Tappan Adney and the Heritage of the St. John River Valley

tappan adney bookChapel Street Editions of Woodstock, New Brunswick will publish a new book on Tappan Adney on June 20th. Tappan Adney and the Heritage of the St. John River Valley has been created by Keith Helmuth, Daryl Hunter, and Brendan Helmuth in association with the Town of Woodstock and the Carleton County Historical Society.

The Historical Society will host the public launch of this new book on Wednesday, June 28 at 7 PM at the Old Carleton County Courthouse in Upper Woodstock. Joan Adney Dragon, Tappan Adney’s granddaughter, will be present for the event.

Tappan Adney came to Woodstock from New York City for a summer holiday in 1887 at the age of 18 and stayed for almost two years. He then made the St. John River Valley his home. He learned how to build birchbark canoes from working with Maliseet craftsmen. He recorded every detail of construction. His book, The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America, has become the workbench bible of all those who are again building birchbark canoes.

Tappan Adney was an artist, ornithologist, linguist, ethnographer, journalist, photographer expert craftsman, and historical researcher on the treaty rights of Indigenous people. He was an extraordinary man who made extraordinary contributions to the heritage of the St. John River Valley and to all of Canada.

His life’s work started in Woodstock, NB. He traveled widely but always returned to his home in Upper Woodstock where he spent the last two decades of his life. Tappan Adney and the Heritage of the St. John River Valley covers the full scope of his life and accomplishments. The book is highly illustrated and concludes with an appendix of Adney quotes.

The book launch on June 28th will include the display of a Maliseet birchbark canoe made by Eric Paul in 2015 using Tappan Adney’s instructions. Art Slipp, Mayor of Woodstock, and John Thompson, President of the Historical Society will make short presentations. Daryl Hunter will speak about the Adney research project behind the book and Keith Helmuth speak about how the book was created and it’s significance for Woodstock’s cultural heritage. He will also read selections from the book. Copies of Tappan Adney and the Heritage of the St. John River Valley will be available for purchase and refreshments will be served.

Chapel Street Editions
150 Chapel Street
Woodstock NB E7M 1H4

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