charles river pictures needed

tom lange

Curious about Wooden Canoes
hello all!! we are getting ready to start a new display this year involving our waltham long deck and nutting rental boat and are in need of of a couple good pictures of the congested charles river on a weekend in the GOLDEN AGE
i have several books that show these log jams of canoes out and about on the charles but are getting really grainy when i blow them up for display purposes from the pages of these books. looking for a couple different shots to be blown up to 8 x 10 or already blown up !! will gladly pay any reasonable expenses and shipping involved. i just want people to see how BIG social canoeing was . thanks in advance if you have something. you can always call me too. tom lange , lange boats , boulder , co. 303-641-3312
Hi Tom,

On Ebay you can always find a variety of postcards showing canoe-crowded scences of the Charles River. Some of these might enlarge well.

Edison Film

Here's a YouTube link to the fabulous Edison footage that Ken Kelly shared at the Assembly on the Charles River canoe-era:

YouTube videos can be downloaded as MP4 files with free programs like YouTube Downloader. Then you can play them off of your computer without an internet connection.

The Edison video is great, Kathy, and the one guy heeled over at the end shows that "style" paddling has some history.

Wonderful pictures, Benson. But it is notable that waiting for the regatta is claimed to be located on the Charles river in Auburndale, MA -- and a couple of others

and also at Lake of the Isle, Minneapolis

And the boats, paddles, and trees in the Pawtuxet River, Pawtuxet, RI have dopplegangers at Belle Isle, Detroit, MI
My vote is "Lake of the Isles" is really someplace else (I lived near there, and it hasn't looked as it does in the picture since prior to the invention of the camera). And the "Belle Isle" postcard with the checkerboard canoe doesn't look like Belle Isle to me. (But I do smile whenever I see the checkerboard canoe picture come up on eBay.)
Charles River

FWIW, I have spent a fair amount of time at and near the Waltham locations for an old job of mine.

I think the postcard of the regatta is actually in Waltham. It appears to me to be shot from in front of the Waltham canoe club toward Mt Feake which is visible in the background.

The Pawtuxet River shot could also be from near the same Waltham spot but looking in the other direction past the Waltham Canoe factory. There is a small inlet there at Woerd Ave., but I am less convinced of that. It could also have been taken just upstream from the Watham Canoe factory where there are parks, inlets, isles etc. This section of the Charles above the Moody Street Dam in Waltham is also known as the "lake region" or "lake district" of the Charles. Although, the Pawtuxet River shot does look a bit "foreign" to me so it could be a completely different location.

If anyone is ever in the area, there is a nice canoe launch at this location on Woerd Ave.
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The checkerboard canoe appears in several Belle Isle postcards as shown in the first image below so I believe that it was from that area. The second image is another Belle Isle postcard showing the same view which was also identified as being of the Pawtuxet River in another postcard. This view is most frequently described as Belle Isle on postcards. The third image shows one of the largest number of wooden canoes that I have ever seen in one image but it is from St. Paul, Minn. The fourth image shows how inaccurate the descriptions printed on postcards can be. The Old Town Canoe Company and Old Town, Maine have never been spelled "Oldtown" and both are on Marsh Island not Indian Island. The fifth image is the postcard showing the most congestion on the Charles River in my collection. The last image shows a congestion of logs on the Penobscot River before they have been converted into canoes.



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