jump to navigation
  • New England Mermaid August 21, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    Portsmouth Harbor Light, New Castle, New Hampshire

    Beach has been worrying a lot about mermaids in the holidays. He thought he would shared with readers some fine old mermaid stories from his archives most Mondays this semester: Mermaid Monday is born. Here is an 1883 record from New England. Note that it appeared in the British newspapers via the Toronto Mail!

    A mermaid has been seen off the New Hampshire coast, near Newcastle [New Castle]. She, or it, appeared three times on the crest of high waves, to the intense astonishment of some startled residents. A south-east gale was blowing, and the surf was unusually strong, but the sportive creature seemed perfectly at ease. The spectators aver that its head was crowned with a beautiful hair of abnormal length and thickness, that it had a comely face and long arms. Before disappearing it threw a kiss to the crowd. The latter action shows that even in a mermaid the innate coquetry of the sex is implanted. We cannot attribute this vision to the influence of the potent apple-jack, for the failure of the apple crop has made that beverage extremely scarce and high priced. Yet, when there is a chance of securing a few boarders, the residents permit their imaginations run riot. Given a figure-head loosened from some wreck, and bobbing in the surf, and the result would be an attractive, full-developed mermaid.

    This is a first. A mermaid explained as a figure-head. Any other New England mermaids: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com

    Peter Muise writes in, 29 Aug 2017: I saw your post about the Portsmouth NH mermaid. I hadn’t heard of that one, but I have written about a couple other mermaids: Captain Dodge; Merman in Maine; Nantucket Merman. There is also a story almost identical to the Maine merman story but supposedly set in Gloucester. I think the only source I’ve found is a book by Edward Rowe Snow, a local writer who focused on folklore and nautical tales.

    Henry writes, 29 Aug 2017: not New England, but this is from April of this year. The woman was found wet, naked and claiming to be a mermaid…she had webbed toes on both feet…hmmm