Scott: The Old Town canoe with serial number 114512 is a 17 foot long, CS grade, HW model with oak decks and a keel. It was built between October 1934 and March 1935. The original exterior paint color was orange with a black hair line stripe. It shipped on May 6, 1935 to Long Island City, NY.
This scan and several hundred thousand others 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 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.php 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.
Orange?...that seems a bit unique...not what I had pictured, but I like it.
Was oak commonly used as decking?
Boat came to me stripped of canvas, missing the outwale and keel...some deterioration at the tops of the stems...otherwise ribs and planking look to be in pretty good shape. Interior looks stripped of varnish as well...that'll save some work. Looks very unadulterated. Also came with a floor rack in surprisingly good condition.
Will certainly be relying any input I can get from other members during the resto as this is all new to me.
Benson may be able to provide statistics re your question about the oak decks, but I've been looking up build records for people for a while now, and oak trim is more commonly seen on the guide model Old Towns than on HWs. HWs of CS grade more commonly had ash or birch decks, thwarts, and seat frames. Don't know why this is... CS stands for "common sense"... so your canoe is very sensibly trimmed in oak! It may be that oak is what they were trimming all CS grade canoes with that day.
I think orange could be very pretty... really set off the wood interior and look spectacular if you're paddling in the fall where leaves are turning all colors. But the consensus regarding canoe-color is to paint it whatever suits you.