The Builders' Background
Mason Smith was born in 1936 in Northern New York, educated at The Manlius School, Amherst College, Cornell University, Potsdam State and Stanford, holds an MA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Stanford.
The family had and still has a 1904 cottage in the northern Adirondacks, and Mason grew up with Old Town and Morris canoes, a Rushton pleasure rowboat the family called "the skiff", a Hickman Sea-sled, a Peterborough Aquaplane, and the guideboat of a neighbor. These wooden boats seemed about the nicest things, as such, in the world, and making something like them was a boyhood dream, which failure as a writer helped along.
After initial success, that is. Mason Smith is the author of one novel, Everybody Knows and Nobody Cares, (Knopf 1971) and numerous feature articles for Sports Illustrated, Outside, Esquire, Adirondack Life, Quest, Yankee, Gray's Sporting Journal and WoodenBoat Magazine. A second novel, called Florida though it's set in the north woods in the winter, has now been published by Xlibris. You can see what it looks like, read a sample, and order it at www.xlibris.com.
His wife Hallie Bond is the curator of boats at the Adirondack Museum, in Blue Mountain Lake, and they have two children, Maggie, 9, and Alex, 13. (Alex's charming little row-boat, built from a kit to Sam Devlin's design, is shown on the button above for Custom Boats.) One of three sons by an earlier marriage is also a boatbuilder: Reuben Smith, Tumblehome Boatworks, the Rolling Boatshop, in Plympton, MA. His brother Everett Smith, with whom Mason started building Rushton replicas in the early 1970s, is a noted antique boat expert, builder and restorer in Canton, NY.