1931 Temagami canoe


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hello. I'm currently replacing some planking and ribs on this canoe and as this is my first time attempting any kind of work of this sort, I may have some questions. The first one is what is the usual thickness or a replacement rib. I figure it must be a little thicker than the old dried out ones.
rib thickness

I always make it the same as what is there. I don't consider future swelling/shrinking. most likely it would be 5/16 but 3/8 is possible. Even 1/4" but that's not as likely. Check that the rib isn't made thinner at the gunnel. Some may be but mostly they are the same thickness. Not familiar with Temegami canoes.
Camp Keewaydin is somehow connected to Temagami Canoes, but Temagami Canoes have been around for a long time.
Do a search and you should find a lot of info on them.

They come up for sale on occasion on searches out east.

I don't personally know anything about their construction details.

If this canoe is from 31’ it would not be from Keewaydin. During Keewaydin’s past 117 years of continuous operation, they have purchased less than 20 canoes from Temagami Canoe Co. and most of those were bought during the years of 1982-1986.

Temagami Canoe was started in 1928 by Bill Smith who I believe had worked for the Peterborough Canoe Co. prior to setting up in T town. As I understand, he was quite the character so you kind of got whatever he felt like building. The older Temagami’s we have worked on (pre 50’s) typically had 3/8 or 5/16 thick ribs that were tapered in thickness the last 6 inches or so. Their canoes are generally well built and the earlier ones have Peterborough like qualities to them. It would be nice to see pictures of yours.

There is really no connection between Keewaydin and Temagami Canoe other than sharing the same zip code and the camp briefly purchasing a few a canoes from them in the 80’s. The two have always been independent of each other.
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This particular canoe was actualy custom built by Bill Smith for a man who was my grandfathers prospecting partner in the 30's and 40's. He gave it to friends of the family in the 60's and they in turn gave it to me in 2006. I know the day it was finnished because when I peeled off the canvas, I found that Smith had dated it (March 7,1931), wrote the place (Temagami,Ont) and drew a picture of a very bosumy nude woman. My stepfather, who knew Smith quite well, said that was something he probably did after a trip to the Temagami Hotel. lol.
Temagami Canoe Company

Can't add much to the history of the Temagami Canoe Co., But I do have a picture of my cousin and I in front of a deralict building with "Temagami Canoe Co." in bold white letters. The sign would suggest a more recent date than the building would that's for sure. Needless to day it was in Temagami. Rick
Post some pictures. I've got the same picture of the building. We would stop there to rest on our way up to Mattice where we put in to do the Missinabi River up to Moosonee.
The building you have a picture of is in fact the original Temagami
canoe shop and still has the original steam boiler used to power the saws to cut the stock. The work, done by John Killbridge these days, is in the building next door. He actually came to visit and take pictures of the canoe when he was down south one time. Heck of a nice guy and gave me some advice on the project as well. As for pictures, I'm trying to retrieve them from a crashed computer so it could take awhile
The pictures below are ones of the Temagami Canoe Company that Ralph Kohn took on his way to the WCHA Assembly in Peterborough during 1992 which he shared for a retrospective slide show during the Assembly last year.



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More info from Ottertooth.com, http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Sites/tem_canoe_shop.htm:


Wood-canvas canoe builder



Temagami Canoe Company, located in the village of Temagami, is Canada's second oldest canoe builder.* It is dedicated to wood-canvas canoe construction.

Although it says on the building facade that it was established in 1929, it was actually started in 1928 by William "Bill" Ernest Smith. The following year it became a business partnership with the addition of Henry Black, a Chicago freight agent with the Pennsylvania Railroad. They signed the papers on October 10, 18 days before the crash on Black Monday.

The company was bought by Steve and John Kilbridge in 1978 from Smith. Today it is operated by John. The old shop (left) was built in 1931. It still contains the old boiler for generating steam to run the saws and soften the ribs for bending.

Contact John Kilbridge at 705-569-3777 or canoes@onlink.net.


Company logo since 1985, as used for the brass deck plate on each canoe.


Original logo created in the 1930s and discontinued about 1985.

* Canada's oldest canoe builder operating today is Miller Canoes of Nictau, New Brunswick, founded in 1925.
Yet another Temagami Canoe Picture

Nothing new to add, but the building is certainly photogenic.



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