New Member, NW Indiana


New Member
Greetings. I am a new member, having just bought my first wood and canvas canoe after many years of admiring them. I live in Valparaiso, IN and have canoed and kayaked intermittently since 1972, when a friend needed a partner for the Des Plaines River Canoe Marathon. I have been on the Buffalo, Kankakee, Des Plaines, 9-mile in MO, Fox, Youghiogheny, Lake MI, and some large and small lakes associated with various camping excursions. Nothing heroic. I have several requests. First, I would like a definitive (or at least probable) identification of my new canoe. Second, I would like suggestions for trips and paddling organizations around Valparaiso. Third, I would like suggestions for trips for healthy seniors that might be something of an adventure in the company of other paddlers of mixed ages. I'm not looking for float trips for seniors. I have attached a pdf document with a lot of detail about my boat in hopes that it will be identified and, perhaps, dated. Thanks All.


  • Wood and Canvas canoe identification request - JCM.pdf
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New Member
So here I am replying to my own thread. I received a packet in the mail today from the original owner. It was purchased new in 1986 from the Chicagoland Canoe Base. It was built by the Cedarwood Canoe Company, which was started by Carl Jones, foreman of the Chestnut Canoe plant when it closed. He had purchased some of the Chestnut molds. From the brochure that I received, which includes dimensions and weights, it is most likely a model called the "Indian Style", which was 16 ft by 33 1/2 inches with 12 1/2 inch depth and 1 1/2 inch rib spacing with a weight of 72 lb. This is consistent with my measurements except that I calculated an average rib spacing of 1 5/8 inches. I would like to see a photo of that Cedarwood model as verification.


New Member
I’m new here too. Doesn’t seem very welcoming here. Oh well. Funny as everyone on here had to start somewhere and most received help in one way or another. So from one newby to another, welcome

Dave Wermuth

Who hid my paddle?
I paddled the Kankakee in about 1973 for a short ways with my new wife until a thunderstorm hit and I had to walk back to get the car. Still married. From your location, not far from Chicago there are lots of options. North to BWCWA or Quetico. Michigan has some good paddling. Paul K is in your region and is always paddling. Nice looking canoe.


Unrepentant Canoeist
Not sure how I missed this... other than being even busier than usual. Welcome to the WCHA!

We're about 2&1/2 hours away from each other, which can be a long, but quite do-able, day trip; I paddle (and clean up) the upper Des Plaines quite frequently. For paddling with a group, check out the NorthWest IN Paddling Association,, or Prairie State Canoeists, PSC is based in Chicago's western suburbs, but runs trips in Lower MI routinely. I don't know how well-mixed the ages of the paddlers are, but they're not trips that get called "senior trips" yet. If you don't already have it, the book "Paddle Indiana" has a lot of information on places to paddle; it's ISBN #0-96729220-4. My copy was printd 19 years ago, so there may be more recent resources available. The NWIPA folks should know!

Hope that helps!


Chestnut Canoe fan
Welcome aboard!
I must admit that while I scan the forum regularly your thread didn't come to my attention initially as I'm not from the NW Indiana area. Can't help you with paddling advice down there i'm afraid.
Not until I belatedly saw the mention of Chestnut canoes...

Your dimensions are close to a couple of Chestnut models - either the 16 foot Pleasure model Pal craft or the 16 foot Cruiser Cronje. The photo of your canoes lines look closer to a Pal than Cronje.

And Mike D makes a good point with respect to new members. Please feel welcome and ask away. Lots of knowledge and good people here.

Welcome aboard!