Canadian Canoe Routes

Film: "In Search of Wendell Beckwith"
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Author:  Michael_dJ [ April 13th, 2021, 3:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Film: "In Search of Wendell Beckwith"

Hello all, I’m posting on behalf of the Thunder Bay Museum, where I work as Curator and Archivist. (I’m also an occasional paddler and hope to post my own trip reports here in the future.)

Wendell Beckwith is a figure no doubt many of you, particularly those regular paddlers in Wabakimi, are familiar with. For those who aren’t, Wendell was a scientist and inventor who lived alone on Best Island on Whitewater Lake, pursuing what he referred to as ‘pure research’. Though he’s been described as a hermit, the reality is he was anything but, forging a relationship with the local First Nations peoples (who helped to keep him alive), and a variety of other regular visitors, including many canoe tripping groups. His cabins are still routinely visited by canoeing parties paddling through the park, although by now they are in considerable disrepair.

The Thunder Bay Museum partnered with filmmaker Jim Hyder to create a film about his life, and I thought I would post it here as it will no doubt interest many on this forum. The film is entirely free, and is a non-profit venture supported by a variety of valuable partners. You can watch the film and read a bit more about Wendell here:

Feel free to message me with questions or comments, you can also get in touch through the museum (

Happy viewing,


Author:  PacketFiend [ April 13th, 2021, 9:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Film: "In Search of Wendell Beckwith"

I had the pleasure and opportunity of visiting the Beckwith site last summer. To see what he built (what's left it of, anyway) was humbling, to say the least. This film came out sometime around winter of 2020 I think? I was able to watch the prerelease after being informed of it by Mr. Hyer. It was a very nice winter pleasure, to watch it, while the experience of that trip was still fresh in my mind.

I do hope the site is preserved somehow, and does not simply rot into the Earth - even if that is counter to Wendell's wishes.

Author:  Outbound2Explore [ April 14th, 2021, 11:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Film: "In Search of Wendell Beckwith"

I have been watching allot of videos on this park and its many adventurers over the past few weeks. I am definitely planning on doing a two week loop in the next couple years.
Thanks for sharing the link!

Author:  Paddle Power [ April 14th, 2021, 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Film: "In Search of Wendell Beckwith"

A superb film.

Author:  RHaslam [ April 16th, 2021, 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Film: "In Search of Wendell Beckwith"

Excellent video, really gave a lot of background info that helped balance the myth.

Author:  canoeguitar [ April 18th, 2021, 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Film: "In Search of Wendell Beckwith"

Will be watching it tonight. Thanks for posting! I stopped at the Beckwith site in 2019 at the back end of a 2 week Wabakimi adventure. It was very interesting to explore the cabins and the surrounding island.

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