Roots of the Canoe Club
Origin of the Name
We’ve often been asked about the background of the restaurant’s name. In general, we hoped to evoke a sense of the rustic traditions of Northern New England and the Adirondacks. Those traditions were also at the core mission of the Dartmouth Outing Club, the dozen or so summer camps on nearby lakes and ponds, and the Appalachian Trail, which happens to run right along the sidewalk in front of the Canoe Club.
The name is also a tribute to the generally forgotten vibrant community of Canoe Clubs. From roughly 1890 to 1930, there were scores of Canoe Clubs along the Eastern seaboard and up into Canada, as well as scattered outposts in Western New York and the Midwest. These Canoe Clubs were built around the concept of inter-club and regional canoe racing, but there was generally a significant social aspect to each club.
The name of The Canoe Club in Hanover derives more specifically from the Hartford Canoe Club, 150 miles downstream, where the owner’s family enjoyed many relaxed evenings. There is also an intended nod to the storied Ledyard Canoe Club, located a mile from here by the Ledyard Bridge.
Please make note of the framed, letterset poem At the Canoe Club written by the late Hanover poet, Richard Eberhart, celebrating a bracing meal with Hartford Canoe Club member Wallace Stevens.
Prior to our launch, the space occupied by the Canoe Club served as a Mexican restaurant, a part of the Dartmouth Co-op, and a furniture store.