Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Upcoming Event: Leacock Museum "Boating Old Brewery Bay" Exhibit Launch

Wanted to share info about an upcoming event that will be of interest to canoe buffs and historians alike. The Northern Lakes Chapter of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association will be participating in an event at the Leacock Museum National Historic Site in Orillia, Ontario on Saturday May 20th.

A schedule of events has been prepared which will include on-water paddling demonstrations, displays of historic boats and paddles, as well as items available for sale. 

The Leacock Museum in Orillia, Ontario is a National Historic Site of Canada and is housed in the summer estate of Canadian author and humourist Stephen Leacock (1869 - 1944). It is set on 10 acres of land oriented on Lake Couchiching’s south shore. 

Leacock’s boathouse was once a prominent feature along the shoreline. It has been rebuilt to its original footprint and will be the home of a new permanent exhibit on Boating & Fishing in the area. Leacock was an avid canoeist and fisherman and his personal paddles and equipment will make up part of the exhibition.

Historically the area was hub of all-wood canoe building in the early 20th century with makers such as W.T. Bush operating out of nearby Coldwater and the J.H. Ross company in Orillia.

The Orillia Heritage Centre will also be attending and displaying many of the historic watercraft in their collection. Below is a very rare W.T. Bush sailing canoe displayed with some vintage marine engines in the background.


50 Museum Dr

Orillia, ON

L3V 7T9

I'll be there with many of the craft items for sale from this post here (funds going to the Northern Lakes Chapter) so please consider swinging by for a fun canoe day!

Monday, May 1, 2023

Corona Virus craft projects

The Covid19 chaos over the last few years has meant more time working on smaller craft projects. In particular, much time has been spent crafting various items for display and sale at various upcoming events for the Northern Lakes chapter of the WCHA. 

These items include scale model versions of the historic paddles featured on the site. Using up off-cuts to make these miniatures (ranging from 12" to 24" long) was a fun little exercise. Most have been decoratively burned but a few have been painted. Also made some little stands from other thin remnants.

In addition, I've used up scraps of cedar and thin plywood to make some mini wanigans complete with leather tumplines. My son had the idea of making them into coin boxes so some have a slit on the lid to serve as as wanigan bank.

Also used thin remnants to make some other items for fundraising. These include wooden bookmarks decorated with burned images of other paddles featured over the years.

Along with some discounted books, framed artwork and a few other hand-made items we hope to have an eye-catching display at future events. Here's some stuff set up on the basement ping pong table...

Another post about the group's next upcoming event will be posted in a few days. 

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