Canton Canoe Weekend
May 13-15, 2011, Canton Celebrates the 50th Annual Rushton Canoe Race
Canton was the home to the Rushton Canoe Company founded by J. Henry Rushton. These canoes and boats were revered the country over. According to the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, “J Henry Rushton (1843-1906) built his first boat, a canoe, in 1873. By 1876, the first national mention of a Rushton boat appeared in Forest and Stream magazine. By the 1880s, Rushton's boats, canoes and paddles were on display at world's fairs and expos. Rushton's boat shop in Canton produced a large variety of watercraft from canoes and rowboats, to guideboats, skiffs, sailboats and even steam and motor boats. Some of Rushton's most famous canoes were his Nessmuk models - extremely small and lightweight craft so that one person could easily portage.” Both a Nessmuk model canoe and a rowboat produced by Rushton are on display at the SLCHA museum, 3 Main Street, Canton.
In the spirit of Rushton, the St. Lawrence Valley Paddlers host the Canton Canoe Weekend – Rushton Races the first full weekend in May each year. In 2011 the village of Canton is planning some special events surrounding the weekend including special display of Rushton canoes, historical tours and discussions and other activities. Check back for updated details, or visit our online calendar of events.
It includes two days of C-1, C-2, professional point and recreational races. It is one of the premiere races in New York State, and is attended by paddlers from across the State and New England. There are events appropriate for the local recreational racer and teams of recreational paddlers in the relay. There is also top-level international level competition in solo and tandem racing canoes. The 12 and 14-mile courses are among the most challenging on the marathon race circuit. All races are on the Grasse River, with the start and finish at Taylor Park, in Canton. Canoe & Kayak dealers display with “try a boat” both days. There is a children’s playground area on site.