The beaver is a recurring symbol to us for several reasons:
Hence, I have put together this page of beaver facts and trivia.
The beaver is an amphibious rodent (order Rodentia) of the family Castoridae and the genus Castor. Two species of beaver are known today: the North American Castor canadensis, and the similar European Castor fiber. Ten thousand years ago, in the Pleistocene Age, prehistoric ancestors including Castor californiensis and Castoroides ohioensis, creatures that weighed between 700 and 800 pounds, roamed the Old and New World.
Hardly another mammal has played so romantic a part in our history. Demand for its beautiful and useful pelt first lured trappers into the North American wilderness, helped found the Hudson's Bay Company, and established the Astor fortune. Excessive trapping extirpated the species over wide areas. Now it is being restocked and creating ponds and wet lands of great value to fishing, wildlife, vegetation, aesthetics, and the water table. For these it is probably worth far more to men each year now than its pelts ever were, even in the best year of their price and popularity in the heyday of Jim Bridger and the Mountain Men of the early West. Return to Top
Where Found: The beaver can be found in most forested regions of North America from Alaska and Canada south to the Rio Grande. The Castor canadensis, is native to North America. The European beaver, Castor fiber, can be found in Europe and Asia including Scandinavia, Russia, Germany, France and Poland. Beaver are found in wooded areas near water where aspen, willows, cottonwood and other food trees are found, excluding many parts of Florida, Nevada and Mexico.
Color: The outer fur is a rich brown to burnt umber, while the under fur almost black (stomach paler), and the face is chestnut. The fur is especially dense and soft with longer, coarse guard hairs to protect it. The beaver has soft fur, a leathery paddle-shaped tail (crisscrossed by a scale-like pattern) and characteristic rodent teeth that are used principally for gnawing wood.
Size and Weight: The mature beaver measure about 48 inches in length and generally weighs between 40 and 60 pounds, although some may weigh much more than this; the record was set in 1921 by a beaver from Wisconsin, which was reported to weigh 110 pounds. Their weight reduces their mobility on land but it is no handicap in water where they paddle their way at about 2 miles per hour. And when they sit up to gnaw down an aspen or cottonwood, a favorite pastime, their weight gives them a solid foundation. The broad, flat, scaly tail serves as a prop when sitting erect, as a rudder when swimming, and for sounding an alarm (by slapping water) when an enemy is discovered. The beaver is the largest of rodents, with the exception of the amphibious capybara of South America which reaches a length of 4 ft. (120 cm) and a weight of 75 to 100 lb. (34-45 kg). Return to Top
Distinctive Features: The broad, flat, scaly tail serves as a prop when sitting erect, as a rudder when swimming, and for sounding an alarm (by slapping water) when an enemy is discovered. Strong, clawed front feet are equipped with five strong toes that serve well as hands for holding twigs as the animal feeds on bark. The claws function well in all digging operations, and the arms suffice for holding gobs of mud against the chest as he pushes the load onto the dam or house. Occasionally, he carries mud in his arms as he walks up the house roof on hind legs. The hind feet are large and webbed for swimming. Even the nails on the toes are flattened in keeping with the swimming needs. The nail of the second hind claw is double and the nail of the first toe fits down on a hard pad and is movable like a duck's bill. These specialized claws are used for combing the fur and possibly for removing some of the large beetles that live in the fur.
Among the largest and most interesting of rodents; its broad flat tail, and large powerful incisor teeth are its most distinctive features. This animal has very prominent front teeth (central incisors), generally stained an amber color and used for gnawing, grow continuously, as they do in all rodents, in order to compensate for wear. This is an especially fortunate adaptation for the beaver, which does so much gnawing. Otherwise his teeth would soon be worn to the gums. In addition to the two incisors, the beaver has 1 premolar on each side and 3 molars on each side. This gives the beaver 10 teeth in each jaw. The ears and nose are valvular (valve like), and its small eyes have nictating (winking) membranes. The base of the tail is furred and muscular. Beaver have poor eyesight that is compensated for by acute hearing and an excellent sense of smell and touch. It is extremely difficult to determine sex of the animal.
