Hudson's Bay Store, Fort William c. 1860-1870
National Gallery of Canada (no. 30490)
While strolling through the "Historic Fur Trade" section on a recent visit to the Canadian Canoe Museum, I came across a display with a reproduction of this very same paddle. Normally, I probably would've passed it by without much attention, but now understand a bit more of its significance.
Canadian Canoe Museum Replica
Also frequent throughout the museum are replicas portrayed in the many paintings of Frances Anne Hopkins, especially those portrayed in her classic painting, Voyageurs at Dawn.
Voyageurs at Dawn, 1871
Archives Canada Citation
Decorated paddles laying on the ground
centre of painting)
More paddles leaning against a rock face
(far right of painting)
These bright scarlett paddles were decorated with various hash marks and chevron patterns. Here are some next to the museum's huge Montreal Canoe display
Voyageur Paddle Replicas
As a side note, the museum just released the 2010 dates for their Paddle Carving Workshop - the place where I first learned this fun hobby.