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

Old town canoe

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Susan Kasson, Jul 1, 2021.

  1. Susan Kasson

    Susan Kasson Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I have an old canoe. It had not been used for at least 50 years. We had it re-canvassed about 15 years ago, and still haven’t used it. I believe it is an Old Towne. The serial number is 4270.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Susan Kasson

    Susan Kasson Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Any info would be appreciated.
     
  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, the Old Town canoe with serial number 4270 is an 18 foot long, GS (Guide Special or utility) grade, IF (Indian Fishing) model with closed spruce gunwales, ash decks, ash thwarts, ash seats, and a keel. It was built between January and July, 1906. The original exterior paint color was slate. It shipped on July 13th, 1906 to Binghamton, New York. A scan of this build record can be found below.

    This scan and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at http://www.wcha.org/ot_records/ if you want more details. I appreciate your recent donation 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.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match the canoe. The information at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/791/ may help you determine if there are any hidden digits in your serial number since four digit numbers are unusual. Please post some pictures of the serial numbers from each end and surround areas. It would also be interesting to see some showing the bow deck, the interior features, and to confirm the extreme overall length in a straight line. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

    Benson



    4270.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
  4. OP
    OP
    Susan Kasson

    Susan Kasson Curious about Wooden Canoes

    My number was 4270
     
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Oops, I have corrected the information posted previously. Sorry about that,

    Benson
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Susan Kasson

    Susan Kasson Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you!
     
  7. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Susan,
    Could you post a couple pictures of your canoe? It's a fairly early Old Town and it would be nice to see. Thanks,
    Jim
     
  8. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    It would be good to post photos also because many makers used 4-digit serial numbers, and many old canoes are referred to as Old Town in the US because that name in some circles has become synonymous with “old wooden canoe” despite the fact that there were numerous builders of wooden canoes over many years. Some of these makers built canoes that at a glance look very similar to each other, but even if very distinct they may still be incorrectly referred to as Old Towns. Good photos of the canoe’s shape and details could identify it here. You might find out that it is an Old Town, or you might be surprised to learn that it’s something more unusual, interesting or special. In any case, the people here can help you be assured of what you have.

    Michael
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Susan Kasson

    Susan Kasson Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I will be at camp, next Wednesday, and get some pictures.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Susan Kasson

    Susan Kasson Curious about Wooden Canoes

    D314D6A2-BF8F-4B1C-A356-10F519768CD6.png E3DB52AE-EAAF-49D5-8FA0-E145DCFCC34E.png CCCCF34D-26F2-406C-ADE5-F7081715F813.png 9FB9C6E1-AA46-467F-BE1B-4D68F6333765.png 8828BF41-54FF-4823-A38D-D221D0BDDB2A.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This canoe appears to have flared stems. If the serial number is on a brass tag then you probably have a Morris from Veazie, Maine. Can you provide any pictures of the serial numbers? Thanks,

    Benson
     
  12. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Yes, this is BN Morris given stem flare, shaping of seats, thwart shaping, deck cutouts, the type of floor rack and it’s turn buttons and more. Morris canoes are wonderful, carefully constructed with great care taken in the details. Your canoe is more than 100 years old because Morris went out of business following a devastating fire in 1919 (although there are a very few post-Morris Morrises out there… more details can be had if needed).

    You might enjoy the definitive book “The Morris Canoe:Legacy of an American Family” by WCHA member Kathy Klos, available here:

    https://www.woodencanoe.org/product-page/the-morris-canoe-legacy-of-an-american-family

    There have also been a number of articles on Morris in the journal Wooden Canoe including a detailed multi-part series by Howard Herman-Haase in recent years. Copies of those issues should be available for purchase if desired.

    Michael
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Susan Kasson

    Susan Kasson Curious about Wooden Canoes

  14. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Susan, you may also read about Morris canoes at the Wooden Canoe Museum website.
    Here is a link to the Builder page for B.N. Morris. B. N. Morris | Wooden Canoe Museum
    If you scroll down the page you will find a table that you may use to estimate the build date of your canoe.
    Your boat is about 114/115 years old and in really nice condition.
    Mike
     

Share This Page