J.H. Rushton

J.H. (John Henry) Rushton began building boats in 1875 in Canton, New York. He quickly became well known for his Rob Roy-style decked canoes and pulling boats. He built the original Vesper decked sailing canoe for Robert Gibson who went on to win the first American Canoe Association International Challenge cup. Rushton offered a wide range of all-wood paddling and sailing canoes, including the well known Ugo and Arkansaw Traveler models. He was instrumental in kicking off the popularity of small double-paddle canoes by building a series of these for Nessmuk (George Washington Sears), who would write about his travels in them in Forest and Stream.

Rushton was relatively late in adapting to the canvas canoe market, the origins of which date to around 1886-87. His canvas covered Indian model, which he also offered in an all-wood version, was first offered in 1901, and in 1902 the Indian Girl model was offered.

Rushton died in 1906. His widow and son incorporated the business and remained in operation until 1917.

Identifying Features:

(The following are specific to the Indian Girl Canoe)

Sheer plank is extra wide, and is flush with the top of the ribs.

Bow seat mounted on a cleat

Stern seat is trapezoidal in shape.

Characteristic heart-shaped deck.