The Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum is once again making plans to celebrate Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Day on the Saturday of Memorial weekend from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. This free event marks the season opening of the museum and will include open house in the museum exhibit hall, ongoing activities in the canoe workshop, live music and food and beverage outdoors in the beer garden, a silent auction and canoe raffle, and of course the Canoe & Wooden Boat Show. Complicating the boat show this year will be the major road construction that is taking place in Spooner this summer.
The closure of the main highway through town has detoured most of the city traffic to the street in front of the museum, making it impossible to hold the boat show in the street as usual. But the 12th annual boat show will still be the highlight of the day, as there will actually be more space available in the parking lot adjacent to the museum for the twenty-five or more exhibitors that are expected to display wooden boats of all shapes, sizes, and designs, both classic and modern, as well as all kinds of classic and vintage water and paddling related items.
Michael Hase from Wausau will be returning this year with several of his beautiful wooden canoes and custom trailer. Geoffrey Wagner of Zumbrota (MN) plans to show off his Thompson Hiawatha long deck canoe. Alex Comb of Stewart River Boatworks in Knife River (MN) is bringing a Fishdance sportboat and a couple of his canoes.
Williams Boatworks from Sarona will be represented with one of Dennis Williams’ large wooden boats and a number of his hand crafted paddles. Kevin Kuehn of Shoreview MN will be displaying a 1913 Old Town Otca Canoe along with a 1940’s Shell Lake USFS canoe.
A 14ft 1947 Larson wooden row boat will be coming to the show with Mark Butala of Stillwater (MN). David Abresch of Menomonie Falls WI will be displaying a Schneider Boat Co family canoe built in 1965 with plywood construction techniques and plans designed by his father Robert Abresch. Tom Wilson of Viroqua plans to liquidate his collection of wooden canoes, restoration projects, sideboards, seats, thwarts, books, paddles, and possibly a six-foot canoe trailer. Steve Hegna from Black River Falls will be displaying a 1915 Old Town Ideal that he restored in 2016, and a never restored original 1933 Old Town Fifty-Pounder. And you can expect to see a handmade Jack Gribble canoe from Larry Bergman of Barnes WI. Larry will also be bringing information about the Gordon MacQuarrie Pilgrimage in August.
Many other watercraft, old and new, are on the way. There is always room for more. Booth space is free, and reserving a space is easy. You can find a link to an online registration form at www.WisconsinCanoeHeritageMuseum.org. You can also request one by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 715-635-2479.