Feeding: Beaver will eat soft aquatic vegetation including pond weeds, water-lilies, and cattails, when available, but prefer bark, cambium, twigs, leaves, and roots of deciduous trees that grow along streams, with the aspen, alders, birch, cottonwood, and willows being particular favorites when available. They also eat maple, poplar, and beech. Bark and wood are pre-digested in a special gland, then excreted, re-eaten and re-digested (in a manner similar to the digestive process of a rabbit). Beaver do eat a variety of other vegetation, including floating duckweed, pond lily leaves and roots, bulrushes, bracken fern, tender green grasses, and even algae. In the New Mexico zoo they are fed yams, lettuce, carrots and rodent chow. Return to Top
Predators: The predators beavers face will vary from region to region, but include wolves, lynxes, bears, coyotes, common red foxes, bobcats, owls, otters, minks, alligators, wolverines, weasels, hawks, eagles, dogs, humans, and most other large mammalian carnivores. An adult beaver is a good fighter and can usually escape into the water. This allows them to fight off or avoid most of their predators. Kits are far more vulnerable than adults and need the protection of older beavers. For all beavers, water is their best defense and refuge from predators, since they cannot move very fast on land. When on land beavers are constantly on the alert, frequently stopping to sniff the air and look around for danger. At the first sign of a predator, they will retreat to the water and try to warn the other beavers in the area by slapping the water with their tail. This produces a startlingly loud noise. Predators, however, are not the only dangers for the beaver. Accidents such as falling into abandoned wells, and traffic collisions represent another common cause of mortality.
Protection: Beaver are well known for powerfully slapping the water with their tails to warn each other of danger. Excellent swimmers, beaver can swim submerged for half a mile or more. They can constrict muscles in the ears and nose to prevent water from entering and they also can close their lips behind their incisors to keep water out of the mouth while cutting submerged branches. If not overly active, these creatures can stay under water for at least 15 minutes. When swimming in winter, beaver will make use of air bubbles and air pockets trapped under the ice to extend the time they can stay submerged. In an emergency, oxygen-rich blood otherwise being used by muscular areas of the beaver's body can be redirected to the brain.
Offspring: A beaver colony contains only one active adult pair who will mate for life. Mating takes place in water in early February and beaver kits are born in early May (a gestation period of 100 to 110 days). A female will typically produce her first litter around her third birthday. A litter will usually consist of three to seven kits, although litters of up to 12 have been recorded. As with many creatures, the size of the litter varies with the age of the female, the availability of food, and the density of the population.
Kits are born with hair and open eyes. Kits will nurse for about two months. By autumn, the beaver kits are assisting in the winter preparations of the colony: gathering and storing food; and building dams and houses. By the time winter sets in and the pond freezes, the kits will weigh anywhere from 11 to 28 pounds, depending upon the food available in their habitat.
Most of the young beaver will leave the colony in early spring in search of a good place to start a new family. These migrating beaver are particularly susceptible to attacks from predators such as wolves, coyotes, lynxes, bobcats, mountain lions, wolverines, bears, otters, red fox, great horned owl and goshawk, or even from other beaver whose territory they have transgressed. Generally, only a few beaver from a litter will live to reach five years of age (the survival rate may be as low as 12 percent). beaver may live to be much older, however, and some have been found to have lived as long as 20 years. Return to Top
Social Structure: Beaver are monogamous and mate for life. Kits born in the family will usually only stay for about 2 years before setting out to establish independent adult lives. But during their tenure with their parents they work very hard to maintain family solidarity, helping to gather food, harvest trees, make lodge repairs and baby sit their younger siblings. Beaver are primarily nocturnal, waking at dusk and foraging for food and doing construction work at night.
