What started as a mid-19th century working boat for sportsmen and their guides has turned into an icon of the Adirondacks. Now, its full story is being told in a lavishly illustrated new book.“It is hard to imagine that it could have come into existence anywhere else,” says the introduction to THE ADIRONDACK GUIDEBOAT: Its Origins, Its Builders, and Their Boats by Stephen B. Sulavik, with revisions and additions by Edward Comstock, Jr. and Christopher Woodward. “Built from readily available eastern red spruce, northern white pine, and northern white cedar, the Adirondack Guideboat represents the enduring legacy of a culture that was inherently appreciative of, dependent upon, and bound up with the challenging environment of the Adirondacks.”
More than a complete history of the iconic guideboats, the book is a heavily illustrated tribute to these unique vessels featuring distinctive characteristics (lake by lake, builder by builder), historic photographs, reproductions of paintings (including those of Winslow Homer), contemporary photos that appear plucked from a design magazine, and a complete glossary of terms related to the Adirondack Guideboat.
This book was the life’s work of Stephen Sulavik, a pulmonary surgeon fascinated by the guideboats. Upon his death, it was shepherded to publication by his friend and former Chairman of the Board of the Adirondack Museum, Robert Worth. He enlisted the help of historian Edward “Ted” Comstock and guideboat builder and expert Christopher Woodward to revise and complete the project.