Old Town Canoe 61097 - 17


New Member
I would like information on a 17' canoe, serial number 61097. My great grandfather bought the canoe, probably in the 1920's (he died in 1934). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Very cool to have your grandfather's canoe!

Old Town 61097 is a 17 foot CS (common sense or middle) grade Otca model canoe that was completed May--August 1920. It has red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, 20" birch decks, birch thwarts and birch seat frames, and a keel. It was originally dark green. It was sent to Abraham and Straus (retailer) in Brooklyn, NY, on May 6, 1921. Yes, that looks like a "7" but given the completion date of 1920, it's just the way somebody makes their "ones". 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.



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Thanks! The description matches the canoe. The canoe being sent to A&S in Brooklyn fits family history, as my great grandfather lived on Dean St. in Brooklyn, not far from A&S and the ferries that took the family to Connecticut where the canoe ended up. My father redid the canoe in the late 60's and had to replace some ribs. Based on the build description and that the thwarts are oak but have different aging/coloring than the ribs, it appears likely that the thwarts were also replaced.