Beaver live in colonies. A colony may contain as little as two or as many as a dozen beaver and is located in a stream, lake or pond. Often a colony of beavers will create their own pond by building one or more dams across a stream or other water source. Within a colony, the beaver is a highly social creature. Beaver exhibit intolerance to alien beaver, however, and have been known to attack and kill an intruding one. To mark the boundaries of the colony's territory, beaver secrete a yellow-orange liquid called castoreum from the castor glands, a pair of glands located under the skin at the base of the tail. Beavers communicate primarily with posture and scent marking. For scent marking, beavers erect dome shaped mounds, like a small lodge, sometimes measuring as much as a foot (.3 m) tall and 3 ft. (.9 m) across. They will then rub castoreum on the mound to mark their territory. Return to Top
Work Habits: Beaver are nocturnal animals; while they are seen during the day, much of the beavers' work is accomplished during the evening and night hours. The prominent incisors are always growing and must be used consistently to keep them trimmed back. These animals are distinctive for their iron-laden, orange teeth that enable them to relentlessly chew on trees and for their dam-building activities. These creatures are capable of gnawing through large, dense trees with the ease of a seasoned lumberjack. One or two beaver working alternately, can gnaw through the trunk of a tree fairly quickly. A tree three to four inches in diameter can be felled in less than an hour. During the course of a year, two beaver may fell as many as 400 trees, some of them more than a foot and a half in diameter.
Usually, trees are cut within about 150 feet of the shoreline. When a tree has been felled, several beaver may participate in removing branches, cutting up limbs and dragging or floating the material to a chosen site. At the site, branches and limbs are progressively interwoven to produce a solid structure that is then sealed with rocks, mud and grass.
A dam may be built more than 100 feet in length and the pond behind it may grow to cover many acres, providing the beaver colony with a good refuge from land-based predators. Some dams have been reported to reach more than 1,000 feet in length, creating a lake with numerous lodges. The largest dam reported, from near Three Forks, Montana, was 652 meters (2,140 feet) long, 4.3 meters (14 feet) high at the highest point, and seven meters (23 feet) thick at the base. In preparation for winter, the beaver will work to ensure that the dam is sufficiently high and the pond deep enough to prevent the water from freezing to the bottom. Some behavior is instinctive to beavers, such as patching a dam at the sound of running water, but they also learn from experience and by imitating others. Return to Top
Home: For living quarters, beaver will construct a dome-shaped house or lodge, also made of wood, mud, grass, twigs, stones, and logs from which the bark has been eaten, piled on the ground with alternating layers of gravel or mud. When finished, the upper surface is plastered with mud, usually dug from the bottom of the pond above the dam, to make it watertight. The lodge is located in the middle of the pond, or attached to the bank of a lake or stream. Typically, a lodge is about six to 10 feet in diameter.
Located inside the lodge and above the water level is a living chamber accessible only through underwater tunnels, of which there may be several. With the exception of a vent hole at the top of the lodge, the walls are coated with mud to provide good insulation. A water level of about 1.8 m (6 ft.) is necessary to allow the construction of island-like lodges. After their pond freezes in winter, the beaver let some water out through the dam, lowering the water level of the pond and providing a "breathing space" between the water's surface and the bottom of the ice. Then they go happily about their business: feeding on poles stashed underwater in the summer, grooming, playing, and sleeping.
Lodges of similar construction as dams average 1.5 m (5 ft.) high and 6 m (20 ft.) in diameter with 2 entrances under water and ice levels. During a period of years, a lodge can become very large (more than 20 feet in diameter and 12 feet in height) and develop several living chambers. The walls may be built up until they are more than two feet thick. Beaver may also burrow into soft earth on the banks of streams or ponds, creating one or more chambers for rest and feeding. All of these activities result in securing the lodge from predators. Natural enemies of the beaver include wolves, coyotes, lynxes, bobcats, mountain lions, wolverines, bears, otters, red fox, great horned owl and goshawk. Beaver are captured on land except those taken by otters. Return to Top
Species Status: Beaver are not threatened or endangered. First decimated by over-trapping in the 19th century for its luxuriant fur, beaver are now disappearing in much of their range due to habitat loss and pollution. The beaver has long been of economic and religious importance for some native peoples of North America. For thousands of years, Indians have trapped the beaver for its meat and fur, and saved a space in their religious ceremonies for the creature. With the coming of Europeans to the continent in the 16th and 17th century, beaver fur became an important commodity in the trade between Indians and Whites, and between North America and Europe. Indeed, the fur trade, of which beaver pelts were a major component, provided much of the impetus for early exploration and settlement of the continent. The trappers of the first two-thirds of the 19th century being primarily interested in beaver skins. Most of the initial exploration of the West was performed by beaver trappers. The beaver skin became the basic unit of currency over much of the western United States. The trapping was so extensive and effective that beaver were exterminated over much of the area, but they are making a slow recovery under current conditions of protection. The trapping and selling of beaver pelts continues in the present age. Both sexes possess musk glands that produce a liquid, castoreum, used in perfumes.
