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Kennebec

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by troubleshooter, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. Good morning, I have just inherited a Kennebec wood and canvas canoe that needs some restoration. The serial number is 5016. I am looking for any kind of history for this model. Thank you.
     
  2. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Greetings. Benson Gray will probably be along shortly and will look up your canoe for you. Kennebec is one of the very few historic canoe companies where records exist thahttp://forums.wcha.org/knowledgebase/Manufacturers:Kennebec+Boat+and+Canoe+Companyt connect to a serial number.

    You may want to check out the information on Kennebec in the Knowledgebase on this website: http://forums.wcha.org/knowledgebase/Manufacturers:Kennebec+Boat+and+Canoe+Company

    Welcome to the Forums!
    Kathy
     
  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The Kennebec canoe with serial number 5016 is shown on pages 150 and 151 of volume one in the Kennebec ledgers. This was assigned to 16 foot long Kennebec model with spruce rails, cedar stems, western cedar planking, 15 inch maple decks, a birch keel, maple braces (thwarts), and maple seats. It was planked by Morgan on August 12th, 1911. The 54 inch wide, number 10 canvas covering was applied by Knowlton (?) and the first filler coat was applied by Smith on the same day. The second filler coat was applied on September 9th, 1911. It was railed by Ward on November 11th, 1911. The original A. Red paint was applied by J. Thib. on February 3rd, 1912. It was shipped to Brown on June 16th, 1912. The scans of this build record can be found by following the links at the attached thumbnail images below. These original Kennebec records are reproduced through the courtesy of the Maine State Museum.

    The microfilms and scans of these records were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. I hope that you will join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/about-the-wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://store.wcha.org/WCHA-New-Membership.html to join.

    More information about this and other Kennebec models can be found in the Kennebec catalogs contained on the Historic Wood Canoe and Boat Company Catalog Collection available from http://store.wcha.org/The-Historic-...pany-Catalog-Collection-Version-2-CD-ROM.html in the WCHA store.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Can you provide any pictures of this canoe? It would be especially helpful to see the serial numbers, inside stems, interior, and deck areas. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

    Benson
     

    Attached Files:

  4. OP
    OP
    troubleshooter

    troubleshooter flyer

    Thank you both for the quick replies. I will get some pictures this week and post them. Currently the canoe is green. I have no idea if it was redone at another time. I do know that it has been stored inside for over 30 years buried in a garage. I am going to look into having it professionally redone.
     
  5. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Pictures would be much appreciated. Please include one of the stem on the floor of the canoe at either bow or stern. I'm interested in the shape of the stem, not the numbers on it (if any) for research on some Morris-type stems that occur on Kennebec canoes.

    Thanks,
    Kathy
     
  6. OP
    OP
    troubleshooter

    troubleshooter flyer

    Mr Gray, What is the best way to send pictures to you? I thank you very much for the information you sent me. Several things have me wondering about the canoe though. First, it is a 17' boat, and the keel was painted in green to match the boat. I do think the deck boards have been replaced.
    Ken
     
  7. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

  8. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Ken has emailed me images of the stem of his Kennebec, and it's a Morris-type splayed stem. So this is one of those interesting Kennebec-Morris "hybrids". While we can only speculate as to the origin of these canoes, my feeling is they were built at Kennebec by men who once worked for Morris, and Mr. Terry of Kennebec didn't mind as long as they got the product out.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Kath, Is the serial number close to the one that I have here at the shop for restoration?
    Oops, I'm assuming that you know the number of the one here...... S'pose I could get the flashlight out and dig through to see the number...
    Dave
     
  10. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    3365 I believe is the one you have... shipped in 1910... and Ken's was shipped in 1911. They're both early Kennebecs but not on the same page of the ledger.
     
  11. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    What I find interesting is that the entire ledger-page Benson posted in this thread shows Kennebec canoes with cedar stems... likely all splayed stems. It appears to me that the hulls were being built this way there, at the Kennebec factory. As I recall, the Kennebec-Morris at your place has a hardwood stem, doesn't it, Dave?
     
  12. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Yes, Kath..
    I recall hardwood. Possibly white oak. Need to pull it out of storage soon. Customer is looking for June completion..
    Yikes, am I ever behind!
     
  13. H.E. Pennypacker

    H.E. Pennypacker LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Given that the canoe may be 17' and this Kennebec number is for a 16' canoe, perhaps this is really a Morris that someone put a Kennebec tag on. The stemband looks riveted on; did Kennebec canoes with splayed stems ever have stembands that were put on with rivets a la Morris? Or were they put on with screws?
     
  14. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I don't recall knowing that any of the Kennebec-Morris hybrids had cedar stems until this thread--- but maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention. I do recall thinking that only Morris and the modern builders who build a Morris reproduction actually used cedar for the splayed stem. It makes sense that when Kennebec used cedar, they might rivet it on because Morris used rivets on cedar stems. Looking at the page from the Kennebec records that Benson posted, I see 18 canoes with cedar stems and my guess is they're all "hybrids". And the build records are there... suggesting they were built from scratch at the Kennebec factory. The canoe Dave Osborn is working on is one I've seen in-person and its profile is different from a Morris. I feel more strongly than ever that these canoes were built at Kennebec, probably by men who learned the art of canoe construction at Morris and built the forms as well as the boats. And Mr. Terry of Kennebec, who wasn't a canoe-builder, left the craft up to those with the expertise.
     
  15. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Most of the early Kennebec canoes have cedar stems and rivets including the one shown at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?3663 with number 3365. I would like to know more about how the length of this canoe was measured. Is it the extreme overall length in a straight line (which often requires two people and plumb lines to measure accurately) or was it simply measured around the curve of the outside gunwale (or other obstructions)? The best way to send me pictures (and everyone else here) is to post them as Dave mentioned. My contact information is listed at http://www.wcha.org/wcha-historian-network/ if you would prefer another option. Thanks,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  16. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    When researching our newest old canoe this past fall, thinking it was a Morris reproduction by McCurdy and Reed, it seems it may actually be their Kennebec reproduction. Their Morris reproduction is 17 feet long, and our canoe is a 16 footer. The description of their 16 foot Kennebec states, "Built with the splayed, bent cedar stems of the original." So it seems we have a reproduction of a hybrid...
     
  17. OP
    OP
    troubleshooter

    troubleshooter flyer

    Thank you all again for your help. I was able to upload some pictures for you to take a look at. They are under Kennebec Canoe?
     
  18. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Your photos should appear with your post....
    Not sure where you put them.... ("under Kennebec Canoe?) ??
     
  19. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

  20. OP
    OP
    troubleshooter

    troubleshooter flyer

    There are 12 pictures on my profile page. (Troubleshooter) Maybe I have to do something else to get them to show up. I do have them as public.
     

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