Until we bought her 1 year ago Tarka was being stored upside down under a tarpaulin in the previous owners back garden! We are currently in the process of tracing her origins, but this is what we have discovered so far:
Construction: Cedar & Bass Wood Strip
1892 Ontario Canada - she was built by The Strickland & Co. Canoe co.
Robert Strickland ...
The company Strickland & Co - Lakefield Canoe Works, was established in 1892 in Lakefield, Ontario by Robert Strickland and his son George Arthur.
Robert Strickland was a son of Lakefield pioneer Samuel Strickland and a nephew of the well-known authors Catherine Parr Traill and Susanna Modie.
George had previously worked for the Lakefield canoe builder Thomas Gordon as well as independently on a small scale. With his father living in England, handling the sales for Europe from the company offices in West Drayton, Middlesex the company quickly became very successful. The company exported during its first six years more than 600 canoes to England alone.The company merged with Thomas Gordon Canoes in 1904 and became Lakefield Canoe & Mfg. Co.
Strickland & Co ...
The Strickland Canoe Co. was formed the year before in 1892 and that following year the company suffered a great loss from a fire which damaged the factory and equipment. The exact location of the factory is not known, but the paper stated that the Strickland building was located near the river - likely one of the mill-line buildings on Water St. Some of the factory employees were hired immediately at Peterborough Canoe and some waited for the Strickland Company to re-open. In July 1904, the Gordon and Strickland companies amalgamated to form the Lakefield Canoe Building and Manufacturing Company Ltd. Forty thousand shares were placed on the market at $100 per share. The new company proposed building both boats and houses.
C1900 she was brought to the UK by the Rowley family of Birmingham.
1948 She was given to a local family Mr& Mrs.Warnes - who at that time owned the Weyford Bridge Boat yard - she remained in their family up until last year.
Tarka has recently undergone over 200 hours of work as stage one of her restoration.
It is our intention to continue to paddle her on the broads for the foreseeable future.