Charles River 1915 model from the Kennebec Canoe Company?

Benson Gray

Canoe History Enthusiast
Staff member
Has anyone ever come across a Charles River 1915 model from the Kennebec Canoe Company? Please share some pictures and the serial number if you have. I delivered one to Steve Lapey today for the Norumbega chapter to restore and sell at the WCHA Assembly auction next year. The serial number is 6291 as shown below. This model was only listed in their catalogs from 1910 to 1916. The stems are flared like a Morris. The odd thing is that I can't find any listing of it in the scanned Kennebec records so we must be missing some of their information. The serial numbers in the current collection of scanned records skip from 6099 to 7000. Any additional information about other examples of this model would be much appreciated. Thanks,

Benson
 

Attachments

  • k-6291.jpg
    k-6291.jpg
    296.8 KB · Views: 435
  • PAGE-18.GIF
    PAGE-18.GIF
    129.6 KB · Views: 453
  • PAGE-19.GIF
    PAGE-19.GIF
    178.3 KB · Views: 457
  • PAGE-24.GIF
    PAGE-24.GIF
    89.8 KB · Views: 494
Steve Lapey wins the prize for solving this mystery. He applied some paint remover to the stern stem and found number 5291 stamped there. The record for that serial number matches as shown below. Now we can all speculate as to why Kennebec did this.

Benson
 

Attachments

  • k-5291-b.gif
    k-5291-b.gif
    442.8 KB · Views: 476
  • k-5291-a.gif
    k-5291-a.gif
    534.5 KB · Views: 472
  • k-5291.jpg
    k-5291.jpg
    65.5 KB · Views: 429
Steve Lapey wins the prize for solving this mystery. He applied some paint remover to the stern stem and found number 5291 stamped there. The record for that serial number matches as shown below. Now we can all speculate as to why Kennebec did this.

Benson

Clearly it was done to ensure Morris research would never be complete...;)
 
I had one a few years ago and Dan Miller looked it up for me. But it had long decks and a metal tag that had the serial number
as well as the "1915" model stamped on it!
 
I had one a few years ago and Dan Miller looked it up for me. But it had long decks and a metal tag that had the serial number
as well as the "1915" model stamped on it!

Do either of you recall if it had the serial numbers on the tag and the stem matched or if it had the same difference of a thousand between the two? Thanks,

Benson
 
Last edited:
Benson, If I remember correctly (which is not a sure thing) it was only on the metal tag. I do not recall any numbers on the wooden stem.
Dave
 
I'm bumping this thread for now.

I'm e-looking at a 16' CR 1915 and if its still available I'm going to snag it if possible.

Ser # 4561
 
Thought I'd post up a couple pics of the one I'm looking at right now.

NOTE: I'm overseas and only have a few pics to go buy. Hopefully more info to come soon.

First, after pouring over the catalog pics posted earlier, I'm starting to wonder if this is actually a KCR 1915 or if someone put some KCR parts on another boat.


Notice the Heart shaped decks, thwarts fore & aft, caned seats and the closed gunwales.
From WCHA 3.GIF

Now here's the boat I'm looking at.
00101_ag8MVWiWv3j_600x450.jpg 01212_fFbWUF8ACBf_600x450.jpg

00b0b_dclV17ANhAH_600x450.jpg 00O0O_MLjMJHbS3h_600x450.jpg

Also, the ends seem to be a fair bit lower than than the catalog pics and not as much recurve to them.

Thoughts?
 
The Kennebec decal on the thwart and the tag on a flared white cedar stem certainly seem like strong indications that it is an early Kennebec. My guess is that this canoe has suffered in the past which resulted in the tips being cut down along with the decks, seats, and rails getting replaced.

Benson
 
Last edited:
The Kennebec decal on the thwart and the tag on a flared white cedar stem certainly seem like strong indications that it is an early Kennebec. My guess is that this canoe has suffered in the past which resulted in the tips being cut down along with the decks, seats, and rails getting replaced.

Benson

Hmm. Would lowering the ends explain the gussets/caps? Sorry, I forgot to include this pic earlier.
00s0s_ia25SRa8U6d_600x450.jpg
 
Hmm. Would lowering the ends explain the gussets/caps? Sorry, I forgot to include this pic earlier.
attachment.php

That picture is quite revealing...Benson's comment about previous work is well summarized in that photo. The inside rails and deck are not original. Neither are the outside rails It does appear that when the work was done that the form of the boat was also modified. This type or repair is an option for resurrecting a badly damaged boat...
It also appears that the canoe has been covered in fiberglass...arguably that is not an ideal covering for the hull.
 
Back
Top