Friend or Foe: To many, the beaver is a destructive animal and a nuisance. This is particularly the case with farmers and others who have found their land being flooded as a result of these creatures' hard work. Yet, within the realm of nature, the beaver plays an important role, transforming the environment as no other creature on Earth save humans. Beaver are engineering geniuses, building both dams and lodges during their busy lifetimes. Dams slow down the speed of rivers and streams so that stable lodges, built of mud and branches, may be built to house the beaver family. Because the lodge is underwater, the temperature inside during winter is considerably warmer than that of the outside air. When water backs up behind the dam beaver have built, a pond is born which provides wetlands habitat for many other animals such as ducks, geese, fish, reptiles and amphibians and the predators that feed on these creatures. Abandoned beaver ponds gradually silt up, forming very characteristic meadows. Eventually, when the dam breaks and the water drains from the pond, the land beneath will become rich and fertile meadow. Return to Top
Beaver Pranks: New Jersey beavers have been busy doing some mischief of their own, damming up Camden County creeks and turning residents' backyards into swamps. The master engineers of the wild have been thriving in the Jersey pinelands and working overtime - as beavers are known to do - on their aquatic constructions.
A local beaver advocate, Hope Buyukmihci of the Unexpected Wildlife Refuge, has stepped in, installing beaver bafflers and limiters to prevent flooding or roads and crops to keep the peace between humans and beaver. Public works director Ed McGlinchey, a beaver admirer, hopes to avoid the kind of ugly confrontation he encountered a few years ago when a band of unruly beavers camped out on the Ancora Bridge on White Horse Pike, constructing a sturdy lodge and dam that shut down the highway for a week. Workers tore down the sturdy structures by day and the beavers rebuilt them overnight. In an unexpected act of sabotage, the beavers even buried the workers tools in the dam. A special crane finally had to be rolled in by rail to destroy the dam, and 14 or 15 beavers were captured before the standoff was ended. Return to Top
Beaver Gnome: The North American Beaver is Oregon State University’s (OSU) mascot and the state animal of Oregon. On January 14, 2017, researchers at OSU, as part of the Beaver Genome Project at OSU released the complete genome sequence of one beaver. The DNA for the project was obtained from a blood sample drawn during the annual checkup in August 2015 for Filbert, a 5-year-old beaver born and raised at the Oregon Zoo in Portland. Filbert’s DNA was decoded in the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing.
The preliminary analysis shows that the beaver genome is about 33 percent larger than the human genome and contains about 26,200 genes. About 60 percent of beaver genes are similar to human genes. One set of genes being studied is responsible for the webbing on beavers’ hind feet. In humans, fingers and toes start out webbed in the womb, but the webbing is programmed to fall away long before birth (human webbing remains in some rare genetic conditions). Thegenes involved in forming and removing webbing in human feet may be similar to those responsible for the webbing of adult beavers’ hind feet. In another aspect of the Beaver Genome Project, Oregon State microbiologists are studying the microbes that reside inside the beaver gut, which may hold key to beavers’ unique dietary feats.
Scientists have estimated that as many as 200 million beavers ranged across North America before European settlement. By the mid-19th century, the animals had been removed from many areas. Some populations have rebounded, and it’s estimated that North America is now home to 10 to 15 million beavers.
