Build Record Request

Dave Osborn

I know that you guys pulled this one up for me a couple of years ago, but I have misplaced it and the archives were lost. I'm currently working on 115660-16 and want to restore it to original specs if possible. Please post it.
Dave Osborn
The Old Town canoe with serial number 115660 is a 16 foot long, CS grade, Yankee model with western red cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, oak decks, oak trim, and a keel. It was built between March and June, 1935. The original exterior paint color was maroon enamel. It shipped on June 28th, 1935 to Sig Olson in Winton, Minn. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.

This scan was 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 if you want more details. I hope that you will join or contribute to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and 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. Good luck with your project.



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This may be a very interesting Canoe

Sig Olson of Winton MN 1936

Probably sigrid f. olson who lead the effort to create the BWCA.

Sigurd F. Olson purchased the J.C. Outfitting company along with two other partners in 1929 and renamed it to Border Lakes Outfitting. Sigurd was the General Manager, at the same time he was also a teacher. Sigurd eventually sold his 1/3rd to one of the other partners in 1951. His accomplishments toward forming the BWCA are paramount.

Border Lakes Outfitters

Yes, this canoe was most likely in Sig's fleet for his outfitting business. Dan Lindberg has some info on Sig's personal canoes that I believe are stored at the Minnesota Historical Society. This canoe was purchased by a man in Ely in the early 50's, so it saw about 15 years of service, most likely. I bought it from the man's son in Minneapolis. I just happened to meet the guy in the Fargo ND airport. He and I were about the only ones in the whols place and we struck up a conversation. Neither of us had any idea that it at one time belonged to Sig's business.
It has had several repairs to ribs and planking as well as gunwales. They do not match the build record materials. All repairs were well done. My debate is to replace the wales in original materials. I probably will, since I will have to either repair all of the rib ends for splits and dry rot or cut them off under the gunwale anyway.
The man from Ely did a wonderful job of fiberglassing it. It is coming off, but painstakingly to say the least. I also know now why fiberglass is frowned on. Some of the planks, particularly flat sawn ones, nearly disintegrated themselves by being trapped in glass and expansion and contraction of being wet and dry.
I had hopes of having it completed by March for Canoecopia, but I don't think I'll make it. I've had to side step canoe work for a little while and am just now gearing up again. Maybe I can bring it to the Assembly in 2006.
Best wishes to all!!
Dave Osborn
Sigurd Olson Canoe

If that one could talk, what stories we could hear! While searching for your SN, I found a couple other canoes shipped to "Sig" that were just a few SN's from yours...must have been building up the fleet.

Good luck on the restoration,

I don't have the time to find the data now but, yes, an early (07,09 ?) Morris 15 ft canoe of Sig's is currently owned by the MN Historical Soc, last I heard it was being moved to Grand rapids MN to be part of a display there. A couple years a ago we (the MN WCHA chapter) got a "tour" of the canoe where we got to inspect, photo and got a bit of info about the Morris.

A 2ed Olson canoe, a 16' White, is hanging in his cabin at Listening Point. I have the S/N and pics of this one also.


Another thought, depending on when and where it was repaired, if in Ely, it's possible/likely that Joe S may have worked on it.

Joe did do repairs for Sig when he (Joe) was just getting started, (and for a number of other outfitters and camps in town) though Joe didn't start glassing until about 1950. Though he could have worked on it for the guy who bought it from Sig.

I checked Joe's records last night and from '48 to '52 he worked on/repaired 5 canoes for Border Lakes. Unforcanately he didn't record any S/N or descriptions of the canoes.

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Thanks Dan! All neat stuff to know......As you know I've collected a little bit of info from Border Lakes Outfitters along the way. Always great to get tidbits to piece the story together!
Best Regards!