2 Old Towns in need of history

hall

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I finally waded through the snow out to my barn to jot down the serial #'s of my 2 canoes in need of restoration. They were rather hard to read even with my glasses and spider webs pressed to my face.

Please provide the background on the following 2 serial numbers:
103952 17
71181 15

Many thanks in advance,
Dan
 
The Old Town with serial number 103952 is a 17 foot, CS grade, OTCA model with a keel and outside stems. It was built between December, 1929 and January, 1930. It has an exterior color of light green. It shipped on January 28, 1930 to Harrisburg, PA. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the thumbnail image attached below.

These scans and several hundred thousand others were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. 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 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 renew.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your boat. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.
 

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Dan: The Old Town with serial number 71181 is a 15 foot, CS grade, 50 pound model. It was built between April and May, 1922. The original color was dark green and was revarnished just be shipping. It shipped on May 24th, 1922 to Philadelphia, PA. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the thumbnail image attached below. Apparently an inquiry on this canoe was made by a John Hall on 6/23/1975.

These scans and several hundred thousand others were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. 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 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 renew.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your boat. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. - Al
 

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Hi Al,
Thanks much for this information on the canoes. I remember my father (John Hall) inquiring about these 2 but the information has been lost. He acquired these canoes from a descendent of Gifford Pinchot as i remember so the build record of 71181 makes sense.

I may have had the serial number wrong for the 17 footer. It may be:
703952 17
being a sailor model. Could you please check this last serial number for me as the first digit is fairly worn.

Thanks again Al,
Dan Hall
 
The Old Town canoe with serial number 703952 is only about a decade old so that probably isn't yours. The one with 203952 is a 16 foot fiberglass one so that doesn't sound like yours either. It was common to add a sailing rig after a canoe left the factory so your canoe could be number 103952. This should be stamped on the inside stems in both ends if one end is not clear. This canoe also has unusual half ribs, outside stems, and a bang plate along the full length of the keel which may help comfirm it that is the one you have. The chart at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/specific.gif may help identify these items if you are not familar with these terms. The note from the back side of the build record 103952 is attached below so this looks like it is your canoe. Feel free to reply here if this doesn't answer your question.

Benson
 

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Hi Benson,
Yes then as you describe sn103952 is it. The sail was lost in one of our moves, its (twin) dagger-boards never kept. But it's a grand looking piece with high ends and low sides in restorable condition.

Many thanks you for your research.
Dan
 
The Canoes of the Famous

And so we can add your canoes, Dan, to the list of "canoes of the famous now owned by... the ... ummm ... not famous"... (I was going to say "normal" but that doesn't apply to those who consider themselves "canoe nuts").

There's a wonderful video on the history of the US Forest Service, titled "The Greatest Good", which your family may want to view if you don't know of it...

Very cool to have canoes once paddled by a man who helped preserve and protect areas worthy of paddling.

He got into it with the fellow in my current signature quote, but they were both heroes, in my estimation. I'll attach Mr. Pinchot's picture, to go with the canoe info.
 

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Indeed Kathryn heroes from the scant amount that I have read. I feel indebted to the likes of such since the woods and its waters (esp.) are my salvation much of the time. I'd imagine all of us can relate.

Thanks for the video pointer and attached picture. I need to do some more background on him... I'm in the process of offering these canoes back to descendents of the Pinchot family. So you see, these heirlooms may go full circle from famous back to famous...to where IMO they belong.

I'll keep you posted.

dan
 
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