Monday, November 24, 2014

Historic Paddle Photo: Maliseet Guides - Rod & Gun in Canada

My latest discovery of of old periodicals on is the outdoor themed publication, Rod and Gun in Canada. It was first published in June of 1899 and ran in various incarnations until 1974. While not strictly a canoeing magazine, many of the issues feature some sort of canoe related expedition to hunting grounds or fishing spots and make for great reading. currently has 38 early volumes of venerable magazine for copyright free browsing and use.

The Sept 1910 issue (Vol 12 No.4) has an article entitled,  "Diary of a Canoe Trip" by   W.C. Gaynor.  It documents an  82 mile canoe trip from the border of New Brunswick into Quebec. Gaynor took the liberty of crediting his Maliseet guides for their superb performance in the many rapids and included a photo of them in his article.

The full page photo luckily captures both a full frontal view of the main Guide's paddle (right) and a profile view of another.

You can tell these are working paddles. They are rather roughly carved and have especially thick shafts for strength. Curious as well is the obvious knot hole  in the blade of the paddle on the right. Paddles like this would've been carved from whatever resource was available and likely discarded.

This paddle shape with its elongated blade and long tapering grip is one of my favourites for tripping - although mine is reduced to a relatively short 58" length. While I've been using one made out of cherry for the last few years, it is currently being refurbished as an heirloom paddle for my 2nd son. Now there is another one in the works being made from Sassafras to use as my working paddle.


Guide's paddle with my similar Cherry Version

No comments:

Post a Comment

Newer Posts Older Posts Home Page