on the water's surface.  We listened but the thing came closer.  We both laughed but I knew we were a little nervous after I said out loud, what if it's a bear?  We don't get many in this area, but there have been bear sightings here before.  We paddled out a little ways and stopped to listen.  Whatever this thing was, it was now breathing above the water and we could hear it still getting closer.  It had a loud panting sound to it, very deep and heavy.  We decided that if it was a bear, we should not risk being tipped over, so we decided to paddle around to the other side of the point.  It didn't take us long and we were there laughing about the incident, until we heard it again crashing through the brush.  It came out into the water again and repeated it's actions.  We knew whatever it was it wanted to come to us, so we paddled out into the lake about 200 feet further, but the thing kept coming!  We thought the incident was funny, but we couldn't help but wonder if we would still be laughing if we decided to get a closer look. 
Aaron MacDonald
Lincoln Lake Resident
(family has lived by Lincoln Lake through 6 generations)


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