Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Help identify this canoe. St Louis Meramec?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Bowen, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. Bowen

    Bowen New Member

    I'm new to the WCHA. I grew up with wood/canvas canoes in the family but use a Grumman as my normal use canoe. About 10 years ago I was helping a friend’s mom clean out her house as she was moving into an apartment. As a thanks she gave me the canoe pictured below.
    I tried it out and found that it was way to unstable for me. It's been in storage ever since. I've recently lost the storage and have to make a decision about what to do with the canoe. I'm torn between passing it onto an unknown fate with a new owner or keeping it even though I'm not using it.
    My worry is that I'll sell it on and it will end up ruined in a few years of cottage use by the new owners. I've seen two canoes in my lifetime suffer this fate and it's always bugged me.
    I'm hoping to know if this is a rare canoe or a significant canoe? The research I've done on the net seems to indicate that it's a St Louis Meramec. But I can find almost no info beyond that.
    I've attached a few pics and I'm hoping to learn a bit more about the canoe.
    The canoe is in good shape. It was worked on by the craftsmen at a local summer camp maybe 20-30 years ago and barely used since. At that point it had a thwart and rib replaced with white ash, maybe the gunwales as well.
    Any info would be appreciated.

    Canoe-8485-2.jpg Canoe-8493.jpg Canoe-8474.jpg Canoe-8488.jpg
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, the decks look like a St. Louis Meramec but they could also be replacements from a prior repair. Are there any serial numbers on the inside stems? There is more information about how to find the serial numbers at if you have questions. Thanks,

  3. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Hi Bowen,

    Welcome to the group.

    I don't think you have a St. Louis Meramec canoe. As Benson mentioned you could be looking at a repair to the inwales and decks.

    I have attached a picture of a very early St. Louis canoe with a very different deck shape and I don't think the deck shape changed. The ribs in the St. Louis were not tapered but yours appear to be.

    You might want to search for a serial number and post a picture if you find one.

    A better shot of the stem profile might help too.

    Good luck,


    Attached Files:

  4. OP

    Bowen New Member

    Thanks for the reply Paul and Benson.
    The serial number is 1434 6131. I have a few other pics but will have to get more tomorrow. The deck definitely does not match the image you have of an early model.
    How would I decode the serial number? Would it correspond to a different manufacturer?

    Canoe-8491.jpg canoe -8492.jpg canoe -8492-2.jpg canoe -8474.jpg
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Dan Miller's canoe identification information at indicates that you may have a Champlain (Pleasure) model from the Peterborough Canoe Company that is 16' x 33" x 12" and was made in 1941. This is not likely to be "a rare canoe or a significant canoe" but others may have a different opinion on that topic. Good luck with your decisions,

  6. OP

    Bowen New Member

    Thanks for your help Benson. That makes sense and really helps.
  7. Danroy

    Danroy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    You know 25-50 years ago people might have said scrap it, burn it, let it rot, the next 50-100 years these canoes will be harder to find and the wood to make them even more difficult to locate. You have a really neat piece of 'Canadian' made history there and you should look at it from that point of view...although I'm biased in my thoughts I'm sure there are others out there that feel the same way...and if you're struggling with keeping it then might I suggest you try putting it out for adoption to someone who might like to restore it. BTW welcome to WCHA...still a rookie myself!

    Regards from this side of the Rockies!

Share This Page