There is a nice article from the Nanaimo Daily News on Mark Presley’s Hockey Stick. The experts seem to be lining up behind this stick as the most authentic (so far) hockey stick to claim the title of the oldest. The hunt for the hockey stick national treasure continues…
Here are some interesting snippets from the article…
New Brunswick scientists are preparing to conduct tests on the age of what appears to be the world’s oldest known hockey stick – a hand-hewn, maple-root specimen from Cape Breton that historians of Canada’s favourite sport are endorsing as the most genuine candidate yet to be considered a “national treasure.”
While other contenders have recently been offered for sale on eBay, experts say the object owned by Nova Scotia youth worker Mark Presley has the composition, design and provenance of an authentic, early 19th-century shinny stick – a relic from the era when hockey was evolving from a variety of stick-and-ball skating games throughout Eastern Canada.
Experts from the Toronto-based Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR)examined Presley’s stick last fall and declared it the best example yet of a mid-1800s hockey stick.
Other old sticks with more questionable qualities and murkier pedigrees have come up for sale recently with huge asking prices.
Earlier this month, Quebec resident Bobby Rouillard grabbed national headlines after offering for sale on eBay – at $1 million US – a vintage stick he claimed could be hundreds of years old.
Experts, including those at the SIHR, are skeptical, suggesting the stick looks to be closer to 100 years old.
In a recent article about the discovery, Fitsell stated: “The Cape Breton stick helps confirm written evidence of early 19th century stick-ball activities – rickets and hurley – in Nova Scotia and fits the thesis of an east-west spread of Canadian ice games.”
Noting that Presley’s stick is “head and shoulders above other well-hyped entries” in the antique hockey-stick sweepstakes, Fitsell added that: “By revealing the artifact’s detailed provenance and making it available for study, he has set a new standard that defines broad criteria for adjudicating such objects.”
Presley, a 41-year-old history buff from Berwick, N.S., acquired the stick last March after it had been displayed for about 30 years on the wall of a barbershop in North Sydney, N.S.
He carefully traced the stick’s origins to the Moffatt family, which had a homestead on the shores of nearby Pottle’s Lake.
Oral and written records describing shinny contests on the lake in the mid-1800s – with Moffatt family members among the skaters – have strengthened the case for the stick’s authenticity.
You can find the full article here.