Robinson Crusoe and His Rare Specimen
William H. Case
On an island on Lake James there has lived for the past fourteen years
a peculiar character in the person of W. H. Case, who is familiarly
known as Robinson Crusoe. He is an expert fisherman and for years has
guided parties to the best fishing grounds on the lake, and many are the
big fish he has captured, and in not a few cases has he sold them to men
who, bringing them to town, have claimed the glory of the catch for themselves
while the credit belonged to Mr. Case. A few years ago he was joined
in marriage with a Mrs. Carr, who lived on the banks of the lake, and since
that time they have resided together in peace and quiet in their log cabin
on the island, out of hearing of the world’s traffic and the push for
riches and influence. Here, surrounded by the beauties of nature, they
have tilled the soil, planted and cared for fruit trees of various kinds
until they have comforts that were common to the pioneers of the early days
in Steuben County. Here, added to the fruits of garden and tree, are
the fresh fish, which, taken from the cool, pure water and hurried
to the frying pan, make a dinner fit for a king.
One day early this Spring while Mr. Case was riding in his
boat looking into the clear water for fishing grounds, he noticed near Long
Island what appeared to be the point of a horn, protruding from the ground.
The water was about eight feet deep, and not having anything with which to
reach the horn, he marked the location as best he could, and then procuring
a large hook, returned to the spot and began the work of retrieving the object
from the marl and sand. We can only imagine his surprise when he drew
from the water as fine a pair of horns as ever graced an elk in any forest.
Above we give our readers a good picture of Mr. Case and his very rare specimen.
The horns are five feet and two inches from the skull to the point, and at
the points are three feet and two inches apart, with even prongs on each
side, and weigh about fifty pounds. They are well preserved and must
have been under water for very many years.
Since finding the horns, Mr. Case has been looking for other
bones of the animal and has found the lower jaw. He has had liberal
offers for the horns but counts them worth $200 and has been told to hold
them at that figure.
Source: Steuben-Republican Newspaper, 29 Jul 1903, submitted by Kay Lash