Hoping for records on Old Town canoe 139254 (17?)

Alex Rich

New Member
I'm thinking about my first canoe restoration project and getting close to buying an Old Town canoe with serial number 139254 (17?)... the last two digits aren't visible. Any info or advice anyone could lend would mean a lot.

Benson Gray

Canoe History Enthusiast
Staff member
Welcome, the Old Town canoe with serial number 139254 is a 17 foot long, CS (common sense or middle) grade, Otca model with open spruce gunwales, number 10 canvas, ash decks, ash thwarts, ash seats, a keel, a floor rack, and two bobstays. It was built between January and May, 1944. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on May 15th, 1944 to Portland, Maine. The floor rack and bobstays appear to have been removed in the pictures that I saw in June with the craigslist listing. A scan of this build record can be found below.

This scan and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will donate, join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See https://www.woodencanoe.org/about to learn more about the WCHA and https://www.woodencanoe.org/shop to donate or renew.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer this description doesn't match the canoe. Feel free to reply if you have any other questions.



patrick corry

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Ahh... that makes sense for a canoe which might be lined upstream or down. A lower attachment point would enable greater control.


Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
Your canoe was shipped to Albert Frost in Portland, Maine. I have an Old Town Double-End boat that was shipped to Albert Frost in October 1943. In case you have not Googled him I can add a little.
Albert's life long career was with his family business, Albert G. Frost & Son Boat Company in Scarborough, Maine. He later became President and General Manager of Frost Marine Company. The Frost boat business was the oldest Johnson Outboard Motor and Boston Whaler boat dealer and was the second oldest Chris Craft dealer in the United States. He likely bought your canoe for a customer.
Good luck with the restoration.

Dave Osborn

I’ve had a couple 1944 Old Town canoes in the shop recently. If you haven’t found out already, the tacks are likely steel instead of the typical brass due to brass being used in the war effort.
In my experience the tacks are difficult to pull out without bringing a good hunk of rib with it.
If you need to remove a plank, it’s best to break it up leaving the tack in the rib, then clip it off with a side cutter.