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Discussion in 'Guestbook' started by Jeff Nicholas, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Jeff Nicholas

    Jeff Nicholas New Member

    My Name is Jeff Nicholas and I live in Palmyra Maine. I found this forum through researching Carlton Canoe Co. I also discovered an exhibit that had been held at the Marine museum on the coast, I think Bar Harbor. Anyway, to make a long story short there was a list of old canoe builders in that exhibit. On this list I discovered that my Great Great Grandfather Thomas Nicholas was listed as a wooden and bark canoe builder in Greenville, Maine in 1882. Further research led me to a book written by a man named Steele in 1882, that told of his adventures on a canoe trip in Maine with his three guides, one being my grandfather a Malicite Indian and two white men. Fortunately Mr. Steel was also an artist and in his book is an etching of the three guides. I recognized my great great grandfather from family resemblances. This is the only known likeness of Thomas Nicholas my family has. I believe the name of the book was "Paddle & Portage." I have it here somewhere but darned if I can find it today.
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Jeff, Welcome to the forum! And what a great story!
  3. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

  4. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Paddle and Portage

    Very cool story. I have always been intrigued with the route they took to get to the Aroostook. Eagle Lake, Spider, over to Chase Lake and Munsungun. Must have been an old heavily traveled route, but pretty much impassable, at least the way they did it, today. If you go, don't forget your canoe shoes!

    They came up the outlet of Spider Lake. We went and explored the outlet once. I have attached a photo of what it looks like from the lake. :eek: It needs some brushing out.

    "Paddle and Portage" is available on-line for free!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  5. shelldrake

    shelldrake LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the link Fitz. I just scrolled through it, but will definitely take the time to read it. Now I know why the two ponds between Spider and Echo en-route to Munsungan are called Upper and Lower Portage.

  6. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood


    Yes Shelldrake. I think it would be great to put a canoe trail back through there to the Aroostook, but landowner approvals and access from the Allagash WW would take an act of Congress, no doubt.
  7. shelldrake

    shelldrake LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Yeah, you're probably right about that. Allagash use has been trending down for quite awhile I think. Probably little justification for such a trail.

    That's neat country. We will be spending some time up there in late Sept/early Oct. If we don't get washed away by Irene.

  8. MrPolarZero

    MrPolarZero Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Jeff. Welcome to the forums. I'm also new here, hope to find some good friends here.
  9. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

  10. MrPolarZero

    MrPolarZero Curious about Wooden Canoes

  11. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, the list of old Maine canoe builders at is maintained by the WCHA so please let us know if you have any updates. I have also been researching the Carleton and Old Town canoe companies so let me know if there is anything that I can do to help or if you have uncovered any original source information that you are willing to share. Thanks,

    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  12. bredlo

    bredlo LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Greg, great link - thanks! I find it funny there's no photographs in a book called Canoe and Camera... but the illustrations are equally impressive, nostalgic and evocative of that time period. Love it!
  13. Jan Bloom

    Jan Bloom LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Although patented in the 1850s Photo Engraving was barely in its infancy in the 1880's. Steele's book, Canoe and Camera was published in 1880 and basically predated any significant use of the half tone technique. However, it is a wonderful use of the older hand engraved plate or wood cut technique.

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