Fredericton, New Brunswick – As the story goes… In 1885 Fred Coleman found the the frog in Killarney Lake north of the city, and fed him June Bugs, Cornmeal and Whiskey. The frog grew to a huge size and Fred treated him like his pet. It’s said he would even follow him and come when called it was a dog.
Fred was the owner of the Barker House Hotel. When eventually he found the frog dead in the lake he sent it off to Maine to a taxidermist. And when giant frog returned it became a tourist attraction at the hotel.
People have their doubts about it’s authenticity. Today the poor creature looks pretty shellacked. But, it’s more than a century old and it’s said that some patrons treated the critter badly when it’s protective case broke at the hotel, and used him as an ashtray. In 1998 he was shipped to the Canadian Conservation Institute and it was determined the taxidermy methods used on the frog were consistent with late 19th-century techniques.
Today the Coleman Frog is on display in the heart of the city at the Fredericton Region Museum. At the museum you can see his press clippings on the wall, complete with a photo of him sitting at Fred Coleman’s feet.
571 Queen Street, Fredericton, NB E3B, Canada