Looking for help identifying canoes

Chris Kennedy

New Member
I was looking for a wood canvas canoe to restore and lucked out in connecting with John Connel from the Wood Canvas Canoe Restoration Project who had a couple left over after the program ended.

The first seems like it might be a Carleton from the 1910’s but I’ve seen some Kennebecs that look similar so I’m not entirely sure. It’s 17’, has heart shaped decks, 3 1/2” planks (red cedar?) and has a faint serial number that appears to be 12025 (or maybe 12075?). Pictures attached.

The second canoe is 14’ with 3” planks and a 4 digit serial of 7221. Pictures attached.

Any help identifying these would be very much appreciated as I’m getting ready to start working on them.
Welcome and congratulations, the Carleton canoe with serial number 12025 is 17 feet long but it had thirty inch mahogany decks and closed gunwales and the one with number 12075 is 18 feet long. The Kennebec with number 12025 is 16 feet long. None of these are a good match for the canoe in your pictures. My guess is that you have the Kennebec canoe with serial number 12075. This is a 17 foot long Kennebec type a shown on pages 256 and 257 of volume two in the Kennebec ledgers. It was planked by Mansell on March 13th, 1917. The canvas covering was applied by Roy on the same day. The first filler coat was applied by Pooler on March 14th, 1917 and the second coat was applied on April 14th, 1917. The keel was oak, the braces (or thwarts) and seats were maple. Lacombe railed it on April 16th, 1917. The original color was a. red and it was painted on June 9th, 1917. It shipped to L. Schwarzkopf on June 9th, 1917. The scans of these build records can be found below. These original Kennebec records are reproduced through the courtesy of the Maine State Museum.

The microfilms and scans of these records were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA). A description of the project to preserve other records like these 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 join.

More information about this and other Kennebec models can be found in the Kennebec catalogs contained on the Historic Wood Canoe and Boat Company Catalog Collection available from https://www.woodencanoe.org/product-page/the-historic-wood-canoe-and-boat-company-catalog-collection in the WCHA store.

The other one may be from Canada since 14 foot long canoes with Phillips head screws in the keel were not commonly built by the major manufacturers in the United States. It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match the canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.



Thank you so much Benson!

Any thoughts on where I might go to do some more research on the 14’ canoe? Perhaps it’s just going to be a mystery canoe…