Old Town 134435 18 and a question

Andy M

Curious about Wooden Canoes
I'm looking for information on an Old Town I just bought and will attempt to restore (I'm sure I'll have questions along those lines). I thought I would try my hand restoring the Old Town before I went at the Robertson that has been in my family for about 70 years. Where would I find #'s on the Robertson?
Hi Andy,

Old Town 134435 is an 18 foot CS (common sense or middle) grade guide model canoe that was completed December 1941 to April 1942. It came off the form ten days after the "date which shall live in infamy". A cool thing about owning an old canoe involves consideration of the historical perspective, IMHO.
Anyway-- the canoe has open spruce gunwales, ash decks/thwarts/seat frames, a keel and was originally bright red. It was shipped to Camp Winnemont in West Ossipee, NH, on May 12, 1942. Image of the scan of this record is attached below-- click on it to get a larger image.

This scan and several hundred thousand others 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/ot_records/ if you want more details. I hope that you will join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See http://www.wcha.org/wcha/ to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/join.php to join.

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

I believe the serial number on a Robertson is found on the stem. Because there are no records for the company, the serial number may not say much... but you might want to use the "search" function (above and to the right) to find older posts about Robertsons that could help you understand what you have. There may be information in back issues of Wooden Canoe.


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Well that was quick. Thank you. Now I have to read much on the forums for info and advice. Thanks again.
If you don't already have a copy of Stelmok and Thurlow's "The Wood and Canvas Canoe", you might want to start there. Also, check to see if you live near a chapter of the WCHA because there's nothing like having others to help-out with your project and then paddle-with when you're done!
Most of the canoe builders here have passed on but I do know of one crafty person who apparently designed some boats for Mad River. I need to speak with him. I'm trying to figure out what I will need to order from Northwoods in addition to the book.
The purpose of these forums is to help folks get their canoes into the water-- well, that's one of many purposes. There are MANY canoe builders and canoe restorers who read these forums daily and would love to help you. So, please ask questions here... and know that you can say, "I live in the town of XX, does anyone live near there?" To which you may receive the reply, "Yeah, I do-- come over and see my shop!" or "The XX Chapter of WCHA is meeting six blocks from your house, and we'd love to help you stretch canvas."

Please read posts on the horrors of fiberglass in regard to a canoe meant to be canvassed. There are still people who give the sort of bad advice that might mean hours of work for you, with a heat gun, down the line. This is why it's nice to be involved with a Chapter, or to post in these forums. Here is a page listing the local chapters... you might find one near-by: http://www.wcha.org/chapters.php

There are also videos on YouTube that you may find helpful.

Don't be shy about posting pictures of your canoe and asking the folks here what they think you'd need to get it into the water.