Sn 136987 16 ot

Randy Barkley

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Just brought the canoe home with it still on the truck. OT 136987 16ft. I think it is from the 1940s. Looks original except the decks have been replaced. Cane seats, 2 thwarts, floor rack looks good and canvas is shot. The gunnels are not heavy material, looks like spruce but I might be wrong. It was dark when I bought it. The diamonds and square nuts make me think that it is an Old Town. It is not a heavy canoe for the size. That is all I know as of now.
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Hi Randy,

Old Town 136987 is a 16 foot CS (common sense, or middle) grade HW model canoe that was completed February--> June of 1943. It has open spruce gunwales and ash decks, thwarts, and seat frames. Also has a keel and a floor rack. The original color was dead grass. That's right... dead grass. The canoe was shipped to Coldwater, Michigan, on July 16, 1943.

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 if you want more details. I hope that anyone reading this will join or renew membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and to renew.

It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description don't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.



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This is great information. I also received some additional information from Old Town. They sent me 6 pages from their catalog showing pictures, specs and diagrams of the OT HW Model Canoe. Got to like the original color...Dead Grass.. Don't know if I can restore it to that color!


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Dead grass is a strange one... does anyone know if it's kinda yellowish or kinda brownish-greenish?

My feeling re canoe color is that the original owner was able to choose a color, and you can do that too... you don't have to choose the same as the original color unless that's something you like.

Build records don't exist for most old canoes, so the owners of those canoes must choose whatever colors and designs they want.... and Old Town owners should be able to do that too!