16' Old Town canoe #73880


New Member
I'm assisting our local (Cranford NJ) Canoe Club members research the above canoe's history. The canoe is being donated to be used as a display at the Cranford Canoe Club livery. This livery is in a newly restored 100 year old livery on the Rahway River in Cranford.
The canoe had been used for years on Long Island Sound, thence to Cranford NJ on the Rahway, and on occasion to Pa. on the Delaware.
It would be greatly appreciated if the complete build history could be obtained so it could be displayed with the canoe.
Thank You, Bill Curtis, Cranford Historical Society.

Benson Gray

Canoe History Enthusiast
Staff member
The Old Town canoe with serial number 73880 is a 16 foot long, AA grade, HW (Heavy Water) model (or a Charles River model) with red Western cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, mahogany decks, mahogany trim, and a keel. It was built between October, 1922 and January, 1923. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on June 9th, 1923 to New York city. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.

This scan and several hundred thousand similar ones 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/catalogs/old-town/records/ if you want more details. 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/wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/join.html to join.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.



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New Member
Thanks to Benson Gray for such a speedy reply

Your reply is exactly what we required. (I think rainy days keep everyone indoors and at their PC's)
The persons at the Canoe Club will no doubt seal these documents in plastic and display them with the canoe.
The current custodian of the canoe had mentioned her Father said the canoe had originally come from R.H. Macy & Co. and this confirms it.
Just an informational bit: Our town Cranford NJ was once known as the "Venice of New Jersey" due to the River Carnivals that were held anually from 1886 till the mid 30's on our Rahway River.
But into every life some rain must fall and it did last weekend, we had a Noreaster with up to 8" of rain and the placid Rahway became a raging torrent from which many residents are still recovering from.
So, thanks again Benson. Bill Curtis, Cranford Hist. Soc.