The Coleman Frog

Awarded in 2008
The Coleman Frog

The story of the Coleman Frog began in the 1880s. That’s when, according to legend, an ordinary frog jumped into the boat of a local businessman, Fred Coleman, while he was fishing upon Killarney Lake. For some reason-this part of the story is murky-Coleman began giving the frog whiskey and whey, for which the little creature developed a huge appetite and grew to 19 kilograms in weight. Then there was an unfortunate accident: other fishermen, trying to improve angling in the lake, set off a dynamite blast, and the frog was a casualty. It remained intact, however, and was sent to a taxidermist in Maine. When it came back, it was installed in the lobby of a local hotel, the Barker House, which Coleman owned, and there it sat, an object of awe and scientific speculation. Eventually, it moved to the York-Sunbury Museum, where it resides yet. Interest has been world-wide, and any skeptics reading this should know that even experts at an outfit called the Canadian Conservation Institute, no toadies themselves, have hesitated to call the Coleman Frog a fraud.