Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Adirondack Museum Paddles

Ever since getting a copy of Dr. Gordon Fisher's recent publication, Guideboat Paddles: An Adirondack Treasure, I've been curious about some of the paddles apparently on display at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain, New York.

I stumbled on a few personal photos on Flickr and Picasa of folks who've visited the museum and happened to get shots of the paddle display. Here's one from deshantm revealing 4 distinct paddles on a mounted display. The first two paddles have some interesting blade designs and grip style.

Adirondack Museum Paddles

Flickr user Alan Teichman, also had a shot illustrating the same paddles, but managed to get a clearer shot of the captions.

Photo Authorship Credit: Alan Teichman

Given the resolution of the original photo, here's what I could make out for the paddles (left to right)...

• Single Bladed Paddle made by Bradly ?, a young medical student on vacation in the Adirondacks around 1900. He copied the shape from an Abenaki model and added the Indian motif on the grip for a "romantic look"

• Single Bladed Paddled made by Dr. George Everett at Lake Ozonia for Dr. Edward Prescott of Potsdam. Dr. Everett was a summer resident who made cherry paddles as a hobby finishing them scraping with a broken piece of glass and applying a mixture of linseed oil, turpentine and vinegar

• Single Bladed Paddled designed and made by James McCormick around 1934. McCormick was a carpenter and boat builder...he made over 500 paddles of cherry and maple before his death

• Single Bladed Paddled purchased with a Rushton Indian Girl canoe. The owner added the red paint, his initials and the ??? to give the paddle a more romantic native look

I really wish museums would consider adding more virtual galleries on their websites. I think it encourages more interest in visiting the museum to see artifacts such as this in person.

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