Joe Seliga Canoe


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I just finished the book, The Art of the Canoe, with Joe Seliga and was wondering if anyone knows what happened to his forms after he passed away. Is anyone still making the canoes. Just curious.
I believe his forms and most of his shop were moved to Camp Widgiwagan on Burntside. There's a shop there where he and camp folks worked building, restoring and repairing the camp's canoes. Here's a link to some photos I took of the shop at the camp. They were all taken before Joe passed away. There are pictures of the outside, the new addition and the interior. The photo that looks like a book shelf is a rack with the maintenance and build records of every Saliga at the camp.
Wonderful pictures, Andy. I love the clerestory windows in the shop... a great idea.

There are many websites devoted to Joe and Nora. I recall reading on one of them that a fund was established for maintaining the wood/canvas canoes at Widji.
Yes, Joe's forms and tools/machinery were given to Widji and they (the campers under the canoe master's supervision) are now building canoes off the form. The last blurp I got from them indicated they have made 2 new canoes after finishing the last one Joe started.

Andy, thanks for posting the pics.
I'm particularly interested in seeing the shelf with the records. A number of years ago when I was given access to their records (for info for the Build Record) the Widji records were just sheets of paper stacked in a cardboard box. The Seliga Canoe Maintainence fund must be working as I've heard that most if not all the canoes have been restored over the past few years and this shows the records are much better.

BTW, Widji has something in excess of 100 W/C canoes in their fleet, with roughly half, 45-55, being Seliga's.

Thanks for your responses. That is really cool. I'm glad that his canoe forms went to such an awesome place and that the canoes are still being made. I'm going to try to build my own forms and make some new canoes someday, once I finish restoring my Chestnut. thanks Fred

Thanks for posting that link. I hadn't seen it. It brought back some wonderful memories!
saliga hero shot

Here is a hero shot of me in 1969 of myself and the stern of my newly assigned Saliga. I had just finished my swamper trip as a prelude to being hired on as a guide. That trip we paddeled Hunters Island in the BWCA/Quetico in ten days. We basically left the park heading out the Knife Lake chain to the East and returned from the west via Lac LaCroix. I had never been so sick of paddeling a canoe in my life.




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