age?

ahjort

Rank Amatuer
I have an opportunity to purchase an Old Town canoe and was wondering about the age.:confused: I am a NOOB so bear with me! The number I got of the canoe is 11154 If the is more to it then I didn't look close enough!
It is in need of some restoration work and I think I am up to the challenge but will need resources to guide me along. All the wood is in good shape and the cane seats are intact. The canvas was replaced about 5 years ago and is in good shape, but the coating (paint) is peeling badly (in large chunks).
I came across it while driving in Northern NY. It was sitting outside next to an old barn.
I can pick this up for $300. I feel that is a good price for the shape it is in.
What little I have found on line leads me to believe it was built sometime in the early teens. Can anyone help confirm this? Can anyone post the build sheet? Any info is greatly appreciated!
 
Last edited:
Welcome to the WCHA Forums-- there are no dumb questions here, and you'll get the help you need from this friendly, helpful bunch.

Old Town 11154 is a 16 foot CS (common sense or middle) grade HW (heavy water) model canoe that was finished May-June of 1909. Look carefully at the canoe in front of you and check out these details, because you sound somewhat unsure of the number. Old Town canoes have the serial number on BOTH stems-- 5-6 digits followed by a space and the length of the canoe-- so it's a good idea to check out both stems. If the serial number is on a brass plate or in a different place, you may have a canoe by a different builder.

OT 11154 has red Western cedar planking and CLOSED spruce gunwales. People new to old canoes sometimes don't know the difference between closed and open gunwales... with open, the inwale and outwale sandwich the ribs, so the gunwales have all these little spaces in them for dumping out water. Closed wales have a cap on top. If you're unsure, post a picture.

Anyway... 11154 has a keel and was originally dark green. It was originally shipped to Eagles Mere, PA... and there is no ship date! Rare when that happens... but it was probably June 1909 or shortly thereafter.

If you are nowhere near Pennsylvania, this may not be your canoe... we really like putting the correct record with the canoe, so don't be shy about posting pictures to double-check. The HW model would have the "traditional" short deck. I will find a picture of the short deck and you can compare with yours. The record for 11154 is attached below-- click to get 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.

Kathy
 

Attachments

  • ot11154.jpg
    ot11154.jpg
    514.1 KB · Views: 306
  • oldtown_deck older.jpg
    oldtown_deck older.jpg
    14.7 KB · Views: 314
Thank you for the quick response! I will be taking a closer look at this canoe as per your suggestion and will post some pics in the near future. I was told by the owner that it is an Old Town and the serial # I posted is stamped in the wood not a (brass plate). I am fairly certain that the picture you posted accurately matches the look on the canoe in question... Is your picture illustrating an "open" gunwale?
 
So I went and picked up this canoe today. It's a bit rougher than I thought but I am still up for the challenge! I will have to replace the canvas. It is badly weathered and has a few tears as well as rotten spots! I will be diligently searching this site for help.

My question today...Kathy ("Squirrel Whisperer") attached the build sheet from Old Town based on the hull number I included in the first post above. There seems to be some discrepancy...The hull number is correct 11154, but the canoe is clearly a 17' (not the 16" as on the build sheet). The number 17 is clearly stamped in front of the hull number on both stems. The stern stem also has the H W stamped ahead of the 17. There may be another letter before the H W but I can't tell for sure.
Also according to the build sheet the gunwales are spruce, but they are in fact mahogany. And they are open gunwales.
Can someone help to clear up this mystery?
Here are some photos! Thanks!!

Old-Town-1.jpg
Old-Town-5.jpg
Old-Town-3.jpg
Old-Town-4.jpg
 
Your canoe isn't an Old Town-- I think it may fit this Carleton record a bit better:
Carleton 11154 is a 17 foot AA (top) grade Indian Princess model canoe finished March 1915-May-1916 with red Western cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, mahogany deck, mahogany seat frames, mahogany thwarts, a keel, painter ring and a floor rack. Originally it was painted dark green. Shipped to New York Sporting Goods in NYC on May 27, 1916. A copy of the record is attached below... click to get 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.
 

Attachments

  • carl 11154.jpg
    carl 11154.jpg
    168.9 KB · Views: 289
Thanks for the response. Do you think Benson will see this or should I send him a PM?
 
The initials stamped on the stem may belong to a former owner. We have a couple canoes with initials stamped in them just like that. Nice canoe!
 
I changed my mind about what I thought the canoe could be after I looked through the Carleton records. I got fooled by the trim strip on the gunwales, which is a Kennebec feature BUT is also seen on Carleton, Old Town, Morris... early-on it was used by the builders, I think because it made a pretty segue from deck to gunwales. Sorry if I confused you with my initial reply!

Also, the carry thwart on one end in your full-length picture is a Carleton giveaway!

Kathy
 
You are GOOD!!! I really appreciate the help. I just finished a PM to Benson then saw your reply! I guess if he follows this link he will see that you came to my rescue! Thanks again!!
 
Benson follows the forums closely.

If you don't already have Stelmok and Thurlow's "The Wood and Canvas Canoe", that's a good place to begin with a restoration. Another book you might enjoy is Sue Audette's book, "Old Town, Our First Hundred Years"-- the Carleton was built by the Old Town Company (which is possibly why you were told the canoe was an Old Town). I believe both books can be found through the WCHA store and most booksellers,eBay, Amazon, and public libraries.

Check YouTube for videos, too-- and don't be shy about asking questions in the forums here, and supplying pictures.

Kathy
 
Do you think Benson will see this or should I send him a PM?

I can usually follow these discussions but don't always have time to respond immediately. My guess is that you have a Carleton as Kathy has described. You can also check the bow deck to see if there are four nail holes for a brass tag similar to the one shown at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=2196&d=1162173431 on the bottom. The Kennebec canoe with this number is 16 feet long. You have a nice one!

Benson
 
Last edited:
Back
Top