17' Old Town S/N 18185


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I recently received from my father a 17' old town canoe that needs a little care. The serial number appears to be 18185 or maybe 18195. My father got it from his brother who recovered it in New Jersey 20 years ago.

To start, she'll need new gunwales, a few new ribs, a thwart, seats, and significant bow reconstruction. This is looking to be a long term project!

Any information about this canoe would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards, Adam Buggeln


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Hi Adam--

Old Town 18185 is an 18 foot Charles River, AA grade with open mahogany gunwales... and 18195 is a 16 foot CS Charles River. The "17" is clearly marked on your canoe, so we're going to have to narrow it down more. The canoes in this number series are circa 1911. We need to look harder at those numbers!

Scans of approximately 210,000 records were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. Additional information about the project to preserve these records is available at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/records/ if you want more details. Please join WCHA or make a tax deductible contribution so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA, http://www.wcha.org/wcha_video.php to watch a 10 minute video about WCHA and our programs and http://www.wcha.org/join.html to join. If you are already a WCHA member, THANK YOU!

Denis and I worked at the s/n image for a while and decided it might be 18196... but that's an eighteen-footer! I went through all the serial numbers from 18180-18199, and only three are 17 foot canoes. All three are Charles River models.

18187 is a CS (common sense) grade, sent to Big Moose, NY;
18191 is an AA (mahogany) grade, sent to Easton, PA; and
18192 is a CS grade, sent to Lake George, NY.

I've attached the records for these... perhaps the details will help you sort out whether any fits your canoe. We can keep trying.... I'm only guessing, but I take it there's no s/n at the other end of the canoe :)?


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Could it be a Carleton?

Carleton 18195 is a 17 foot CS grade Carleton model with Western red cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, birch decks, thwarts, and seats, which was painted dark red and sent to Newark, NJ on March 21, 1924.

Does that one fit? I will attach the record... refer back to my first response for information on the Old Town record project.



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A Carleton!

Thanks all for the responses and the effort!

Looking at the dragonflycanoe site description, Carleton is a very good fit. A carry thwart (original?) is still attached with diamond head bolts to the chunks of gulwale I have in the bits box and Newark places it geographically. I'll have to strip the paint to try to confirm wood types but I'm sold.

Thanks again - Adam