It was the Mi'kmaq people of Nova Scotia that started it all back in the 18th century. They are the first to play ice hockey and starting in the 19th century, there are claims that they first invented the ice hockey stick.
The oldest known hockey stick dates to the mid-1830s, made from sugar maple, by William "Dilly" Moffatt.
In the mid-19th century, the Starr Manufacturing Company began to sell Mic-Mac hockey sticks in Canada and all over the world. Through the first decade of the 20th century, it was the best-selling hockey stick in Canada. By 1903, apart from farming, producing them was the primary occupation of the Mi'kmaq on reserves throughout Nova Scotia. In 1927 the department of Indian Affairs for Nova Scotia identified that the Mi'kmaq remained the "experts" at making hockey sticks and they continued to create hockey sticks until the 1930s.
Hockey sticks were mostly made from the maple or willow trees, which was also a common choice for golf club shafts and wooden tools. However, as hornbeam supplies diminished, it became more cost effective to use other hardwoods, such as yellow birch and ash. Ash gradually became the preferred medium, and by the 1920s an ash hockey stick crafted from a single piece of wood was the type most commonly used. These early sticks were extremely heavy and not very forgiving, although they were extremely durable.
At Nine Stick Co, we pay homage to the early days of straight blades and heavy lumber.
Manufactured and hand-painted in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, we're home to Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe.