Old Town 18930-16

The Old Town canoe with serial number 18930 is a 16 foot long, AA (or top) grade, Charles River model with red western cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, mahogany decks, mahogany thwarts, mahogany seats, half ribs, mahogany outside finish rails, a keel, and outside stems. It was built between October, 1911 and April, 1912 The original exterior paint was dark red. It first shipped on April, 19th, 1912 to Quebec but was returned on September 1st, 1913. It was reshipped to another location on September 9th, 1913 as noted on the back of the card but that was not scanned. A scan of the front side of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.


This scan and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. 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 http://www.wcha.org/about-wcha to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/store/membership to renew.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match the canoe. See http://wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/9982/ if you are curious about the Kennebec canoe with this serial number. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

Interesting that the build record indicates "outside stems". The canoe does not have them and there is no indication that there were ever any. The outer edges of the stems are quite narrow, just wide enough for the brass stem band and there are no screw holes where an outside stem would have been attached. The keel is missing so I can't determine anything from that. Is it possible that the date stamp at the OS stem line was just put there inadvertently? Everything else matches up.
All record systems have errors so this must be one. It isn't likely to be the Carleton with number 18930 since it is 18 feet long. Good luck with the project!

I stopped by the factory last week and got a better scan showing both sides of this build record as shown below.


18930.jpg 18930-b.jpg
Thanks for the additional information, now there are more questions.

There may have been some confusion in 1911 about just what an outside stem is. I am still convinced that it never had a hardwood outside stem, only a brass stem band at each end. I am attaching a photo showing the very narrow outside surface of the stem and the area where a screw was put in off to one side that would have damaged the canvas. Note that the only screw holes in the stem are for #4 screws and they are spaced 5 inches apart as stem band screws would have been.

I'm not sure how the factory would have repaired this damage in 1913 for only $5.00, Bondo hadn't been invented yet...

The owner of the canoe in the early 1980's was Jack Connelly, he was one owner back from the gentleman who gave it to us, so it is the same canoe.

Connelly restored the canoe in 1982, then somewhere along the line it was left to deteriorate so we can do it all over again.


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It is odd that "O. S. stems" were mentioned on both sides of the record. This is not something that is likely to have been changed in a prior restoration. A Charles River model canoe in AA grade was listed for $38 in 1913 (plus $3 for the open gunwales) as shown below so a $5 repair was about 12% of the cost for a new canoe. The page at https://www.islandfallscanoe.com/old-town-canoes.aspx indicates that a similar Otca today is listed for $6,700. I suspect that now for about $817 you could glue a small hole in the canvas, touch up the paint, and wrap everything for shipment (without any Bondo). Good luck with the next restoration of this canoe,


Great progress in being made on the Ideal. New mahogany inwales have been installed, new mahogany decks have been bent and are awaiting installation. Here is the Norumbega crew installing nearly a dozen new ribs.


WOW, what a crew.........makes me want to move back to Everett. I bet Steve knows the 5 best ways to clinch a tack.