# 65397


LOVES Wooden Canoes
can someone please post the OT build order for this number. I was told there might be two with the same number. I'm interested in the Molitor, not the other record. Thanks!

Are you sure you have the right/complete S/N?

Per the CD, the Molitor was offered from 1965 to 1999+

And the 1965 S/N's start about the 173K range.

A S/N of 65k would be much older.

Morris Molitor

Fair question Dan,
The original Molitor was made to specifications for C J Molitor livery in Detroit Michigan servicing Belle Isle. The serial number I'm asking about was a canoe made by Morris for Old Town. Morris had been selling this model to Molitor prior to his factory fire. Later orders for the Detroit livery were built by Morris through Old Town.
Hi Ken,

There are in fact two Old Town canoes with that number. The one for the Molitor is attached, the other was a war canoe...

Dan, there were two versions of the Molitor. The one built in the 1920s was never offered in a catalog. Old Town started building these after the Morris factory burned down.



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Belle Isle

molitor id tag.jpgCarbide Light sm.jpgBelleIslevintageMolitor.jpgBelle Isle courting.jpg

Thanks Dan,

Know Dan M is going, but for others... I'm bring my Morris built, pre-fire, #16214 Molitor to the Assembly.
So if you attend, you can see what an unrestored Belle Isle Molitor looks like. 36" front deck, 24" aft, bilge keels, rub rails...it is heavy, but I'm sure very stable.

Nice canoes, both of them.

This darn old age, I forgot completely about the Morris/OT canoes.
That's what happens when other things (like job hunting) take ones attention. :)

I wish I was going to the Assy, but it's not possible.

But, while I was in Detroit, the wife and I did visit Belle Isle one day, very interesting. Though much "worn down" these days.
Though if one looks, the "glory days" can be seen though the weeds and debrie. Didn't see many (any?) canoes though.


Kathy, who is on the road to Assembly now, will love to see this Molitor canoe.

Kathy is on the road to assembly currently. They visited with us last night and left this morning. I think she has a laptop with her.
This is the canoe that started the research into the Morris/ Molitor connection on Belle Isle. Upon inspection of the build record, The owner of the canoe remarked that the model name and the buyer had the same name. I was so dumb that I thought it was simply a coincidence. Later, after talking to Benson and Dave Baker did I realize that maybe there was a connection.
Research was then started at the Detroit library on C.J Molitor, and with the Old Town build records, the search for the first Molitor was started. Kathy became quite interested in the connection after she bought a "Belle Isle" Morris canoe. She finished the research and wrote the article for "Wooden Canoe".
I believe that this canoe was in the first group of Molitors sent to Belle Isle. The Molitor with the lowest serial number is 65395, which I believe is still in Michigan.
The canoe looks almost identical to a Morris, except for Old Town stems.
After running a quick check of the build records, it seems that C J Molitor ordered at least 31 Old Town Molitor canoes on order 578 to be shipped June 1, 1921. The numbers ranged from 65395 sporadically through 65781. There might have been more and I might have missed some, but I quit here.

The first Molitor shipped anywhere except Belle Isle was #65455 to The Hub in Baltimore. Some were also shipped to Macy's in NYC and V&A in Chicago soon afterwards. Kathy's article has more info on The Belle Isle canoes and C. J. Molitor.
Hi-Ho from the road-- Denis and I have been meandering toward the Assembly-- looking forward to the great boats we'll find there. I should make a video on the Molitor(s)... the Morris Molitor and OT Molitor versions... would be nice to put several Molitor versions in the same video, if not side-by-side. It's interesting that the first batch of Molitors built at Old Town even had pocketed ribs, which seems to support the information that workers from the Morris factory went to Old Town to build these canoes.

I recently spoke with the great-granddaughter of Charles Morris, who said "everything" went to Old Town--- she couldn't specify what "everything" was, but that's the information that was handed-down.

There was one other Molitor-model that was shipped to CJ in Detroit after he got out of the livery business... I'll track down and post that record when I'm home. Don't know if he ordered it for personal use or for someone else, but it had open wales and a fancy paint job. I like to fantasize that he ordered it for himself and his wife and they paddled the canals together. Like Bert Morris, Charles Molitor had no direct descendants, so information is hard to come by.

Kathy, who is in the Adirondacks with Denis and two canoes
Sometime next week I should have photos of this historic canoe along with a classified ad since the owner can no longer manage an 18' canoe.