The canoes were gifted to the NFCT separately by Jim Henry and Bob and Donna Stafford, who wanted to see them auctioned to benefit maintenance of the canoe trail that extends 740 miles from Old Forge, NY, to Fort Kent, Maine.
“These are two beautiful, hand-built canoes with historical connections to the earliest means of Indigenous travel along the waters of the Northern Forest,” said Karrie Thomas, NFCT’s executive director. “We’re beyond grateful to Jim and the Staffords for their generosity in trusting us to auction them for a great cause.”
Jim Henry, the celebrated Mad River Canoe boat designer, donated one of only 120 boats built by Henri Vaillancourt: a 14-foot Malecite type canoe, built in the St. Lawrence tradition. The second boat, gifted by Bob and Donna Stafford, is a 14-foot Maniwaki birch bark canoe originally given to Stafford’s grandfather, William Preston; it was built on the Maniwaki Reserve in Quebec to be paddled in the 350th celebration of Lake Champlain.
The auction will be live starting on Aug. 5, and ends on Aug. 15. Check back for more details!