Family Discovers 230 Year Old Birch Bark Canoe Sitting in the Barn

Monday, 06 December 2010

Birch Bark Canoe - Photo Credit:

The National Maritime Museum has revealed the discovery of what some are saying might be the oldest canoe in the world.

The birch bark canoe was discovered in a barn on a family estate where it has been sitting for over 230 years. Yes, 230 years.

It was originally brought to Britain from Canada by Lt. John Enys after he fought in the American War of Independence in 1776 and has remained on the family estate ever since.

The plan is to restore damaged portions of the canoe then put it on display at the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall from late January to September 2011 where it will then be repatriated back to Canada for further research.

The article doesn’t say where the canoe will be going but my guess is that it will end up at the Canadian Canoe Museum as they have a strong research and education department on staff.

Andy Wyke, boat collections manager at the museum said, ''Lt Enys sailed from Falmouth in a packet ship to join his regiment in Canada to relieve the city of Quebec, which was under siege from the Americans. He fought many military campaigns and toured the area for his personal interest – discovering this canoe along the way.

''It's incredible to think its legacy has been resting in a barn in Cornwall all this time."

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David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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