Gerrish Serial Number List


Several years ago this post mentioned Gerrish Serial numbers.
I'm wondering if that list could live here where it can be added to as canoes are found.
Not all Gerrish canoes have serial numbers but for those that do it would be very interesting to see what folks have squirreled away as well as the characteristics of each.
I'm newly motivated..I found the numbers on mine today when I (finally) started stripping it. 813 16
Mike, I'm glad that gray paint is finally coming off the Gerrish. I can work on a spreadsheet in my free time. I can tell you it's not that impressive. Your Gerrish makes my list at 11 with serial numbers. I'm guesstimating that only about only half of Gerrish's had numbers assigned to them. Does your canoe have the wider tapered stems? Are the seats all wood or do they have wood/steel rod frame? I'm assuming it has the heavier copper tacks? Number stamps on the stems?

Hi Zack I'll shoot you an email related. Any starting point to make information visible can be helpful. I learned that when I first spun up Dennis and Kathy's Morris "database" a few years back. Here we know that he stopped building in 09, we know when he started, there is anecdotal (or is there support?) information about when he started to ramp up production. We know when open rails appeared and a few other details. There are (I think) several boats around with serial numbers in the 1,700's so we might have a generalized cap number. Between the information from your fleet and hopefully a few more folks checking in here we might get a bit more of a view...granted nothing very precise but a view.

Mine does not have wide stems...and there are no markings on them as far as I can see. The seats are hung from the inside rails and have wood and (I presume) steel frames covered by rush cane. The oddity about this boat is that it has enormous decks and large ribs. Until yesterday I did not think that it had the cane lashings but on each deck I can now see where the cane had been lashed....a surprise to me considering the width of the decks. There are other details that are interesting (to me) that I'll pass along in an email. A spreadsheet (even with boats w/o sn's) would be a fabulous tool.
A article in the Wooden Canoe Journal with this information would also be great. It would reach a much wider audience who might have more Gerrish information to offer.

Gerrish's work spaces were exceptionally small for most of his career as described at from what I could find. His big expansion may have been on November 12th, 1897 when he purchased land adjacent to the "tannery lot" between Valley Avenue and Kenduskeag stream as described in the deed attached below. This deed description ends with a note that "The shore of Kenduskeag Stream is also reserved for the purpose of storing logs, etc." This area was not covered by the Sanborn maps so I haven't figured out exactly where or how big any buildings on the lot may have been. It is now part of the Kenduskeag Stream Park so everything was torn down years ago.


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Zip Kellogg put me in touch with Dick Shaw who kindly shared the images below showing this area. Gerrish sold this property on February 21st, 1903 as confirmed in the deed below so it is not clear if he ever actually built canoes here or even if any of these buildings were included in his 135 foot wide lot.


Gerrish-Deed-724-455.jpg Lover's Leap and S.A. Maxfield Co. tannery, ca. 1920 postcard view.jpg Maxfield tannery, Valley Avenue, ca. 1910 photo,  burned early 1980s.jpg S.A. Maxfield Co. abattoir, Valley Avenue ca. 1925, from 1987 heritage calendar, BHS.jpg Maxfield tannery, Valley Avenue, Bangorl Daily News photo, dated March 6, 1972.jpg
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This information I have collected over the last 15 years or so. If anyone has any additional information please share. Many have reached out too me in private to share their information which is extremely limited. Any bit of info would be great. Even the canoes that are not serial numbered are of great interest and are informative. I believe that about half of the canoes manufactured did not have serial numbers stamped into the canoes.

E. H. Gerrish Serial Number List as of 12Aug18 from Zachary Smith

1. 586, 17ft, stamped on stem, closed gunwale, larger heart shaped chestnut decks, 3 lashings locations on each end, hand thwarts, all wood seats, 1 mortised thwart, non-splayed stem, location- NH, owner Zachary Smith

2.. 636 18, 18ft, stamped on stem, closed gunwale, non-splayed stems, larger heart shaped chestnut decks, 2 lashings each end, thwarts bolted under rails, location - Penobscot Martine Museum, Maine

3. 730 16, 16ft, Double ended row boat ( Peapod), lashing hand thwarts, leather caps on ends, location-Maine

4. 813 16, 16ft, stamped on decks, closed gunwale courting canoe style, 2ft mahogany one piece heart shaped decks, splayed stem, wood and metal seats, location-NY

5. 836 16, 16ft, stamped in stem, closed gunwale, 3 sets of lashings at each end, 1 mortised thwart, larger chestnut heart shaped deck, non – splayed stems, location - Maine

6. 1075 18, 18ft, stamped on stem, closed gunwale, 3 sets of lashings at each end, larger heart shaped mahogany decks, no keel, 1 hand thwart toward bow, all wood seats, location - Maine

7. 1323 16, 16ft, stamped on deck, closed gunwale, rounded deck profile w/combing, location- Antique boat museum, Clayton, NY

8. 1391 16, 16 ft , stamped on deck, closed gunwale, mahogany rounded deck profile w/ combing, two lashings at each end, wood and steel seats, location NH, owner – Zachary Smith

9. 1411 16, 16ft, stamped on deck, closed gunwale, rounded deck profile w/combing, two lashings at each end, wood and steel seats, location- NH

10. 1717, 18ft, stamped on stem, closed gunwale, small mahogany heart shaped decks, small mahogany carrying handles, lashing at tips only, location-Maine

11. 1757, 16ft, stamped on stem, closed gunwale, small mahogany heart shaped decks, small mahogany carrying handles, lashing only at tips, wood and metal seats, location- NY

12. 1772, 18ft, stamped on stem, closed gunwale, small mahogany heart shaped decks, small mahogany carrying handles, lashings only at tips, all wood seats, location – NH, owner Zachary Smith
That's a great start for a Gerrish listing. Hopefully there will be additions from other folks.
Benson is probably right about putting a piece into the Wooden Canoe Journal to try and create additional awareness... I'm not volunteering for that but given that you have the lions share of these boats, this might be a nice project for you. Thanks for taking the time to document these boats.