- The Hodag will soon be more famous thanks to a Canadian production crew. C-M-J Productions is creating a documentary called Boogymen that features small towns with monster mascots. Rhinelander legend has it that Gene Shepard caught the Hodag and displayed it at the 1896 Oneida County Fair. Today more than 20 people participated in the reenactment of Shepard and his Hodag.
"Every time you hear about Gene Shepard, one of the first thing that comes out of people's mouths is that he reenacted this thing, the showing of the Hodag way back at the first Oneida County Fairs," said Jerry Shidell. "And I thought it had to be fun then, let's do it now." About a dozen people came to watch the fun. Even one of Shepard's relatives came to see his family legend come to life. "It's just been fun within my family. Growing up it was more of a family big deal," Gene Shepard's relative, Paula Barbian said. "It wasn't real big in the area for years, but then it's really grown and grown. I just take a lot of pride in it." The documentary won't be shown in the U.S., only in Canada. But if it's picked up by a network in the united states, Rhinelander's legacy could be known nation wide.
Written By: Shardaa Gray