To create the romance of the old northwoods through birchbark canoes, fiberglass birch bark replica canoes, birch bark and rustic furnishings materials and other accessories or means.

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The Owner, Builder and Creator of The Bark Canoe Store - John Lindman

John began making birchbark canoes in 1992. For the next 8 years it was just a hobby. Some building was being done along with a lot of research, study and collection of materials in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Maine. During that time there was no intention of this being anything more than a hobby.

In December of 1999 the idea came to him to create a "virtual store" with the hope of perhaps some day having a "bricks and mortar" store and represent other builders. Still there was really no real thought that this would be much more than a hobby. Due to certain circumstances he decided to field orders for canoes himself and within a few months The Bark Canoe Store was a full time affair.

Since that time close to 50 full size canoes have been built. His favorite styles to build are the Ojibwe Longnose, the Abenaki, the Ojibwe Oldstyle, the Attikamek (Tete d'Boule) and the Fur Trade style. This does not mean that those are the only styles he builds. He builds all styles and finds new types an enjoyable challenge.

A basic purpose for John is to create more builders - thus he teaches classes. Most enjoyable of these is bringing back bark canoe building to Natives. Birchbark canoes were built for travel and practical purposes, not as works of art. When faster and more efficient methods presented themselves the birchbark canoe started to fade from the lakes and rivers and with them faded those who knew how to build them. By the 1970s there was only a handful of Native builders remaining. Now as an art form and a cultural link, this is on the increase. John has done classes with the Kenai Tribe in Alaska, the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota, the Omaha in Nebraska, and the Mille Lacs and East Lake Bands of Ojibwe in Minnesota.

Consistent with this purpose to keep the tradition of bark canoe building alive John has written a number of "how-to" articles for periodicals such as Wilderness Ways, Primitive Archer, Muzzle Loader, Smoke and Fire, Backwoods, and On the Trail magazines.

Besides building for personal customers he has built canoes for two museums, 3 movies, a hotel and a restaurant in Austria.

The Concept - The Bark Canoe Store

John created The Bark Canoe Store because he wished such a thing existed for him. Fortunately there were builders like Henri Vaillancourt who "set the bar" as far as a standard of quality in building and people like Edwin Tappan Adney and David Gidmark who wrote books about the subject. However there were things that just weren't available. Thus the Store.

You know how it is when you walk into a great bookstore or coffee house that just makes you feel good? A place where you can relax and dream. Or the old fashioned specialty store where experts take the time to make sure that you get what you really need and want. That's the concept. The Bark Canoe Store is like a "club house" for people who enjoy the romance and beauty connected with the north woods, birchbark canoes and a bygone era. There was no such place and that was where John wanted to hang out - so, he created it.

Today and Tomorrow

The Bark Canoe Store has been a "virtual store". In 2005 a commercial location was procured. At this time it is merely a shop with inventory. The property was chosen with the idea of a retail store in the near future.

At the time of this writing, late 2006, the focus, along with birchbark canoe projects, is the expansion of the fiberglass replica line and the rustic furniture materials line.

Free Newsletter

We now have a bi-monthly e-newsletter. Every other month there will be a new tip on the construction and care of the birchbark canoe plus anything else which is newsworthy. Send in your requests and we may include it in our newsletter. Call us at 509-327-7902 or e-mail us at