Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Canoe Expert, Ralph Frese, Dies at 86

Ralph Frese, the man known as "Mr. Canoe" throughout the United States and the first individual to be awarded the ACA's Legends of Paddling award, passed away this week at the age of 86. 

A blacksmith who loved paddling, Frese operated a smithy and specialty canoe shop in Chicago where he manufactured composite creations of voyageur canoes and modern tripping canoes. He was a serious historian of his sport, with 4,000 book titles and a collection of over 100 canoes.

Frese ushered in a new canoeing milennium leading a New Years paddle on the upper Chicago River. He is the founder and the spirit of Chicagoland Canoe base and was inducted into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame. 

To read more about Frese's life, click here.  

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