On Godfreys and Roundys...

Dan Miller

cranky canoeist
Staff member
Had dinner at the Corner House Inn in Sandwich, NH, last week while at Boat Camp 2010... Hanging above our heads was a rather interesting canoe. It had a builders plate, but bad light and bad eyesight made identification difficult. Finally, by the light of a cell phone, our fearless leader Annie was able to make a positive ID...

Godfrey and Roundy, Old Town, ME

The canoe certainly has a number of characteristics of an early canoe, and according to the list of Maine Builders (http://wcha.org/history/maine-list.htm), A.B. Godfrey and ?.?. Roundy were active in the 1890s.

Just which Roundy this was is open to speculation, but it is fun to consider that J.H. Rushton hired Melvin Roundy out of Bangor to build Indian Girl canoes in Canton in 1902. Melvin brought his brother Clarence as well as his brother in law.

With respect to Godfrey, it may be coincidence, though I think not, that a G.L. Godfrey patented certain improvements for the canvas canoe in 1894 (see attached below).

What interesting times those were!


  • pat529786_godfrey.pdf
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I think that this is just way cool too!

Did you notice in the dark if the Godfrey and Roundy canoe had scuppers on the side and shiplapped planking? It is interesting that this patent was approved since shiplap planks and scuppers have been used on lots of other boats for a long time before 1894. I wonder if E. M. White had started using beveled planking before this patent was issued. It is easy to see why open gunwales were much more universally adopted over scuppers. Great Stuff,