Rattles Show His Snakeship was 19

by Laurel | April 5th, 2013

27 June 1915

Louis Bach With Skin of Rattler

Louis Bach With Skin of Rattler
Holyoke Boy Displays Trophy of Big Snake Hunt,
Pearl City


Largest and Oldest Reported in District for Many Years

What is believed to be the largest rattlesnake seen in this section in years, was killed by Louis Bach, 18 years old, son of Joseph Bach of Pearl City Sunday afternoon, while the boy was out walking with his father, several hundred yards from their home. The snake was skinned and the skin cured by Mr. Bach, who was a tanner in Germany. It is now a much treasured trophy of his son. The snake measured 4 feet and 10 inches in length and was the possessor of 16 rattles. Its age is estimated at 19 years.

Louis Bach is a pupil in the South Hadley Center School and this week was graduated from the seventh to the eighth grade. He spends his spare time working in his father’s large garden with his brothers and sisters and takes his greatest pleasure in roaming about the woods. He has two crows for pets as well as three skunks.

The boy and his father were going though pine woods Sunday near the home when Mr. Bach suddenly noticed a snake coiled up in the grass. He thought it was a striped adder and called to Louis, who seized a stick and made for the snake. Not until they heard the rattle did Mr. Bach or his son realize that they were toying with a dangerous member of the snake family. Louis succeeded in finishing the snake, however. The fact that it has 16 rattles is taken as showing that it is 19 years old. Rattlesnakes do not begin to get rattles until they are about three years old and then they grow an additional rattle each year.

Last year a young rattlesnake was killed near the Bach home and about four years ago, several others were killed, but the one secured Sunday is the largest that has ever been seen hereabouts. Several boys killed a big rattler on “the island” last year, but that one only had nine rattles.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

One Response to “Rattles Show His Snakeship was 19”

  1. renee kocot says:

    Pearl City is Pearl St area in South Hadley. Bach Lane is in this area too.

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