Veazie Canoe Company Update

The August 8, 1907 Daily Kennebec Journal(v.38,No182, p.9) reported that,


Benson Gray has informed me that the title of President at Old Town Canoe was ceremonial and the Treasurer functioned as the operating manager. It appears that something similar happened with the Veazie Canoe Company and Charles Morris was most likely given the President's title as token of respect for his role in Bert Morris's company.

This finding seems to put to rest the idea of an original Veazie Canoe Company suggested in Charles B King's (grandson of Charles A. Morris and grandnephew of B. N. Morris) 1979 letter to the editor of The Canoeist’s Catalog, “The [canoe] company was first called the Veazie Canoe Company but was later named the B. N. Morris Company.” But as is often the case, Charles King’s account contains a bit of mixed-up truth. The November 8, 1914 edition of the Daily Kennebec Journal states on page 7.,


By changing the name of the Veazie Canoe Company to B. N. Morris, Inc., Morris was able to incorporate his earlier Morris Canoe Company without obtaining a new certificate, but it also meant the end of the Veazie Canoe Company. In 1907 Morris introduced his Models A, B, C and D and three design types, but did not offer a more affordable version of any of them like he previously did with the Special Indian Model; so the Veazie Canoe filled that vacuum. The surviving literature including two Veazie Canoe Company catalogs and a few Veazie Canoe advertisements are consistent with the Veazie Canoe Company operating from 1908 -1914. They also suggest that the Company may have offered only "factory direct" sales from 1908 through 1910, but started using agents in 1911. This new information means all surviving Veazie Canoes fall within these dates, and that production rates were higher than originally thought. It still seems likely that Veazie's with keyhole decks and three cant ribs are earlier as has been suggested.
This is a great find and prompted me to locate the deed for the land where his factory was built. It is in book 611 on page 354 as show below which indicates that Bertie N. Morris paid $675 for this land on May 6th, 1891. The tax map at indicates that this may have since been subdivided into the lots numbered 67-70. There was a canoe on top of a car in the driveway next to the original office when the Google mapping car drove by as shown at which seems ironic. The page at has more about the fire that burned most of it down on December 15th, 1919.


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.....started using agents in 1911. This new information means all surviving Veazie Canoes fall within these dates, and that production rates were higher than originally thought. It still seems likely that Veazie's with keyhole decks and three cant ribs are earlier as has been suggested.[/QUOTE]

Hermann, could you illuminate these particular comments? It has been generally accepted that Veazie operated in the noted years as evidenced by the referenced catalogues.
What is not obvious is how this reflects upon production rates (which are not known).
Given that there are very few Veazie tagged canoes known and no known build records, the numbers of Veazie canoes that were built is also not known. Do you have some additional information to share?
Also please clarify what you mean by "earlier as suggested" WRT keyhole/3 cant Veazies. Earlier than 1907/8?
Benson. I posted a couple of documents related to fire at . I could not open the link to the deed, but the tax map was fascinating and give a sense of just how much land Morris got for $975! All I can say about the canoe is at least it wasn't a Morris canoe. That would be just too ironic.

Prior to the sources posted above we did not have a clear start and end date for the Veazie Canoe Company. Morris added a third cant rib to his canoes about 1905 and since a couple of Veazie canoes have only two, it was originally thought the Veazie Canoe Company likely began before 1905. This information shows us the Veazie Canoe Company was not created until 1907 and likely did not start sales until 1908. The end date was also unknown and may have been as long as the Morris factory operated for all we knew , but we now know the Veazie Canoe Company operated for seven years. We do not have enough information to determine actual production rates, but we can calculate a "minimum average production rate" based on the highest known Veazie serial number, SN1101 (The Morris Canoe p. 211.); so the minimum average production rate was about 158 canoes per year over the seven year period. My point was that since this new information significantly reduced the assumed lifetime for the Veazie Canoe Company this "minimum average production rate" was increased.

This information indicates that all surviving Veazie canoes should be dated from 1908 t0 1914 using some of the strategies outlined in The Morris Canoe p. 189. For example, Veazie Canoes with SN tags on inwale are dated 1908-1909 and those with SN Tags on stem parallel to ribs are dated 1910-1914, and those with SN tags on stem perpendicular to ribs 1912-1914. Open wales are introduced in the second Veazie catalog, so they would likely be dated 1911-1914. Both surviving Veazie Canoes with indications of inwale SN tag also have keyhole deck and two cant ribs (I mistakenly said "three"above) suggesting both are features of earlier Veazie Canoes (1908-1909), but we do not know when either feature was discontinued. Mahogany trim was always an option either for individual items or for all the trim, including 15-inch decks. But none of the 10 surviving Veazie canoes with SN tags on stems have either feature (The Morris Canoe), so it was likely before 1911. We do know that Veazie Canoe SN716 was purchased in 1913 at Kennedy Bros. in Minneapolis (The Morris Canoe p. 143) so the SN1101 is likely among the later canoes made. The Morris Data Base reports Veazie SN 402 has a mahogany heart-shaped deck and SN Tag dating on stem suggesting a date no earlier than 1910, but Veazie SN 419 and all later Veazie canoes have the concave/curved deck that would eventually be used in later Morris canoes.

Why did Morris briefly return to two cant ribs in the Veazie canoes. Most likely as a cost saving measure, since the Veazie Canoe Company was created to produce a canoe that anybody could afford. Morris also eliminated a third thwart on the longer Veazie models. The specifications of the Veazie canoe shows lower ends than the Model A, so Morris may have initially thought he could eliminated the third cant rib, but apparently had second thoughts.

I am still not getting email notifications am trying to figure out! Please be patient.
I could not open the link to the deed

Oops, I have corrected the previous message to remove the broken link and added an image of the deed. It appears that the Penobscot County Deed office doesn't support permanent links to deeds. Sorry about that.

I've also added several invoices below which include Morris serial number information if you don't have these already. There are also records for about eleven Morris canoes with serial numbers that were repaired at Old Town after 1921 but these won't help date when they were made. Please let me know if anyone has any other Morris serial number information. Thanks,


Morris 1876.jpg

Morris 1903.jpg

Morris 1911.jpg

Morris 1912.jpg
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So...a couple thoughts;
Veazie Canoes, 1907 -1914. That seems reasonable. I would not presume that shipments only began in 1908, rather that there may have been a handful of canoes serialized in 1907.
SN 1101 as the "final" Veazie. Probably not. Our data is based upon a rag tag list of known boats. We could easily assume there are more that are unreported. I have found literally dozens of Morris that are not listed. The so called "database' is a list of reported canoes. An active effort to maintain that list has not been evident in recent years.
158 canoes per year. OK, but as we know from the available boats with provenance and as we should confirm, there is an uneven distribution, as we illustrated for Morris and Old Town and as has been seen with the other builders for whom there are records.
2 cant ribs as a cost savings measure. That seems highly unlikely. The cost of a cant rib and its effect on the build process is mice nuts. There were assuredly other reasons.
Finally. as I have previously posted, I am hopeful that I can confirm the age of Veazie SN 320. I have had access to the original owner's family journals where it is frequently mentioned.
320 is a dead ringer for a 1910ish Morris. It is an A grade mahogany trimmed long deck, the only such Veazie that I am aware of. Assuming the 158 production and the 1910ish appearance, this seems to about right, give or take a few hundred hulls.