Coleman Frog

The Coleman Frog and Guest at the annual Museum Open House (2010).

The Coleman Frog and Guest at the annual Museum Open House (2010)

One of Fredericton’s most famous residents, The Coleman Frog, is just one of the sites to see at the Fredericton Region Museum.

The frog was discovered in 1885 when it jumped into Fred Coleman’s canoe on Killarney Lake. Fred Coleman shared his lunch with the frog that afternoon, and from that day on, the frog became his pet. The frog was the size of an average frog when Mr. Coleman first discovered it. The frog quickly grew to be 42lbs after Fred Coleman began feeding him June Bugs, buttermilk, whiskey, and cornmeal.

The Coleman frog, being much larger than an average frog, was said to have done things that average frogs could not do. Some of these things included racing bobcats, towing canoes, and coming to the sound of a dinner bell. Fred Coleman would take the frog for walks, feed him with a shovel, and became quite attached to his new companion. Tourists could only see the frog if they were with Fred Coleman, as the frog was known to be shy around strangers.

In 1899, the frog died in a dynamite blast on the Killarney Lake. There has been much scepticism as to whether or not the frog’s death was an accident. Some people believe that fisherman purposely killed the frog because he was eating all the fish.

Following his death, Fred Coleman sent him to Maine to be preserved by a taxidermist, and displayed him in the lobby of his hotel, The Barker House. The York Sunbury Museum (now the Fredericton Region Museum) received the Coleman Frog in 1959, and has been his home ever since.

Some of the publications that include the Coleman Frog:
Mysterious Creatures – A Guide to Cryptozoology
Lake Monster Mysteries By Benjamin Radford and Joe Nickell
Real-life X-files By Joe Nickell
The Coleman Frog By Stacy Howroyd
Canada By Andrea Schulte-Peevers
Moon Atlantic Canada By Mark Morris, Andrew Hempstead
Megan Mackenzie By Charles Frederick Allen
Canadian Geographical Journal By Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Canadian Geographical Society
Coleman’s Pride by Koral LaVorgna and Melanie Cormier

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