Rollin Thurlow, proprietor of the Northwoods Canoe Company, has spent much of his life either paddling, repairing or building wooden canoes. Introduced to canoeing via the family's aluminum canoe in the early 1960's, Rollin discovered the excitement of Maine's lakes and rivers. While guiding Boy Scout trips in the mid 60's down the Allagash River and other Northwoods waterways, he learned the advantages and spirit of wood and canvas canoes. These trips also started his education into the repair and maintenance of these traditional working craft.
After graduation from Maine Maritime Academy and a tour of duty in the U.S.Navy. Rollin's formal education in the construction of wooden boats began when he attended the Wooden Boat Construction program in Lubec, Maine. In 1975 he and Jerry Stelmok became partners in the Island Falls Canoe Company. They were building canoes off the original E.M.White forms in addition to a wide variety of other wooden boat construction and restoration projects.
In 1982, Rollin established the Northwoods Canoe Company for the purpose of wooden canoe restoration and construction of his own canoe designs. In response to many requests from do-it-yourselfers, he has developed an ever-expanding line of canoe kits, plans, and hard-to-find materials and tools.
Regarded as one of Maine's finest craftsmen, Rollin is in demand as a lecturer and instructor. He has taught various canoe classes at the Wooden Boat School, Brooklin, ME; Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY; Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, ME; Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, Paul Smiths, NY; and at the Wilderness Workshop, Toronto, Canada. In addition to the many articles he has written, Rollin and Jerry Stelmok co-authored the book The Wood & Canvas Canoe, now regarded as the definitive work on the subject. Rollin has also produced two videos; Building the Atkinson Traveler and Steam Bending for Woodworkers, demonstrating wood/canvas canoe building and wood working techniques.
Peter Wallace, became my first full time employee in 1993. With his woodworking and mechanical skills he quickly became a valuable member of the Canoe Company and as a result he has joined me as a Partner in the Canoe Company.
In addition to being the caretaker for two winters in the White Mountains at the Gray Knob cabin for the RMC and bicycling across the states with his dog Goldie, Peter graduated from Unity College with a B. S. in Outdoor Recreation in 1986. Dating back to the early "70"s he has an extensive outdoor background from rock and ice climbing, backpacking and ski mountaineering, canoeing and kayaking, to search and rescue. He has worked for several children's environmental education programs, from Maine to W. Virginia, other youth adventure programs and a local Youth at Risk Adventure program. He is an EMT with a hospital based ambulance service and a local volunteer ambulance service, a registered Maine Guide, an instructor for Outward Bound here in Maine and an instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates of Portland, me., teaching wilderness first aid and medicine through out the northeast. He is also an addicted fly fisherman, so don't call up and tell him about your fishing adventure, because he's likely to take the rest of the week off.
Me and the Boyz Telos Kineo
His sons Kineo age 16 and Telos 14 are often recipients of his many woodworking talents and projects. The boys have spent time in the shop and are familar with the canoe building and restoration process. They have already been to places a lot of adults will never reach. Both boys have been out in canoes on overnite and multiday adventures before they were old enough for school. Before Telos turned three he did his first 6 day West Branch trip on the Penobscot River(see photos of the deep Traveler). He wasn't yet eight when they made their first overnite backpack trip into Baxters Chimney Pond and the summit of Mt. Katahdin.
Peter built their home partially from lumber he salvaged or cut himself.
His large and modern house is completely solar powered which
is a testament to his commitment to responsible environmental
living. Peter incorporates all his skills into our wooden boat building
projects, teaching classes, and dealing with customers and phone calls.
We are all entertained
by his broad knowledge of rock,country, folk and other types of music and
a variety of other non essential information and trivia, especially
his bank of information on Frank Zappa, Firesign Theater and movies. His words of wisdom based
upon that knowledge is always very enlightening.
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336 Range Rd.