Wood carver repays the fishermen who saved his life

Published: Feb. 28, 2017 at 6:20 PM EST
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The area’s own master wood carver is paying back the men who made it all possible.

Niagara, Wisconsin’s Roger Newhouse was saved by three fishermen after his boat capsized on Lake Gogebic in May 1993.

Since his life was saved, he has taken up wood carving, making life-like fish. His work is renowned and he’s collected multiple awards.

Newhouse recently donated his collection, worth nearly $100,000, to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. He said it was about time he made something special for them.

“I can never repay them for the life they saved,” Newhouse said. “All along my carving career, I've been thinking, ‘I'd sure like to do these guys a fish that saved me.’ Hopefully they'll enjoy them and have a treasure they can pass down to their families throughout the years.”

Each piece takes about 1 month to create and costs around $1,000 apiece. The bases he uses are salvaged from red pine stumps in the forest.

He said a smaller fish can be done in about a week if he pushes himself, but the piece he wants to make, a six-foot long salt water cobia, would take him nearly a year.

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