Build Request

Dave Burke

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Could I please have the Build Records for OT 26736 25 & OT 87987 25. Do we know how many War Canoes were built by OT and do we know where 26736 fits in the sequence.


26736 is on a 25" War canoe in CS grade with Birch decks, seats & thwarts, a keel and outside stems. It was originally dark green and was shipped to a camp in Beckett, MA in June of 1913.

87987 is on a 25" War canoe in CS grade with 30" Birch decks, seats & thwarts, floor racks, a keel and outside stems and a rudder. It was originally dark green and was shipped to Rockland, ME in July of 1925.

Copy of both build records are attached.

According to Sue Audette's Book "The Old Town Canoe Company: Our first hundred years" the War Canoe was first introduced as a 35' model in 1906. The smaller, 25' version was introduced in 1909. The information at implys that canoes more than 20' were less than 1% of the production. Perhaps someone else can give some accurate information on the numbers built.

Scans of approximately 210,000 records were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. Additional information about the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details. Please join WCHA or make a tax deductable contribution so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA, to watch a 10 minute video about WCHA and our programs and to join. If you are already a WCHA member, THANK YOU!

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.


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Dave Burke said:
Do we know how many War Canoes were built by OT and do we know where 26736 fits in the sequence.

The table at shows that an estimated 633 of the 25 foot war canoes were built by Old Town between 1913 and 1960 which works out to roughly 13 per year or less than one percent as Mike indicated. These were listed in the catalogs from 1909 to 1971. The number 26736 is early in the sequence and the number 87987 is near the middle of the sequence as shown at in the Date / Serial Number Cross Reference Chart. The old Wooden Canoe Journal article and build records attached below provide a bit more information about a longer and earlier war canoe. Feel free to be more specific if this doesn't answer your question.



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Build Record Request

Thanks Mike & Benson for the info.

Some additional info: OT War Canoes 26701 25, 26736 25, 87987 25 and 94959 25 are at YMCA Camp Becket in Becket MA. The first two were purchased by Camp Beckett in June of 1913 and according to the info from Benson could be two of the first 25 foot War Canoes built by OT. OT 94957 was originally sold to Belden Sporting Goods Co in Pittsfield MA which is very close to Camp Becket. I would think there is a good possibility that Camp Becket purchased this directly from Belden.
Actually, Old Town had been building the 24 / 25 foot war canoes since at least 1909 as shown below in the build record for serial number 11278. I agree that Camp Becket probably ordered number 94957 through Belden Sporting Goods since this is not an item that a dealer would typically buy without an order and a large deposit in hand.



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