Indian Museum: Original Canoe

“One of the highlights of the Indian Museum is a canoe fashioned sometime after 1730 from a huge longleaf pine.”

One of the highlights of the Indian Museum is a canoe fashioned sometime after 1730 from a huge longleaf pine. Patterned after Indian dugout canoes of earlier times, this museum piece is better refined and features greater cargo capacity and more streamline construction.

Recovered from the Richmond Mill Lake near Laurel Hill (10 miles from Laurinburg), the canoe was most likely used to transport grain, livestock, and other supplies across the water from an early colonial plantation to grist mills and trading stores.

The canoe is constructed from a single log of longleaf pine. Cypress was also a popular choice for dugout construction, both tree species being lightweight and rot resistant.

The canoe is displayed in its entirety and is presented along with the story of its recovery by a small group of local outdoor enthusiasts known as the Kingfisher Club. A dendrochronology, or tree ring growth study conducted by the University of Tennessee, revealed the original tree was growing between 1596 and 1730.