On March 24, 1975, the beaver received the highest honor ever bestowed on a rodent. On that day it became an official emblem of Canada when an "act to provide for the recognition of the beaver (castor canadensis) as a symbol of the sovereignty of Canada" received Royal assent. Today, thanks to conservation and silk hats, the beaver - the largest rodent in Canada - is alive and well all over this great country.
After the early European explorers had realized that Canada was not the spice-rich Orient, the main mercantile attraction was the beaver population numbering in the millions. In the late 1600s and early 1700s, the fashion of the day demanded fur hats, which needed beaver pelts. As these hats became more popular, the demand for the pelts grew.
The trade of beaver pelts proved so lucrative that the Hudson's Bay Company honored the buck-toothed little animal by putting it on the shield of its coat of arms in 1678. (Sir William Alexander, who was granted title to Nova Scotia in 1621, had been the first to include the beaver in a coat of arms.)
The Hudson's Bay Company shield consists of four beavers separated by a red St. George's Cross and reflects the importance of this industrious rodent to the company. A coin was created to equal the value of one beaver pelt.
Also, in 1678 Louis de Buade de Frontenac, then Governor of New France, suggested the beaver as a suitable emblem for the colony, and proposed it be included in the armorial bearings of the City of Quebec. In 1690, in commemoration of France's successful defense of Quebec, the "Kebeca Liberata Medal" was struck. A seated woman, representing France, with a beaver at her feet, representing Canada, appeared on the back.
The beaver was included in the armorial bearings of the City of Montreal when it was incorporated as a city in 1833. Sir Sandford Fleming assured the beaver a position as a national symbol when he featured it on the first Canadian postage stamp-the 'Three Penny Beaver' of 1851.
In April of 1999 Beavergate swept the nation as errant furry criminals munched their way through the capital's prized flowering cherry trees in Washington, DC. The cherry blossoms are an annual ritual in Washington where many see their brief flowering as marking the unofficial start of spring.
Bloom gazing was overshadowed by news of the beavers -- who reduced to ugly stumps four of the 3,000 or so cherry trees, many of which are gifts from the Japanese government. Four other cherry trees were nearly killed because of damage caused by the beavers and five other non-Cherry trees in the Basin were downed.
Although they are common to the nearby Potomac River, Park Service officials say they could not recall one ever living in the Tidal Basin. ``This is a highly artificial surrounding for beavers. It's a managed cultural landscape and is in the middle of the city. I'm sure they're stressed out with so many tourists about.''
A National Park Service effort to trap the rascally rodents came as thousands of visitors and area residents look forward to the walk around the tree-lined Tidal Basin, the body of water between the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. Like baseball fans listening to the play-by-play of a game, Washingtonians have tracked the Park Service's progress in capturing the beavers, who quickly became the region's second-most famous cherry-tree choppers. (The first gave his name to the capital.)
The Park Service snared a pair of adult beavers and a yearling in suitcase-shaped traps only partially submerged so that the captured animal would not drown. The beavers were released in another area where they could chew to their heart's content.
