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I'm curious about the treatment of the stem tips. It appears that the planking was let into the stems up to the last inch or so. I wonder if the final triangle near the tips was canvas only with no planking backing it, similar to the way Gerrish built his (at least early) canoes. Another holdover feature from the Native American birchbarks?
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I believe so but don't have a picture handy to show that area. Confirmation will have to wait until I get home tonight.

I searched some records in my resto files and find that a Kingsbury used the same notched stem and so too did JR Williams on the two examples I have. The practice was effective in allowing the planking surface to be thinned down to zero thickness at the point directly under the side caps at the stem tips. The canvas at the stems , with all the 8 or so parts coming together at the ends if carefully refined in dimension, really make for a very fine finish at both tips. It appears to me that boats with high ends and top and side caps benefit the most with this treatment.
nutting stem2.jpg I find this style common on pre 1900 canoes. This is a pic of the C P Nutting I just restored. Copper rivets holding the gunnels together as well. Certainly makes a graceful appearance completed, ( No pun intended Michael).
It seems the holdover is in a couple of the Charles River builders. Interesting to know about JR Williams. What surprised me was seeing this treatment in an Old Town. Suggested to me that this was more common early in the history of the wood-canvas canoe and then faded away with most builders over time. I have a later, unrestored Nutting and will have to see how it's built.
This 1901 Indian Old Town canoe does not have any unsupported canvas in the ends that I can feel or see from the inside as shown below.

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I did just get an early Brodbeck that has this same style stem tip on one side only as shown below. There don’t appear to be any serial numbers stamped in the stems but there is a “#153” written in pencil on one end.

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Joseph Ranco may be the common link between all of these various canoes. He was a Penobscot Indian canoe builder who built in both bark and canvas starting around 1888. He
spent his summers in the Kennebunkport area. Many of the Kennebunkport area builders like J. R. Williams built canoes with removable bow seats that looked like the canoes that Ranco built. Ranco also worked with Wickett before he started working at the Indian Old Town Canoe Company. He was probably the "Indian workman" who was credited with designing the I.F. model that is still being sold today as the Old Town Guide's model. I don't know of any documented connection between Ranco and Nutting but it would not be surprising if he or a canoe builder who was familiar with his building techniques went from Maine to Waltham, Massachusetts to work for Nutting. This is another interesting area for further research.

The WCHA's Instagram account has gotten over 100 likes on a single posting for the first time ever. The table below shows thumbnails of the most popular Facebook postings on the left and the most popular Instagram ones on the right. The same information is posted in both places so it is interesting how different the reactions are. Let me know if anyone has any questions. Thanks,


SUNSET PADDLE: A peaceful 2014 summer solstice sunset paddle at Camp Wabun on Lake Temagami, Ontario. Founded in 1933, Camp Wabun continues the tradition of wood and canvas canoes, wooden wannigan food boxes, and leather tumplines with its campers. The canoe is a Peterborough – Canadian Canoe Company Division, 16 feet long, and the paddler is Colin Hartzell, trip staff at Camp Wabun. #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #peterboroughcanoe #campwabun #laketemagami #canadiancanoe

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THE PADDLER’S DANCE: Becky Mason and Reid McLachlan dancing with a pair of stunning birch barks at the 2008 WCHA Assembly in Peterborough, Ontario. Becky in a boat built by Ferdy Goode, and Reid in a boat by Steve Cayard. Photo by Andy Hutyera. #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #birchbarkcanoe #ferdygoode #beaverbarkcanoe #stevecayard #beckymason #reidmclachlan #redcanoe

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Silver Creek Labor Day Parade: The canoe named Sea Horse is atop Bill Van Keuren’s 1965 Rambler Sedan with his son, Ed Van Keuren, in the canoe for the Silver Creek 1968 Labor Day Parade. Photo: Bill Van Keuren. "Wooden Canoe" is the journal of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA). This is one of the primary benefits of membership in the WCHA. #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #silvercreek #woodencanoejournal

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A Creative Paint Scheme On A Nice Old Town: This 1965 Old Town canoe Otca model was found by member Ralph Nimtz in poor condition under a tattered tarp in Wallingford, Vermont. Ralph and fellow member Ed Congdon jointly took on the restoration. They shared the stripping, Ed did the canvassing, Ralph did the woodworking and applied the elegant paint scheme. The photo was taken on beautiful Lake Ninevah in Central Vermont. #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #oldtowncanoe #lakeninevah

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Michael and Benson, we were discussing construction of notched stems at the top of the page. I took a couple photos of a earlier Gerrish I was dismantling this weekend. I though of this post immediately. I see the notched stem in this construction being extremely useful. It appears to be original and I have not seen one like it. The outer stem tapers to nothing on the bottom of the canoe. The two were nailed together. No screws were used in the construction of the canoe. Both ends are the same.


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Zack - that's very interesting. So did the canvas cover both of the stems, or only the inner one with the outer one exposed? Sounds like canvas must have covered both, which would mean that the two stem pieces were designed to work together as as one. Looking back on how the canoe building industry evolved in the construction of stems, this early method is amazing. It seems like a lot of thought went into it. Thanks for sharing!
PORTAGE: Matt Williams carrying a 1954 Old Town Guide 16 footer lovingly restored by member Craig Johnson. This was Craig’s first restoration, and he reports that it was his most difficult to date. Photo by Scott Johnson. #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #oldtowncanoe

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Where Else Would You Rather Be, But Right Here, Right Now: Sunset reflects off of eastern clouds, and then off the rippling waters of Twin Lakes at member Ken Kelly’s cabin in Michigan. The canoe is “Rudolph”, a 2002 McGreivey Canoe Shop 17’ Racine Navajo model with 24 inch decks, all mahogany trim, and burgees at both ends. Those Adirondack chairs look like a good place to spend the rest of the evening... #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #twinlakes #racinecanoe #mcgreiveycanoe

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Three Generations And A Wooden Canoe: Member Zark Markovich caught this image of his son-in-law John and his grandson Logan as they enjoyed their first paddle of the year in early April 2013. The location is Tohickon Creek, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The canoe is a 1925 Carleton with serial number 18543 that was nicely restored by Zark in 1995 with instructions and materials from member Bill Clements of North Billerica, Massachusetts. #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #carletoncanoe #tohickoncreen #buckscounty #billclements

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Somewhere In The Quetico Wilderness: Member Ferdy Goode stands on top of a huge beaver lodge discovered on a trip to the Quetico Wilderness. The canoe in the foreground was built by Ferdy in 1990. It is a 14 foot x 30 inch beam birchbark, made from a single sheet of bark. The canoe is now bleached out from many hours of paddling. Ferdy says that it is his favorite canoe for paddling in the wilderness and at 42 pounds it makes for an easy portage! #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #birchbarkcanoe #ferdygoode #beaverbarkcanoe #quetico

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OUT COURTING: Jim Clearwater out romancing his gal on the Rondout River at the Antique Boats & Classic Boats show in Kingston, NY in the summer of 2014. "Stephanie Lynn" is a 16' 1943 Old Town Double-ender restored by Jim in 2014. The romancing must have worked because Jim and Jean got married Dec. 5, 2015. Congratulations on the wedding… and the boat! Photo by David Price. #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #oldtowncanoe #rondoutriver

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SOLITUDE!: An early morning paddle on Sagamore Lake, in the Central Adirondacks. Paddlers and canoe unknown, but the picture speaks for itself. Photo by Andy Hutyera. #wcha #wchaorg #canoe #woodencanoeheritageassociation #woodencanoe #adirondacks #sagamorelake

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