My Brother's Canoes


Curious about Wooden Canoes

My brother says he has an Old Town, serial number 3247. It seems like too few digits, but he swears that is what is clearly marked on the stem.

He also has what he believes is a White, 18 feet, numbered 47-47.

Finally, I cam across an Old Town last week numbered 147498 15.

Can you provide any information on any/all of these?

Thank you,

Brad Wyman
Hi Brad,

There is a *bingo* on your Old Town, but not on the other boats. At the present time, records exist that connect a serial number with original build information only for Old Town, Kennebec, and Carleton canoes... so, if your brother's canoe is a White, I don't know how to attach any significance to the serial number. Perhaps someone else here is familiar enough to say whether the canoe is a White or E.M. White, and what the numbers might mean. A picture of the canoe would help a lot.

Ditto for your brother's Old Town. Serial numbers that low aren't common, and our Old Town records are sketchy for the very early years of Old Town. The build records on the CD I have jump from 3237, which was shipped in March of 1906, to 3254, which was shipped in March of 1907. If your brother's canoe is indeed Old Town 3247, it would fall into that time period... probably some time in 1906. But we'd like to see a picture of it... if it is an Old Town, it would be great so see one from that time period, and we may be able to discern the model. Is there a length stamped on the stem as well?

That being said, there are many canoes with numbers of four digits on their stems, and some (like the Detroit) have features resembling Old Town. Some are a whole lot rarer than Old Town. Pictures can help a lot with I.D.

It seems we have the correct record for your canoe, however. Old Town 147498 is a 15 foot CS ("common sense", or not mahogany) fifty pound model built between January and March of 1947. It has Maine cedar planking, ash decks, ash seat frames and ash thwarts and a keel. It was painted dark green and shipped to Zimmerman's of Keene, New Hampshire on April 1, 1947. No Fooling.

A scan of this record is attached below. If the canoe's description doesn't seem to match your boat, let us know and we can try again.If you'd like the giant economy size build record scan rather than the peanut size below, feel free to email me at Scans of approximately 210,000 records were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. Additional information about the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details.

Please join WCHA or make a tax deductible contribution so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA, to watch a 10 minute video about WCHA and our programs and to join. If you are already a WCHA member, THANK YOU!



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