Handyman Chicago News Gallery

Mon, Apr-14-2014 14:32:48

Tiny Minnesota museum's canoe a 1,000-year-old historic find

For 46 years, a canoe thought to date to the 1700s sat in the back of a display case as a minor exhibit at a small museum run by a volunteer historical group in Minnesota. But this week, archaeologists who conducted radio carbon tests on the canoe said it was crafted almost 1,000 years ago, making it the oldest canoe in the state and shedding light on early navigation of Minnesota lakes. "It was a total shock," said Russ Ferrin, president of the Western Hennepin County Pioneer Association museum. "It's been kind of in a background display; not much was made of it." The association got the canoe in 1960 and placed it in the museum starting in 1968, Ferrin said. The dugout canoe was hollowed out of a single large tree, said Ann Merriman, nautical archaeologist for Maritime Heritage Minnesota, which researched the age of the canoe and seven others as part of a Maritime History Minnesota project.