Three Rivers Canoe Maker from Maine?

Benson Gray

Canoe History Enthusiast
Staff member
Has anyone ever heard of a "Three Rivers Canoe Maker" from Maine? There is a sign advertising their name with "Birch bark - Canvas" up for auction on March 27th at in South Paris, Maine. The list of Maine Canoe Builders at doesn't include them and I've not found any other reference to an early Maine canoe builder using this name. The messages at reference two modern builders using this name in Canada and South Carolina but I suspect that neither of them worked in birch bark. This sign may be a fake but it looks old. Has anyone else ever heard of this company and can you provide any more details? Joseph Ranco is the only canoe builder I know who is documented to have worked in both birch bark and canvas. See from 1888 for more about this. I will not be bidding on this sign. Thanks,

Is there an area in Maine that is called "Three Rivers"? There are a few hundred Smith Ponds (or so it seems). Three Rivers does not sound familiar.
There appear to be many locations in Maine with a three river designation. The Milo area has that name as described at,_Maine and many canoe builders have worked in that region over the years. The Forks and Millinocket both have Three Rivers Whitewater as the page at describes. Waterville, Farmington, Alfred, and Anson also have claims to this name. It appears that any significant intersection of rivers can use this and there are many available.

Pittsburg is not normally associated with old birch bark or canvas canoe builders but I suppose that anything is possible.

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I do believe the reference would be the town of Milo being from Maine and I do believe the sign is a new fake. Seems to be some fakes going around the area in sporting art/equipment currently. I have found some items at other central Manie auctions halls within the last couple weeks that are new fakes on fish mounts/carvings. Speaking with one of my Maine taxidermists a couple weeks back he mentioned the same thing and threw out a name that I cannot remember but is well known. Apparently the fellow was and is well known to the vintage collectable " folk art" scene and has fallen on tough times living out of pickup truck and trying to make a buck. He does fairly well fake imitations. I have also seen a Flyrod Crosby framed photo of his that make is way to the Oquossic museum to find out if was a fake. Ill come up with the name and if I was a betting man I would put money on him.

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In taking a close look at the sign, the word "Birch" is misspelled as "Brich"...