Antique Ice Hockey Stick Circa 1850s-1870s
Morse Hockey Stick.
The stick was made from a single branch of a hornbeam tree; someone hand-carved the stick’s blade. It measures approximately 43 inches long when taking into account the curve of the stick. It has a dark patina color with some age cracks, some warping and appears to have been formed and shaped from a branch or root.
The end of handle and blade also appear to have been hand carved. According to analysis by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the “Morse Stick” is made of American Hornbeam or Eastern Hophornbeam with the common name Ironwood.
Members of the Miꞌkmaq First Nation in Nova Scotia used the Hornbeam trees to make Hockey sticks.
The stick is named after Germaine and Gary Morse, who were gifted the stick by Germaine’s brother, Anthony Bean.
Bean had found the weathered, slightly crooked piece of wood inside his grandmother’s Northfield, Vermont home after buying it in 1980. Knowing his sister’s affinity for family mementos, Bean gave it to her, thinking it was an old field Hockey stick or something.
Germaine’s French Canadian grandfather was born in Nova Scotia and later moved to Vermont, so Germaine suggested it’s possible he brought the stick with him, “though we just don’t know,” she said. If he had, it would have likely first belonged to her great-grandfather, then ultimately ended up in her grandmother’s Northfield home.