“Noddy” circa 1940. Baltimore harbor.
The NODDY was the first of five canoes built by Oliver Duke of Royal Oak, Maryland. She was built in St. Michaels town square, construction started in 1925 and she was launched in 1932. She is a 7-log canoe. Her keel log is pine, but all her other logs are cedar. She is one of the smallest canoes measuring about 27ft from stem post to sternpost. Over the span of the next two decades, the NODDY won the Governors Cup six times. Her successful skippers included not only Oliver Duke, but his nephew Duke Adams, and the late Capt. “Buck” Richardson. In the early 1950’s she was sold to Capt. Jim Burrows who raced her until he died in the early 1960’s and willed her to his nephew James B. Harrison. Mr. Harrison sold her soon after to Capt. Robert L. Murray,USN. Capt. Murray was often away and the NODDY was maintained and skippered by Jack Higgins of St. Michaels. Mr. Higgins won the Governors Cup several times while at the helm of NODDY. In 1992, she was bought by James Stevenson of Chestertown, MD who enjoyed racing her with his family for seven years. NODDY was purchased by Brad Johnson in 1999 who spent a year completely overhauling the canoe.