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Study dates canoe found in Aitkin County to about 1800

While the age of the Lake Minnetonka dugout canoe was the most significant find in Maritime Heritage Minnesota’s recent report, researchers also investigated seven other dugout canoes found around the state — including one that was pulled from a Northland lake.

The so-called “C. Maki Dugout Canoe” was found in Dutch Lake near Lawler, in eastern Aitkin County about 50 miles southwest of Duluth, in 1973. The Maritime Heritage Minnesota report recounts that it was found by Chester Maki, an angler who had a cabin near the lake. Maki dried out the canoe and donated it to the Cokato Museum in Cokato, Minn.

When Maritime Heritage Minnesota researchers surveyed it for the new report, the Maki dugout canoe was about 13⅔ feet long and about 1½ feet wide. Radiocarbon testing placed the date range of the canoe at between 1770 and 1830.

“This date range and the artifact’s location in Aitkin County supports MHM’s supposition … that the canoe was made by people of the Ojibwa culture during the European Contact Period,” the MHM report states.

The rest of the dugout canoes included in the report were found in southern Minnesota.