Cities: Beaver, AK 99724, pop. 103; Beaver, AR 72613, pop. 57; Beaver, IA 50031, pop. 46; Beaver, KS 67517; Beaver, KY 41604; Beaver, LA 71463; Beaver, OH 45613, pop. 336; Beaver , Beaver County, OK 73932*, pop. 1,584; Beaver, OR 97108; Beaver, Beaver County, PA 15009, pop. 1,028; Beaver, Beaver County, UT 84713, pop. 1,998; Beaver, 98305; Beaver, WV 25813; Beaver, WI 54114; Beaver, WV 25813, pop. 1,244; Beaver City, Furnas County, NE 68926; Beaver City, Beaver County, OK, Beaver Crossing, Seward County, NE 68313, pop. 448; Beaverdale, Cambria County, PA 15921; Beaver Dam, Ohio County, KY 42320, pop. 2,904; Beaver Dams, Schuyler County, NY 14812 ; Beaver Dam, Dodge County, WI 53916, pop. 14,196; Beaver Falls, Lewis County, NY 13305; Beaver Falls, Beaver County, PA 15010, pop. 10,687; Beaver Island, MI 49782, pop. 551; Beaver Meadows, Carbon County, PA 18216, pop. 985; Beaverton, AL 35544, pop. 226; Beaverton, Gladwin County, MI 48612, pop. 1,106; Beaverton, Washington County, OR 97005, pop. 76,129; Beaverton, Ontario, Canada, pop. a couple thousand; Beavertown, Snyder County, PA 17813, pop. 877; Beaver Valley, Columbia County, PA 15010.[using 2000 census]
Coats of Arms:
Other coats of arms featuring beavers include Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada; The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators, London, England; London School of Economics & Political Science, London, England; Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Whitby High School, Elesmere Port, England; Alberta Provincial Crest, Canada; City of Oxford, England
Colleges: Benny Beaver is the Oregon State University (OSU), Corvallis, OR, mascot and the team name is the Beavers. OSU's Beaver Genome Project at OSU has completed sequencing the entire beaver geonome. They have a Benny Beaver Song. A recording is at: Song, and the lyrics are at Lyrics. OSU also has an Index to recent scientific publications on beavers.
Beaver Stadium, Penn State University, State College, PA; and Beaver County Community College, Monaca, PA. The mascot of the University of Maine at Farmington is the beaver and the team name is the Beavers. Benny Beaver is the Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, mascot and the team name is the Beavers. Bucky the Beaver is the symbol of American River College in Sacramento, where the Beaver's home stadium is Beaver Stadium. The mascot for the Beavers at Bernidji State University in Bernidji, Minnesota, is Bucky the Beaver. Bucky Beaver is the mascot of the Beavers of California Institute of Technology, Caltech, in Pasadena, California.
Some other colleges with team names of Beavers include: Babson College of Wellesley, Massachusetts; Blackburn College Battlin' Beavers of Carlinville, Illinois; Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio; Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa; Chamblain College of Burlington, Vermont; City College of New York of New York City, New York; and Minot State University of Minot, North Dakota.
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) not only has Tim the Beaver as the school mascot, but also has a class ring, the Brass Rat, with a beaver featured prominently. Even though each class's ring is unique, it is so prominent, that MIT alumni claim it is one of the three most recognizable rings in the world – the other two are the West Point ring and the Super Bowl ring. The MIT Beaver, nature's engineer, allegedly typifies the students: "The beaver is noted for his engineering and mechanical skills and habits of industry. His habits are nocturnal. He does his best work in the dark." [Lester Gardner, MIT Class of 1989] Time Magazine selected the MIT Engineers as having the 4th worst sports team name in college sports, but conceded that most MIT graduates laugh all of the way to the bank when they graduate.
Eulogy: The Beaver that is no more.
Corporate Symbol: The beaver appeared with the other popular Canadian symbol, the maple leaf, on the masthead of Le Canadién, a newspaper published in Lower Canada. It was one of the emblems of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste for a time, and it’s still found on the crest of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR). ne group of Canadians have celebrated National Beaver Day on the last Friday in February since 1974. They are the Nova Scotia Association of Architects, a club of modern builders any beaver could appreciate. The de Havilland Beaver is a single engine high-wing five seat bush airplane. Depending on the season, it may be operated on floats, wheels, or wheel-skiis and is a favorite among fishermen, hunters and canoeists for safe, economic travel throughout the north. The Beaver Fire Insurance Company was incorporated in 1913 and operated in Canada for many years. It was eventually absorbed into a large insurance group, surrendered its Charter and went out of business.
Food Items: A small, tasty, sugar-coated pastry is called a Beaver Tail (sometimes spelled Beavertail, in one word). It can be found mostly in the Ottawa area.
Indians: Beaver tribe of Athapascan Indians from the vicinity of Great Slave and Great Bear lakes in Canada.
