Ot #148880


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I have an Canvas covered canoe with the serial number 148889 17. It also has an large Indian Head on it at the back. Any information on the build would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Lori,

The old town boat with serial number 148889 is a 14 foot square stern. 148880 (which is the number in your heading) is a 17 foot CS (common sense, or middle) grade HW model canoe with red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, unspecified trim of hardwood other than mahogany, and a keel. It was originally dark red. The canoe was finished between May and July of 1947 and was shipped to the GM Williams Co. in New London, Connecticut, on March 17, 1948... amazing that the canoe wasn't shamrock green!

If this description matches your canoe, it may be the correct record. The Indian head is part of the logo for Lakefield canoes, and you may want to compare. If you go to http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/id/ and scroll to Lakefield on the left, you'll see the Indian logo and can compare with what you see on your canoe. The dragonfly site has some information on the company as well.

If you're uncertain of what you have, please post pictures here. You're likely to get some additional information about your specific canoe, whether it's an Old Town or something else.

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 and anyone else reading this will join or renew membership in 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 renew.

Welcome to the forums!



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Correct Serial number is 148839

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for the quick response and all the wonderful information. I had my husband recheck the serial number on the canoe and he had the 5th digit incorrect. The correct (I think) serial number is 148839 17. It is a red canvas covered canoe, octa model, 17 ft, and I think it is original. The Indian Chief head does not look like the Indian logo on the Lakefield canoes.

It is definitely an Old Town canoe.

Sorry for the mistake on the serial number. I am really excited to see the original build sheet.

Thanks and happy Easter!

Hi Lori,

Old Town 148839 is a 17 foot CS (common sense, or middle) grade Otca model canoe, completed May-July of 1947. It has red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales and a keel. You are right about it being red--- original color was dark red. The canoe was shipped to Lloyd K. Henry Boat and Motor Sales in Detroit, MI, on July 13, 1949.

In addition to the build record, I've also attached the scan of a page from the 1949 Old Town catalog, courtesy "The Complete Old Town Canoe Company Catalog Collection, 1901- 1993", available on CD from http://www.wcha.org/catalog/ and http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/cdrom.htm on the web.

More information on the Old Town Company can be found in Sue Audette's book, "Old Town, Our First Hundred Years", which is available through the WCHA store and most booksellers, eBay, Amazon, and public libraries.

Enjoy your canoe--- and please join the discussions here regarding any restoration questions or places to enjoy your canoe. Are you in Bemidji, MN? Say "hi" to Paul and Babe for me!



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Thanks for the information, the build record, and the catalog page. It all appears to match up. YIPPEE! We bought the canoe about 18 years ago in a suburb of Detroit. The paperwork says that it was originally shipped to Detroit in 1949. It is still red and appears to be all original which matches the Otca Model you sent me from the OT 1949 catalog. The only thing different in the large Indian Chief head on the side of the boat. The WCHA that we talked to at the Chicago boat show this year said that he knows of one other OT canoe that has a Large Indian Head on it too. But, he said that he is not aware of OT ever putting it on their canoes.

As for Bemidji, we have a summer cabin there and that is where the canoe is. We took it there when we bought it and have been enjoying it on Big Turtle Lake ever since. Paul and Babe are good "friends" of mine. I will tell them you said HELLO next time I see them!

Thanks again for all your help. We really appreciate it.

Have a wonderful day.