1939 Worlds Fair Canoe??


Canoe Sailor
Ahoy Guy and Gals, Just unearthed and aquired a new canoe and was wondering if the story that goes with it might have any merrit. By It's number it's a 1933 Old Town Yankee 16' model and the owner said his father had it 70 years, having found it floating in the bay by the 1939 N.Y. Worlds Fair. It is painted blue on one side and orange on the other. These were the colors of the Worlds Fair. I know that it was delivered to RH Macy's on Long Island, which would have been in the area of the fair. Does anyone know if there were Old Town canoes either displayed or used on the fair grounds, I understand there was a large lake on the grounds. The boat is in orriginal condition and very solid and straight, weathered with just a few broken planks, a nice find. It was said to have been on the rafters of a beach house for the past 70 years. I appreciate your interest.
Can you share the serial number so we can see if there are any notes on the build record? Thanks,

Hi Benson, yes the serial # is 112316. The paint looks original and the blue was over an orange coat. I don't see any other markings that would tie it to the fair. this fellows father who was 25 at the time he found it always told him it came from the fair. Interesting.
Hello-- Old Town 112316 is a 16 foot CS (common sense or middle) grade Yankee model canoe, just as you said. It has red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, birch decks, thwarts and seat frames a keel and floor rack and was originally orange with a black hair line (pin stripe). It was shipped to Macy's on May 29, 1933. So, the canoe wasn't built for the fair, and someone painted over one side of the canoe. This may be a case where the interesting story that goes with the canoe cannot be verified... unless someone else out there can think of a connection.

I'll attach the build record... click on it for a larger image.

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.


  • ot112316.jpg
    299 KB · Views: 251
Thank you Kathryn, The description matches and the number is clear, I can see evidence of the missing floor rack and an Old Town decal. I did some research on the Fair last night and there was a lake as well as several water areans. Interestingly I found a modern article talhing about the fair's location which happened to state that you can "still" canoe from lake Willow, on the grounds, to Flushing Bay where the canoe was originally found. I may never know more but I think I'll paint it blue and orange when I restore it, just for fun.