Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association

   Protecting clean water and free-flowing rivers in TN since 1966.

Bill Griswold, Old School Southeastern Whitewater

Tuesday, December 29, 2020 12:00 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

Bill Griswold died at age 93. Bill Griswold made many things happen. He was a talented engineer who simply had to understand all facets of any project in which he got involved. And then he turned and as naturally as possible, explained it all to whomever else showed any interest of that project.

Many paddlers know that Bill Griswold was a founder of the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association, and others know he was an inventor of the Blue Hole Canoe. He was also the most active, most vocal and most generous promoter of the TSRA canoe school which was the underpinning of Tennessee’s early participation on the nearby whitewater river runs. Bill served more years than anyone else on the Board of Directors of the TSRA.

Bill was involved down to the elemental details just like that in many other parts and pieces of his life. He was the first one of anyone in our engineering crowd to install a ground source heat pump at his suburban Nashville home. And he then explained it all in detail to anyone interested. You should have seen the fantastic wood shop he installed in his basement at that suburban home after he retired. And if you showed up at the right time you could have had a tour of the capabilities of each and every machine he installed there. And then later he became fascinated with a motor driven, robotic telescope and he would show off all the capabilities of locking onto the image of a planet for hours on end.

Bill made a big difference in my life, both professionally when we worked together as aerospace engineers, and then shortly thereafter as he introduced me to whitewater canoeing. And there never was any fault or lag within his mentoring to me which I needed and received whether I knew it or not. I do not know nor have I ever met anyone who could stand as Bill’s peer. He was unique. He was as uplifting and positive as he was unique. Below is a photo of Bill and Vesta canoeing. Note Vesta knows the cross-draw!

Bob Lantz



Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, #58-1746179.

P.O. Box 159041 Nashville, Tennessee 37215-9041


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