1924 sq. stern seat question?

Tim Clancy

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Just about done w/ restoration of 1924 #79962 Old Town Sq. stern w/ sponson. It has unusual seats, unlike those pictured in 1924 catalog or any others I've seen from this model year. Instead of a simple maple plank that spans the boat and is mounted to long stringers, about size of inwales and runnin the entire length six inches below.

This seat version has two somewhat decorative (scroll cut) supports made out of 5/4" thick maple that rest on stringers and then has several (about 8" wide) seat boards that are attached to the maple supports. Couldn't tell you actual thickness because of 85 years of honest wear. Raw unfinished maple below. Front seat goes stringer to stringer as only support. Two longer mid ship seats have center brace mounted w/ lap joint and seated in shallow round hole in inner keel w/ a short dowell type end. Further there was some angle brace or possibly wooden knee as evidenced by holes in both the vertical upright brace and inner keel w/ exact same spacing on both. I made decorative little wooden corner braces and screwed and plugged them.

The back seat is very interesting but typical to what is described in literature. in that it could either sit flush against the transom stern or be lifted up and be slid into place so as to be a side mounted seat to accommodate use of an outboard. This seat is made of the same thickness of maple supports and the exact size multiple short boards. So this kind of further verifies they were all done together and original.

Besides restorer and two other noted experts that were consulted there is a consensus that these are original to the boat, but the Old Town build sheet just says Thwarts Maple and under that seats w/ an " indicating same as above.

I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of there being an upgrade seat option for this exact model (1924, 16' sq. stern w/ sponsons). One piece of advertising I saw said "price includes seats as shown" possibly indicating an upgrade was available. Perhaps another explanation is that it was shipped to Folsom Arms, and being a larger retailer maybe they requested some upgrades since they were competing w/ other companies and even the manufacturer for market share.

Any thoughts on this subject? Has anyone ever seen seats as I've described? I don't know how to post pics but I could send pics if some one has something similar to compare to. Thanks in advance for any help. Tim in NJ
The build record for your square stern is attached below. I have seen Old Town seats with supports like you described so my guess is that they and the fancy seats are original in yours.



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Thanks for help

Just prior to completing restoration and entering an ACBS show a fellow enthusiast from Mass. was embarking on a very similar restoration same boat but an AA version. He sent me pics with two seats as I described and was told by others that they were not original and should be replaced.

I said they are exact to mine and he should restore his square stern with those seats and I could get him good photos of the front & rear seats which are missing on his. I think at first he was looking to go w/ the standard plank seat but when he finally got his sq. stern and saw the seats and compared them to my photos he knew that they were exact to mine and had to be original to the boat.

Only difference is that my seat planks were maple on maple frame that spans the canoe w/ support leg. His match exactly, right down to same screw pattern on support leg and & little dowelled end that seats in the inner keel. Big difference was his seat planks, while same in number are clearly mahogany but since his a AA and mine a CS, that makes sense to me.

Both his bow & stern seats are missing and I will make mine available to him so he can complete restoration as authentic as possible.

Still haven't found any literature describing these upgrade seats but I'm sure there's some advertisement or catalog insert that show these seats offered in the early 20's for the sq. stern.

But thanks for your info that just helps seal the deal & we all want our restorations to be as true to the original as possible. Was running it on Lake Hopatcong in NJ all weekend w/ a 1947 Evenrude Zephyr, rowed it and paddled it good distances and for such a heavy craft it tracks wonderfully and is very sea worthy which is important on this lake that has too many large recreation boats. This will be boat house kept on a lift and strictly an ES/LS-EM/LD craft. That's "early season--late season: early morning--late day."