Historians have yet to unearth a corporate code of ethics used by Harry Chestnut to build the Chestnut Canoe Company. It’s possible they haven’t looked hard enough—more likely that none existed.
Chestnut grew up in the late 1880s in one of New Brunswick’s leading families. Harry and his brother William spent their summers exploring the shores of the St. John River in their birchbark canoes built by a locale Malecite. As a young man salmon fishing he got his first glimpse of a wood and canvas canoe from Maine. Chestnut judged it superior to anything he had paddled and saw before him a great business opportunity, quickly starting the Chestnut Canoe Compnay as an offshoot to the family’s hardware business.