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

When did B.N. Morris Begin Building Canoes?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Dan Miller, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The 1882 copy of the Maine Register has a Veazie listing that shows Albion Morris as a carpenter and Charles Morris as a carriage maker but there is no mention of any canoe builders at that point so it must have been on a very small scale. E. H. Gerrish is listed in Bangor as a manufacturer of fishing tackle without saying anything about canoes. Guy Carleton was listed as a maker of oars and batteaux in Old Town but there were no canoe builders listed there in that year either.

  2. Scott Rowe

    Scott Rowe Random Adventurer

    Not a period piece but Glimpses of Maine's Angling Past (2000) states that "Bert Morris founded Veazie Boat and Canoe Company in 1882. He soon named his buisness Morris Canoe. By 1910 the company employed 30 men and one woman." It also notes that Gerrish was producing 50 boats a year by 1884.
  3. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    The problem I've had with the 1882 statement is that Bert Morris was only 16 years old then, and was probably still in school (he was " at school" in the 1880 census and Charles was described as doing day labor).

    Also, the only Veazie Canoe Company that we know about (other than this statement, which I've seen quoted in several places) is the Morris Company's factory-direct business that didn't come into existence until at least 1905. Denis and I have two Veazie canoes, and they aren't pre-1900... one could be 1905 one about 1915.

    I tend to rely on the information Benson found in actual old Maine Registers that make no mention of Charles Morris building canoes until the 1890s (Charles was six years older than Bert and the first to get into the canoe business, according to his family). I believe the statement from 2000 is relying on the same sort of information Benson described in regard to the Old Town HW... somebody said something on the internet or somewhere... and it got picked up and eventually it's what everyone "knows".

    I really appreciate it whenever anyone finds this sort of information, because it gives us a chance to look at what's being said and discount the information that doesn't fit... or figure out if it does fit. When we bought one of our Veazie canoes, the seller honestly thought it was circa 1882 because he'd read that information somewhere on the internet (the canoe has a Veazie decal so he knew what it was). Not knowing what an 1880s canoe might look like, he thought he had a very early wood canvas canoe... but it's actually c.1915 or later.

  4. OP
    Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    And therein is the problem and the reason for this thread - both of those dates are almost certainly wrong.
  5. Scott Rowe

    Scott Rowe Random Adventurer

    I should have said "not source" material as opposed to "not period". I guess it would be nice to know where this author's source material is, as he gives out quite of bit of information, right or wrong. I tried to look up some of his source info but it wasn't online. Certainly glad I could help you dispel the errant information. lol

Share This Page