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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What got you started?

In my case I started making sticks long before I started researching my family tree! My grandfather used to grow sticks in his woods -- and I was fascinated!

And then when I started researching my family tree I discovered a rich heritage in my Irish roots when it came to the Shillelagh -- and I've been hooked ever since!
 

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No sticks in my family. And it looks like it will end with me. One of my daughters loves wood working and carving but not into sticks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No sticks in my family. And it looks like it will end with me. One of my daughters loves wood working and carving but not into sticks.
Maybe a grandson? I'm not sure that my grandfather knew that he influenced me in that regard -- so ya never know!
 

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No heritage. I've always made things from wood and had a facination with knives. I'd go out after watching Tarzan or Robin Hood and make swords, and spears, and bows/arrows from saplings and branches. So I always had sticks, it was just a natural progression that when I would go hiking or camping, I'd find a stick. After camp set up, I'd just start whittling on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No heritage. I've always made things from wood and had a facination with knives. I'd go out after watching Tarzan or Robin Hood and make swords, and spears, and bows/arrows from saplings and branches. So I always had sticks, it was just a natural progression that when I would go hiking or camping, I'd find a stick. After camp set up, I'd just start whittling on it.
I hear you JJireh! Had the same kind of influences. But my sticks were usually turned into Daniel Boone's Kentucky rifle or the Riflemans rifle, or even the Rat Patrol weaponry! :)
 

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LOL Rat Patrol Weaponry! I've been driving a Jeep of one sort or another most of my life because of that show! Those Jeeps jumping over the sand dune in the show open hooked a lot of youngsters on the Jeep. It was only later in life that I realized the poor guys on the 50 were holding on for dear life!
 

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Nothing directly in the family. One grandfather was a house carpenter, and I was told at one time he worked on Pullman train cars. But no other woodworking.

Probably first exposure to a walking stick was when my uncle who lived in Chicago came to visit the family farm where I and my parents lived. He loved talking me for long walks thru the fields and forests, and always picked up a stick along the way. I started whittling early on, and by the time I was in scouts was doing some minor carving.

The old historical museum in town, which was sort of a giant cabinet of curiosities, had an elephant leg cane holder, stocked w. all sorts of sticks from the 1800s. I spent a lot of time staring at those. A mix of very twisty rustic stuff from the early days, to well carved ones from the turn of the century.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LOL Rat Patrol Weaponry! I've been driving a Jeep of one sort or another most of my life because of that show! Those Jeeps jumping over the sand dune in the show open hooked a lot of youngsters on the Jeep. It was only later in life that I realized the poor guys on the 50 were holding on for dear life!
LOL -- never owned a Jeep -- but I can see that happening! I own a 92 45LC with the big loop similar to what Lucas McCain carried -- minus the quick fire screw of course! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nothing directly in the family. One grandfather was a house carpenter, and I was told at one time he worked on Pullman train cars. But no other woodworking.

Probably first exposure to a walking stick was when my uncle who lived in Chicago came to visit the family farm where I and my parents lived. He loved talking me for long walks thru the fields and forests, and always picked up a stick along the way. I started whittling early on, and by the time I was in scouts was doing some minor carving.

The old historical museum in town, which was sort of a giant cabinet of curiosities, had an elephant leg cane holder, stocked w. all sorts of sticks from the 1800s. I spent a lot of time staring at those. A mix of very twisty rustic stuff from the early days, to well carved ones from the turn of the century.
It's amazing what grabs you when your young -- and how it sticks!
 

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Well, if we go far enough back in our family, Adam or Abraham or Moses, I'm sure. My own immediate family (German/Swiss) going back a few hundred years, the men seemed to be involved in wood working/carpentry either proffessionally or as a hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, if we go far enough back in our family, Adam or Abraham or Moses, I'm sure. My own immediate family (German/Swiss) going back a few hundred years, the men seemed to be involved in wood working/carpentry either proffessionally or as a hobby.
Well with that heritage there ought to be an Alpenstock or two somewhere!
 

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My grandfather was a cabinet maker ,and my father made his own furniture but was a french polisher by trade.
 

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My great grandparents on my fathers side came from county Down and county Kerry in Ireland, might be a shillelagh maker down the tree there somewhere.

As for myself I started making them after my wife had both her knees replaced. She doesn't really need a cane anymore, but she likes a solid hiking stick for balance when walking in the woods as we love to do.
 

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I've done extensive genealogy research and have some lines back to 0050...most from Merry ole England, but no evidence of stick making. However, years ago people probably just made their own until recently? Did have some doctors, lawyers, clothiers, wool middlemen, etc. The one I thought was interesting was a fellow who was a tent maker for the king. Also had a Grandmother in the 1500's who beat a knight with a stave...wonder if that counts as a stick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My great grandparents on my fathers side came from county Down and county Kerry in Ireland, might be a shillelagh maker down the tree there somewhere.

As for myself I started making them after my wife had both her knees replaced. She doesn't really need a cane anymore, but she likes a solid hiking stick for balance when walking in the woods as we love to do.
I think, from what I've read, every male from that part of the world during that era was a shillelagh maker! It was part of becoming a man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The one I thought was interesting was a fellow who was a tent maker for the king. Also had a Grandmother in the 1500's who beat a knight with a stave...wonder if that counts as a stick?
Absolutely! Isn't family heritage study grand! :)
 
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