New Brunswick scientists have confirmed that the oldest known hockey stick, which hung in a Nova Scotia barbershop for decades, was carved at least 170 years ago.
Colin Laroque, a tree scientist with Mount Allison University's dendrochronology lab in Sackville, N.B., says the stick, made from sugar maple wood, was carved between 1835 and 1838.
"It was more or less a small, curved tree that they reshaped into a hockey stick," Laroque said. Because of this, scientists at Laroque's lab were able to examine the ring patterns of the stick to determine its age, to a small window of three years.
The stick had been on display in a barbershop in North Sydney, N.S., for 30 years before it was bought by current owner Mark Presley in 2008.
Last year, Bill Fitsell, a historian for the International Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum in Kingston, Ont., described the stick as the best known example of a mid-1800s hockey stick.
Fitsell cited documentation that suggested the stick belonged to W.M. Moffat of North Sydney, N.S., who was born in 1829.