Mascot: Beside being the mascot of many colleges listed previously the beaver is the mascot for the following: 1976 Montreal Olympics (Amik the Beaver); Ballard High School (Beaver), Seattle, WA; City of Red Deer (Mickey the Beaver), Alberta, Canada; Beaver City (Beaver), OK; Toronto Transit Commission (Barney the Beaver); Rotary Club of Saskatoon North (Billy de Beaver), District 5550, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; .North Springfield School, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA (Chipper); and Land and Forest Services (Bertie Beaver), Alberta, Canada.
Mountains: Beaverhead Mountains on Idaho-Montana boundary in the Bitterroot range. However there are a number of resorts called beaver mountain: Beaver Mountain Resort near Logan, Utah; Beaver Mountain Retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado; and Beaver Mountain Lake near Rangeley, Maine.
Rivers: northwest Oklahoma flowing into the North Canadian; Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, flowing into the Churchill.
School Districts: Beaver Area School District, PA; Beaver County School District, UT; Beaver Dam Unified School District, WI: Beaver Island Community School, Beaver Island, MI; Beaver Oklahoma Public Schools, OK; Beaver River Central School, Beaver Falls, Lewis County, NY; Beaver Local High School, OH; Beaver River Central School District, NY; Big Beaver Falls Area School District, PA; Hills-Beaver Creek School District, MN; Riverside Beaver County School District, PA; and Western Beaver County School District, PA.
School Teams: The Avon Old Farms School's Winged Beavers in Avon, Connecticut; the Western Beaver County School District's Golden Beavers in Pennsylvania; the Beaver County School District's Beavers in Utah.
Stamps: The beaver design has appeared seven times on a Canadian stamp issue. It first appeared on the 1851 3 pence, followed by the 1852 3 pence stamp on wove paper, the 1858 3 pence issue, the 1859 five cent, the 1951 15 cent, the 1982 stamp-on-stamp for the Canada '82 Philatelic Exhibition, and a 25 cent stamp in 1988. As 2001 is the 150th anniversary of the first Canadian postage stamp, Canada Post has issued another beaver stamp to honor the occasion. The Royal Canadian Mint also issued a special commerative 3 cent coin in 2001 (shown below larger than actual size). It is not in general circulation and only available to collectors by special order.
* In Beaver, Oklahoma, offbeat Olympians vie at the World Cow Chip Throwing Championship. These bull-chip artists really know how to sling it: The world-record toss is 182 feet 3 inches. And even though outsiders might turn up their noses at this event, its origins lie ennobled in American history. Frontier families once gathered these organic Frisbees for winter fuel, tossing them into their wagons and competing for distance and accuracy.
Tamaqua (Beaver), Delaware Indian chief. Beaver was a leading man of the Delawares, a nephew (sister's son) of Sassoonan, after whose death he moved to the Ohio country where he was recognized as a chief of the Delawares in that area. He lived at McKee's Rocks until the French invasion in 1754, at Kittanning until Armstrong's attack in 1756, and at Kuskusky until 1759 when he moved to Tuscarawas (near the present day Bolivar, Ohio). During the French and Indian War the Iriquois designated him as "king" or spokesman to seek peace with the English, and in that capacity he negotiated with Christian Frederick Post in 1758. He was recognized as principal chief of the Turkey lineage in Netawatwee's "Delaware Nation". He died in 1769 at the site of present Gnaddenhutten, Ohio, and was succeeded by Welapachiken (Captain Johnny).
Tamaqua, town ("borough"), in Schuylkill county, in east-central Pennsylvania, U.S., on the Little Schuylkill River. The area was settled in 1799, and its name derives from the Iroquois Indian word for "land of the beaver." After the opening of the horse-drawn Little Schuylkill Railroad in 1831, the town prospered as an anthracite-coal-mining center. Light manufactures (chemicals, textiles, and metal fabricating) are now the economic mainstay. Inc. 1833. Pop. (1990) 7,943.
