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Welcome To The Moffatt Stick Website

I’m often asked what was it about the stick that compelled me to purchase it. In all honesty, it came down to three factors, curiosity, uniqueness and circumstance. These aspects also helped to guide me during the research process. We now know it was crafted between 1835-8, near Pottle Lake and North Sydney in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and that it was owned and used by the Moffatt family for many generations. In the early 1980’s it was given to a local barber where it was prominently displayed in his shop, till my purchase in 2008. The Moffatt stick is the oldest known, yet its significance and meaning continues to astound and evolve.

The documentation section of this website includes a power point presentation and written reports that began as academic research and analysis. The power point material specifically examines the Moffatt stick provenance, while the written reports of Mt. Allison University’s Dr. Colin Laroque and Dr. James Ehrman provide scientific evidence in the determination of the artefacts age and region of crafting. Lastly, the video component which was produced by the Discovery Channel as a segment for their Daily Planet program is an outstanding synopsis of how the Moffatt stick was studied in both historical and scientific contexts.

Particularly rewarding to me have been the opportunities to share the Moffatt stick with classrooms and communities in efforts to educate and fundraise. I’ve included some personal photographs for the website from these events. Many wonderful people and organizations have participated in the study of the Moffatt stick. I would like to express sincere gratitude to all those who helped shed light on this remarkable object. The hard work and expertise of all contributors has helped to galvanize the Moffatt stick as an artefact that is emblematic of Canadian culture and heritage. It is my hope that the material presented, captures the magic I experienced in the study of this treasure.


Mark Presley


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