Gerrish at Penobscot Marine Museum

Bob Holtzman

Wannabe
PMM obtained this nice 18-foot Gerrish and I'd like to know the date of manufacture. Serial #636-18. The owner who donated it recanvassed and painted it (well), but otherwise very original. It has an odd but neatly-done repair in the bottom, with three brass plates and a half-rib installed over some broken sheathing. Have more fotos if anyone wants to see. Thanks.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0217cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0217cmprs.jpg
    190.4 KB · Views: 275
  • IMG_0218cmprs.JPG
    IMG_0218cmprs.JPG
    216.3 KB · Views: 283
  • IMG_0224cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0224cmprs.jpg
    182.8 KB · Views: 295
  • IMG_0229cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0229cmprs.jpg
    236.5 KB · Views: 289
Thanks Bob, for these pictures--- and I'd appreciate more if you have them. Am trying to get a grip on Gerrish canoes.... it's as though there are no two alike. The seats in this canoe are unlike the "typical" Gerrish seat, and may simply have been re-done incorrectly. My impression of Kraft paper rush for canoe seats is that it might water-log, no matter how much you imbue it with shellac.

I will attach a link to the video I made of Dave McDaniel's Gerrish seats... made this video so we'd all know how to recognize a Gerrish by its seat... and how to re-seat a Gerrish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxjz65TgQD0

I didn't know Gerrish put serial numbers on his canoes (where is it located?). I hope to see a bunch of Gerrish canoes at the Assembly this year and do a lot of comparing!

Kathy
 
thanks for the link Kathy. The seat frames do look similar to what appears in the video, although obviously the filling is different.
The serial number is on the top face of the forward stem, near the rear end, like typical Old Town practice. The 636 is separated by several inches from the 18, with the 636 further forward and the 18 near the tail end.
How do I attach photos to a reply? The "attach" icon seems to only appear on a new post.
 
Bob - is that forward grab handle spruce root or some more modern substitute? I'd seen that some of the early Gerrish boats had spruce root for that and for holding outwales on both at the tips and spaced along the length of the boat.
 
(smart boy figured out how to do attachments on replies)

Here are some more photos of PMM's Gerrish. A few more to follow.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0228cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0228cmprs.jpg
    204.4 KB · Views: 264
  • IMG_0227cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0227cmprs.jpg
    242.7 KB · Views: 262
  • IMG_0226cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0226cmprs.jpg
    228.6 KB · Views: 265
  • IMG_0225cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0225cmprs.jpg
    151.5 KB · Views: 287
  • IMG_0222cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0222cmprs.jpg
    197.7 KB · Views: 270
  • IMG_0219cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0219cmprs.jpg
    173.2 KB · Views: 277
Last bunch. Dollar bill for scale to show width of frames on bottom.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0230cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0230cmprs.jpg
    198.1 KB · Views: 244
  • IMG_0231cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0231cmprs.jpg
    32 KB · Views: 250
  • IMG_0232cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0232cmprs.jpg
    190.1 KB · Views: 269
  • IMG_0234cmprs.jpg
    IMG_0234cmprs.jpg
    183 KB · Views: 262
Bob - is that forward grab handle spruce root or some more modern substitute? I'd seen that some of the early Gerrish boats had spruce root for that and for holding outwales on both at the tips and spaced along the length of the boat.

I thought it was cane, but I don't really know what material it is. I wouldn't call it a grab handle -- way too light for that; it'd break in an instant if you tried to lift the canoe. Another Gerrish owner I know thinks this was purely decorative -- a kind of reminder of the sewn construction of bark canoes. I'm not entirely convinced, but I can't come up with any more practical explanation.
 
Thanks for all the pictures. I wonder if Rollin has seen this canoe and what date he'd put on it.

I believe the grab handles aren't meant to be grabbed... my understanding is that Gerrish gave a nod to the canoes of the indigenous people, which he paddled as a guide in Maine. And maybe he felt he had to make his canoes look similar to what "the sports" and others thought a canoe should look like. Our Gerrish is "late" (maybe 1905-09) and doesn't have any of the birch bark features.

Love all the little details, like the shape of the stem.... beautiful.

Glad we don't have to plaster big-ol' numbers all over the outside of our canoes here in Michigan!
 
Glad we don't have to plaster big-ol' numbers all over the outside of our canoes here in Michigan!

Likewise here in Maine. ugLEE! But I suppose Ohio has a point -- kinda dangerous allowing people (read: terrorists) to go off into the woods without registering them first.
 
Kathy

You're welcome. I was at the Capitol to protest the numbering/registering law that was snuck through years ago. we got it repealed.
 
date of Gerrish?

Know one knows the dates of these exactly. I have started collecting #'s form the few Gerrish that have #'s. Only 4 including this one. Only one of my 4 Gerrishes have a # which is 589. The canoe is a 17' and the construction is the same as this canoe for what I can see. Two of mine will be at the assembly including 589. Got the last coat of paint on in yesterday. Keel going on today. I would say the mine dates around 1895.
The caning is for decoration. It sould have lashings around the tip, half way down the deck and then the carring handle( for looks) to resemble a birchbark. Mine has a carring handle a foot back of the cane handle.

Zack
 
Back
Top