Abington, town ("township"), Plymouth county, eastern Massachusetts, U.S. It lies 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Boston. Known as Manamooskeagin ("Land of Many Beavers") to the Indians, it was settled in 1668, incorporated in 1712, and named for Abington, Eng. An iron foundry was established there in 1769, and about 1815 Jesse Reed invented a machine that mass-produced tacks, thus enabling the footwear industry to thrive. Now primarily residential, it has some light manufacturing, notably printing and machine-tool industries. Pop. (1990) 13,817; (1992 est.) 14,054.
Calhoun , formerly OOTHCALOGA, city, seat of Gordon county, northwestern Georgia, U.S. It lies near the Oostanaula River, 23 miles (37 km) northeast of Rome. The name was changed from Oothcaloga ("Place of the Beaver Dams") in 1850 to honor U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. The town was destroyed during the American Civil War (1864) by General William Tecumseh Sherman's Union army. It is now an agricultural trading center (dairy, cattle, and poultry); its manufactures include bricks and textiles. Nearby is New Echota, site of the last capital (1825-38) of the eastern Cherokee Indians; the first Indian newspaper, Cherokee Phoenix, was printed there in 1828, using the alphabet developed by Sequoyah. Inc. 1852. Pop. (1990) 7,135.
Lac la Ronge, a lake in central Saskatchewan, Canada, drains northeastward through the Rapid River into the Churchill River. Island-studded, it is 36 miles (58 km) long, has an area of 546 square miles (1,414 square km), and is noted for its trout, northern pike, and pickerel (walleye). It has been frequented by fur traders since Peter Pond built a trading post on its shore in 1781. The French place-name is probably derived from ronger ("to gnaw"), in reference to the work of the beaver, which inhabits the forested islands and shores.
Socage, in feudal English property law, is a form of land tenure in which the tenant lived on his lord's land and in return rendered to the lord a certain agricultural service or money rent. At the death of a tenant in socage (or socager), the land went to his heir after a payment to the lord of a sum of money (known as a relief), which in time became fixed at an amount equal to a year's rent on the land. In the United States, lands in the early colonies were given in socage, particularly in Pennsylvania, where the royal charter given to William Penn created a socage tenure with an annual rent of two beaver skins for the land. After the American Revolution, lands held in socage tenure from the crown were deemed to be held by the state as sovereign, and several states passed statutes or enacted constitutional provisions abolishing tenure.
Kastoria, is a town, capital of the nomós (department) of Kastoría, Macedonia, in northern Greece. The town stands on a promontory reaching out from the western shore of Lake Kastorías. The lake is formed in a deep hollow that is surrounded by limestone mountains. The town was apparently named for the beavers that have long been the basis of a local fur trade, though trading in mink now predominates in the area. Kastoría has been identified with ancient Celetrum, which was captured in 200 BC by the Romans.
New Netherland, founded in 1624 at Fort Orange (now Albany) by the Dutch West India Company, was but one element in a wider program of Dutch expansion in the first half of the 17th century. The English captured the colony of New Netherland in 1664; it was renamed New York, after James, Duke of York, brother of Charles II, and was placed under the proprietary control of the duke. In return for an annual gift to the king of 40 beaver skins, the Duke of York and his resident Board of Governors were given extraordinary discretion in the ruling of the colony.
Today, New York City displays two beavers, once a symbol of wealth, on its municipal seal. The symbolizm of the seal includes two supporters who represent the unity between Native Americans and colonists. On the left, Dexter, a sailor colonist holds a plummet in his right hand; over his right shoulder is a cross-staff. On the right, Sinister, a Lenape native to Manhattan rests his left hand upon a bow. Upon the arms / shield, the four windmill sails recall the city's Dutch history as New Amsterdam and two beavers and two flour barrels signify the city's earliest trade goods. The beavers, flour barrels and windmills represent the tremendous wealth generated by New York City. The shield and supporters rest upon a horizontal laurel branch. The crest over the seal is the Bald Eagle, added in 1784, after the American Revolution. Prior to this change, a crown had been located in this space, representing the authority of the monarchy during the British colonial period. The eagle rests upon a hemisphere. At the bottom is the date, 1664, the date English captured New Netherland.
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