TVCC – The Early Years – Odds and Ends

This is part 11 of the 14 part series.  It was first published in the TVCC January 2001 newsletter


by Jack Wright


I’m writing this from Memorial Hospital where I’m finishing a week of recuperation from severe bronchitis and other maladies.  I haven’t had time over the holidays to prepare the article I want to do on Overnight Trips, but we’ll endeavor to produce it for March.  So here are some notes that fell through the cracks between articles all year.


Archiving Club History Records:  I plan to give my entire file box of TVCC club history papers to the Local History Dept. of the Chattanooga Public Library, sometime this year.  Several members have said that for many years the also kept lots of TVCC stuff, but finally have no more room to store it, and discarded it.  I hope those of you who may still have pictures or other old club stuff will consider adding it to that box at the Library.  That way, it won’t become ‘lost’ or get discarded the next time you clean house, and will be available to you or anyone in the future.  If you’ve got pictures you won’t give up, please have them scanned as .jpeg images, so we can compile them on a CD.


I’ve accumulated a lot of electronic files too.  We have texts, digitized photos, emails on club history subjects, and audio files like the “Dueling Banjos.”  I plan to put the usable files on one or more CDs, with a directory, that would preserve memorabilia for old members, and any new member who wanted to, could get a vivid idea of club roots as they join.


I have several hours of Super-8 film of paddling and club activities in the 60s and 70s.  A little of it is quite interesting and has been transferred to VHS video.  I plan to put some of this old film and video on CDs, for posterity.  Please let me know if you have paper records to add to the Library box, computer files for the CD project, or old film or video to put on a CD.


Canoeing with kids website:  There’s an interesting new website for you parents taking young children paddling.  It’s called “The Canoe Camper” and its at  There are many web pages of articles, stories, camping techniques, very practical advice, links to other sites, kids food recipes, and lots more.  One goo long article is titled: “Canoe Camping With Kids” that is a must read for any parents taking kids on the water in a canoe.  Check it out, see if you did good bringing up your kids.

What can you do with “One Stroke of the Paddle?”  “Through one Field only we went to the boat, and then left all time, all science, all history behind us, and Entered Nature with one stroke of the paddle.” – Thoreau.  This is from the cover of the TVCC River Activities Schedule, 1971, with a serene picture of a single canoe on the Hiwassee River.


What is a canoe worth? Circa 1806.  (a) six elk, (b) one wife, or (c) one uniform lace-up coat, plus ½ carrot of tobacco.


Answer:  Any of the above, according to the Journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  On March 17, 1806, Lewis chronicled his purchase of 2 canoes from the Clatsop Indians, for the (a) and (c) prices above.  Canoes were “an article of the greatest value, in their mode of traffic.”  The expedition wanted another canoe, but didn’t have any wives to trade for it.  This account is from the book American Odyssey, by I. H. Eide, and was printed in the June 13, 1970 TVCC newsletter, submitted by Don Hixson.  Remember it?


BlueHole Canoes, hot off the production line!  I think I’d heard rumors of this, but it didn’t really hit me ‘till I just now pulled up the new website URL address furnished by Lowell Bennington:  There they were, color pictures of brand new OCA boats.  The original ABS was by UniRoyal, and the first boats were fabricated at Sunbright, TN by our old friends and club members Bob Lantz and Roy Guinn.


The new company calls the original OCA the ‘Jeep of the Canoe World” and it’s so true!  Many of us old-timers in TVCC still proudly paddle out sub-100 serial numbered OCAs from about 25 years ago.  Mine’s #23, and has been inside – out once on the Ocoee.  The new company’s President is John Williamson.  He’s located near Charlottsville, VA, and he’s owned the company name since 1993.  He makes 5 models now.  Check it out.


After getting in trouble with the nurses for using his laptop in his hospital bed, Jack Wright was released to do more history fun at home.