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Three Rivers Canoe Maker from Maine?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Benson Gray, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Has anyone ever heard of a "Three Rivers Canoe Maker" from Maine? There is a sign advertising their name with "Birch bark - Canvas" up for auction on March 27th at https://www.auctionzip.com/auction-lot/lot_11C4887A58 in South Paris, Maine. The list of Maine Canoe Builders at http://wcha.org/catalogs/maine-list.htm doesn't include them and I've not found any other reference to an early Maine canoe builder using this name. The messages at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/834/ reference two modern builders using this name in Canada and South Carolina but I suspect that neither of them worked in birch bark. This sign may be a fake but it looks old. Has anyone else ever heard of this company and can you provide any more details? Joseph Ranco is the only canoe builder I know who is documented to have worked in both birch bark and canvas. See http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/39942/ from 1888 for more about this. I will not be bidding on this sign. Thanks,

    Benson
     
  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Is there an area in Maine that is called "Three Rivers"? There are a few hundred Smith Ponds (or so it seems). Three Rivers does not sound familiar.
     
  3. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Maybe it was somebody transplanted from Pittsburgh? Speculating wildly here...
     
    MGC likes this.
  4. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    There appear to be many locations in Maine with a three river designation. The Milo area has that name as described at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milo,_Maine and many canoe builders have worked in that region over the years. The Forks and Millinocket both have Three Rivers Whitewater as the page at https://threeriverswhitewater.com/ describes. Waterville, Farmington, Alfred, and Anson also have claims to this name. It appears that any significant intersection of rivers can use this and there are many available.

    Pittsburg is not normally associated with old birch bark or canvas canoe builders but I suppose that anything is possible.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  5. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Benson,

    I do believe the reference would be the town of Milo being from Maine and I do believe the sign is a new fake. Seems to be some fakes going around the area in sporting art/equipment currently. I have found some items at other central Manie auctions halls within the last couple weeks that are new fakes on fish mounts/carvings. Speaking with one of my Maine taxidermists a couple weeks back he mentioned the same thing and threw out a name that I cannot remember but is well known. Apparently the fellow was and is well known to the vintage collectable " folk art" scene and has fallen on tough times living out of pickup truck and trying to make a buck. He does fairly well fake imitations. I have also seen a Flyrod Crosby framed photo of his that make is way to the Oquossic museum to find out if was a fake. Ill come up with the name and if I was a betting man I would put money on him.

    Zack
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  6. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    In taking a close look at the sign, the word "Birch" is misspelled as "Brich"...
    upload_2021-2-23_6-51-6.png
    Oops!
     
    1905Gerrish and Benson Gray like this.

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