Maine museum preserves Native American canoe from 1700s

BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) – One of the oldest-known Native American birch-bark canoes will go on display at a Maine historical society museum, possibly as early as this fall.

Carbon dating by the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick shows the Wabanaki canoe was likely made in the mid-1700s. Museum Executive Director Larissa Vigue Picard says it could be the oldest birch-bark canoe in existence.

Native Americans have been making these type of canoes for 3,000 years. But Laurie LaBar from the Maine State Museum says only a few of the earliest ones still exist because the bark is so fragile.

The Pejepscot Historical Society came in possession of the canoe in 1889.

Conservation work will be done on it before it goes on display.

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