16' OTCA? SN might be 3261


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
I got this boat in a trade from the second owner (I was told it was an Old Town). He received it in a trade about 70 years ago and needed new canvas then. After re-canvassing twice the previous owner fiberglassed it using polyester. Fortunately, it appears that it was mostly stored inside, so the rot is not extensive. One deck may be original and is not a style that I have seen on the OTCA. It measures about 11 inches. The gunwales are not square to the ribs. The SN is extremely vague, even after applying stripper; it might have an additional digit and the numbers shown above are somewhat questionable. Any help you can offer on identification of this beautiful boat would be appreciated. Thank you.



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Mark Adams

all wood nut
To me, it looks like a A grade Rushton Indian Girl. With a 4 digit serial number, that certainly fits, and were it an Old Town serial number, it puts it pre-OTCA by a long shot. The Rushton stamp can be VERY faint, but is found on the stem.

The stem profile, and the one original deck match an IG I had.

NICE score!!!!

Dan Miller

cranky canoeist
Staff member
What Mark said - you've got a Rushton Indian Girl. That serial number would put it in the Rushton, Inc. days, 1906 or later. In all about 5500 Indian Girl canoes were built.

For more on Rushton, the definitive book "Rushton and His Times in American Canoeing" as well as several catalog reprints are available from the WCHA store. This year's Assembly features Rushton and his canoes.


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
Thank you Mark and Dan for those responses. I have been a Rushton fan for years and I do have the Rushton American Canoeing book. The Indian Girl has been one of my favorites from that book, but I didn't know any details. Gee, I hope next time I don't have to wait 11 minutes for an answer! :D


Kathryn Klos

squirrel whisperer
Hi Joe-- and congratulations!

If you use the "search" function (above) and type in Indian Girl, a number of interesting discussions should pop up. Several members have been working to restore their Indian Girls, and the information may be helpful to you, too.


Dave Wermuth

Who hid my paddle?

If you look further out on the stems you will find the Rushton name stamped very faintly. yOU May need to apply Low angle light and take Digital photos but it's there. Mine is 3250. we're 11 apart.


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

We stripped more of the stems and the SN and Rushton stamp are now fairly plain to see. The Serial Number is 2261 and there is no sign of Inc. after the J H Rushton, Canton NY. We have the outer gunwale removed. It looks like cherry, measures 3/4" X 1"; the inner is about 1" square and without stripping it yet, I would say it is ash. I can't imagine that these are original, but they appear to be. The tops of the gunwales are cambered down outboard about 9 degrees.

We have the Indian Girl catalog ordered from the WCHA store and have owned the Stelmok and Thurlow books for years. I took a week long class with Jerry Stelmok with a class of 6 at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle, building an Atkinson Traveler in 1993. The main help I need now is to verify dimensions and placements of the original thwarts, and any tips on getting polyester bonded fiberglass off the hull safely would be appreciated. The present thwarts are/were plywood; just lovely! :rolleyes:

I'm not sure what I should do here in the future. I assume it would be best to start a new thread with a proper title. Anyway, we have a lot of research and reading to do! Thanks for your replies.

Joe and Mary


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