Bill Hafeman was a master birch-bark canoe builder from Big Fork, Minnesota. CBS interviewed Hafeman in 1982, where at the time Hafeman was seen as one of the last craftsman left in America still building these canoes. CBS returned in 2008 to interview Hafeman’s grandson, who carries on his grandfather’s legacy, building birch-bark canoes by hand in the north woods.

Hafeman in his 1982 interview…

“I wanted to live in a wild country like the Indians did … I didn’t want to live in a city where you go to work by a whistle, go home by a whistle.”

WATCH: Hafeman Boat Works 1982, 2008


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

2 Responses to BILL HAFEMAN

  1. Daniel December 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    If you’re interested in birch bark canoes, you might want to check out Henri Vaillancourt:

    John McPhee wrote an amazing profile of Vaillancourt and his boats in the New Yorker in 1975:

  2. alan December 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    He was at a boy scout camp when I was a kid, maybe 35 years ago, putting on a demo on birch bark canoe building. I’ll never forget it.

Leave a Reply