2012 Year in Review: Loch Chip Monster Mystifies

V1 Staff

Justin Vernon wasn’t the only enigmatic and artistic Chippewa Valley resident grabbing national headlines in the past year. Shortly after it was sighted in the Chippewa River in late April, the cast-concrete critter that became known as the Loch Chip Monster had piqued curiosity around the globe (a wire service story or two didn’t hurt). In a series of events almost as perplexing as those surrounding its Scottish namesake, in a matter of days the sculpture appeared in the river within view of the Madison Street bridge, disappeared, and was subsequently replaced with a copy. As local media probed the story behind anonymous artwork, a debate arose over whether Nessie was a valid example of artistic expression or merely an illegal hazard to river navigation. The question was answered, in a way, after the creature’s creators came forward: It seems Nessie and her clone were created largely on a whim by workers at Silvermine Stone, a nearby cement plant. While the Department of Natural Resources asked that Nessie be removed, she didn’t end up on the trash heap: The monster is now enjoying retirement in a retention pond at the Menards facility just outside town. (Details of the real Nessie’s whereabouts, however, were unavailable.)

Press and hold the up/down arrows to scroll.