St Lawrence County Historical Association

Rushton Canoe Exhibit

Boat Shop - Interior Boat Shop - Exterior Rigging a Canoe Testing a Canoe J Henry and Leah Pflaum Rushton
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The life and career of Canton boatbuilder J Henry Rushton will be the focus of a special display at the St Lawrence County Historical Association. The exhibit, entitled J Henry Rushton: The Stradivarius of the Canoe, at the SLCHA (3 East Main Street,Canton, New York.) runs through 2004. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

J Henry Rushton (1843-1906) built his first boat, a canoe, in 1873. By 1876, the first national mention of a Rushton boat appeared in Forest and Stream magazine. By the 1880s, Rushton's boats, canoes and paddles were on display at world's fairs and expos. Rushton's boat shop in Canton produced a large variety of watercraft from canoes and rowboats, to guideboats, skiffs, sailboats and even steam and motor boats. Some of Rushton's most famous canoes were his Nessmuk models - extremely small and lightweight craft so that one person could easily portage. Both a Nessmuk model canoe and a rowboat produced by Rushton will be on display at the SLCHA.

This is the inaugural exhibit in SLCHA's North Country Annex, a gallery which was constructed as part of the Red Barn Addition project to house exhibits on North Country industries.

This program is made possible with public funds from New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. For more information, please call the SLCHA at 315/386-8133 or e-mail