Research and History - Old Wooden Beauty


New Member
I am new to this forum. My father wants to sell our old family canoe on craigslist. I recently looked for a serial number and identifying information but, could not find anything. I sat with my dad at the cottage and he told me all the history he could remember about the canoe.

Dimensions of canoe: WIDTH = 40" LENGTH=16' HEIGHT AT BOW=28" HEIGHT AT MIDDLE=15"

Here is the story:
My mom used to work for a dentist in downtown Detroit named, Dr. Harold Howard. This doctor had a cottage up in Tobermory Canada. Tobermory is famous for its shipwreck from the late 1800’s. Dr. Howard had become good friend’s with a fisherman / treasure hunter named Orrie Vail. Mr. Orrie Vail discovered shipwreck remains of the Griffon at Russels Island in Tobermory Ontario Canada in the 1955. Orrie Vail gave his wooden canoe to Dr. Howard has a gift. A number of years later, Dr. Howard gave it to my mother. The canoe then made a journey to Michigan where it still is today.

Pretty interesting story. I am thinking about trying to contact some family members of Orrie Vail because it might have some personal heritage to their family.

I have posted some pictures - any help finding out the value of this canoe would be appreciated. Thanks!!!


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Your canoe was built by Thompson Brothers Boat Manufacturing Company, and is their Indian model with sponsons. Not often that you see sponsons on Thompsons. I was built between 1928 and 1950.
Orrie Vail was my grandfather's cousin, who was also a Vail.
Thank you for the photos of part of my family's history.