This birch bark canoe, which dates back to a time of war and revolution in late eighteenth century, is one of the oldest documented birch bark canoes in the world and an invaluable piece of Canadian history. This artifact was recently donated to The Canadian Canoe Museum by the descendants of its original owner, Lt. John Enys.
Lt. Enys first shipped to Canada in 1776 along with the 29th Regiment of Foot to defend Quebec from invasion from the south during the American Revolution. In 1784 Enys returned to Canada again to serve at Montreal, Kingston and Fort Niagara. It has long been relayed that Lt. Enys himself, or possibly his regiment, brought this canoe back to the U.K. and stored it at Enys’ family estatein Cornwall, England after his service. It has remained with that family for over 230 years.
In 2009, the National Maritime Museum of Cornwall (NMMC) took over stewardship of the canoe until arrangements could be made to send it to an appropriate Canadian museum. The canoe, heavily damaged over the years, was stabilized and displayed at the NMMC in the summer of 2011. The following year it returned to Canada finding its new home at The Canadian Canoe Museum thanks to the combined efforts of the Royal Air Force, the Canadian Forces and the generous support of the Weston family.